Aug. 18, 2004
CUA to Offer New Library Science Fellowships for MSLS Candidates
Students Will Be Primed for Executive Work in Major Academic and Research Libraries
CUA’s School of Library and Information Science is one of three accredited library science programs selected to offer special fellowships for graduate level students pursuing a career in library science, thanks to $826,000 in funding from a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services grant.
The grant, to be administered over the next three years by the Association of Research Libraries at CUA, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Simmons College in Boston, will be used to create “The ARL Academy: Careers in Academic and Research Libraries initiative.”
The initiative is designed to fund 45 students as ARL fellows, students who are seeking a master’s degree in library and information science after earning an advanced degree in another field. The CUA fellows will be prepared to work at a major research library in the areas of management, organization of information or special collections.
“We’re very excited to work with the ARL to offer such prestigious fellowships,” says Martha Hale, dean of CUA’s School of Library and Information Science. “Graduates from this program will be well-positioned for executive roles in major library and research institutions. And candidates for those jobs will be sought after as more and more professionals currently in the field prepare to retire.”
Concern about the number of experienced and skilled librarians available to manage the nation’s top research libraries has been growing as industry analysts look ahead to the number of advanced library professionals expected to retire in the next 10 to 15 years, Hale says.
Using 1990 Census data, the ARL has determined that approximately 58 percent of professional librarians will reach the age of 65 between 2005 and 2019. A 2000 survey published by Library Journal reported that 40 percent of library directors said they would retire in nine years or less.
“These are big numbers,” Hale says. “Which is why the ARL is working hard to move more students into MSLS degree programs.”
CUA’s portion of the IMLS grant will help the university provide the academic track of the program to 15 fellows. CUA students will participate in an internship at an ARL library in addition to earning 30 credits toward their masters of science in library science degree.
The grant funding will support part of student’s tuition, all of the travel costs associated with fellowships in ARL libraries, and all the expenses incurred while attending the ARL Leadership Institute program.
Five master’s degree students from each of the participating schools will be selected each year — over the three-year life of the grant — for the ARL Academy. The criteria for selection includes having a master’s or professional degree and the potential for and interest in pursuing a career in academic and research libraries.
As part of the ARL Academy, fellows will be immersed, through their master’s in library and information science programs, in the core philosophical and theoretical experiences necessary to successfully contribute to libraries at the professional level. Simultaneously, they will earn practical work experience in ARL libraries that will significantly increase their exposure, competence and marketability upon graduation. A custom-designed five-day ARL Leadership Institute, designed to explore the opportunities and challenges facing academic and research libraries, will serve as the culminating event for each class of ARL Academy fellows.
For more information about the ARL Academy, visit the Web site at www.arl.org/olms/arlacademy or contact the CUA School of Library and Information Science at 202-319-5085.
MEDIA: For more information or interviews about the project, contact Chris Harrison, CUA
Office of Public Affairs, at 202-319-5600.
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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.