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IMLS awards grants to OCLC to support national continuing education programs for libraries

DUBLIN, Ohio, 6 November 2013—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded OCLC two 2013 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants aimed at strengthening and sustaining continuing education programs for libraries nationally.

A grant award of $289,387 will aid the formation of the “Coalition for National Learning,” a widely representative group of organizations that holds the potential to support and advance continuing education on a national scale. The coalition’s purpose will be to find new approaches for the coordination of national continuing education investments and activities, and explore and advance new sustainable funding and support models. This 18-month initiative will culminate in community-built strategies for approaching continuing education in libraries and cultural institutions across the nation.

A second grant award of $248,982 will produce new online learning content for public libraries. In partnership with Infopeople, OCLC will provide training and guidance for continuing education providers to create effective learning content that can reach larger audiences of library staff. Participants will receive comprehensive formal training focused on how to design and deliver engaging, high-quality e-learning, and then will collaboratively produce up to six new online course modules on topics identified as highest priority for public libraries. The content will be designed for publication on any platform and distributed nationally through WebJunction.org.

“We are pleased to make these significant grants supporting continuing education,” said Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “Supporting library continuing education is a high priority for IMLS. High quality library service depends upon smart investments in the people who work in libraries.”

“Infopeople has long viewed online learning as a natural extension of our mission to provide the California library community with the skills, tools and resources needed to deliver high-quality service in a rapidly changing world,” said Lisa Barnhart, Infopeople Training Coordinator. “We look forward to this opportunity to explore new ways to engage our learners.”

“Libraries and cultural institutions are central to achieving lifelong learning for all Americans,” said Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for the Americas. “With high demands on librarians’ time and resources, this IMLS investment provides a community-based forum to advance and coordinate our national efforts to create training that supports librarians and all those they serve.”

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

About Infopeople

Infopeople is a federally funded grant project administered by the California State Library. Our mission is to improve the quality of information access to the people of California by upgrading skills, resources, and tools available through libraries. We provide continuing education for California library staff; offer technical assistance to libraries; explore library applications of new technologies; develop and share resources; and facilitate statewide communication among libraries. Infopeople’s virtual training is available to, and well used by, the greater library community outside of California.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC website.

A program of OCLC, WebJunction provides library staff with online access to continuous learning and the shared knowledge and experience of their peers. Founded in 2003, WebJunction is supported in part by OCLC, grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and state library partners. For more information, visit WebJunction.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.

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