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Thursday, February 8 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm

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The IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) grant program, now entering its fifteenth year, focuses on recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians and developing a diverse workforce. As IMLS looks to the future, we are gathering key library and archives stakeholders and thought leaders to explore the Master’s and Doctoral component of the LB21 program.
As libraries increasingly serve social, civic, and technological functions, the nature of librarianship has expanded. Academic libraries often need experts in research methods and data science; public libraries increasingly need staff with a wide range of community development experience, engagement skills, and cultural competencies; and all libraries are seeing the need for expertise in fundraising, project management, software development, as well as leadership, supervisory, and management experience. As the jobs library leaders are trying to fill have an expanding list of necessary skillsets and expertise:
  • Where are the knowledge gaps between formal Library and Information Science (LIS) education graduates and the needs of hiring managers in libraries and archives?
  • What kinds of curricular changes are necessary in MLIS and PhD programs to keep up with the changing needs of practitioners into the future?
  • How can we identify, develop, and refine strategies to recruit, train, and retain diverse professionals?
In November 2017, IMLS, representatives from ALA-accredited LIS programs, and key stakeholders and leaders met to discuss how to position LIS graduate programs for 21st century practice. Members of the public were invited to watch the event via livestream and to join the conversation on Twitter with #LB21focus. The purpose of the convening was to explore how the formal education component of the LB21 program can best support LIS programs to meet the needs of students and libraries, and to increase diversity within the library profession.
At ALISE we provide an additional opportunity for LIS educators, leaders from across the library sector and library service organizations, and other expert stakeholders to formally join the discussion. Your input is critical to helping us determine best strategies for investing limited IMLS funding to achieve the greatest impact. We hope to facilitate participation and input from all attendees.

Thursday February 8, 2018 2:30pm - 4:00pm MST