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MU Program Will Train Future Librarians as Many Prepare to Retire

MU Receives a Grant though the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Oct. 4, 2007

Story Contact:  Jennifer Faddis, (573) 882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — With the Internet and online databases, the landscape of a library is much different than it was 20 years ago. No matter how many things change, however, libraries will always have a need for knowledgeable and helpful librarians. A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will give the opportunity for future librarians at the University of Missouri-Columbia to participate in Preparing Tomorrow’s Academic Library Managers, a fellows program.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which was created to develop leaders in library sciences, will fund the $766,610 federal grant to the MU’s School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. Beginning in January, 20 qualified students will participate in the program and study at one of four major Missouri campuses’ libraries.            

“There’s a need for a new generation of leaders,” said John Budd, a library sciences professor in the MU College of Education who will oversee the grant. “This will ensure that students can work with the leaders now, before their retirement.”The students will learn how to use both the new and old technology of the library from reference books to online resources. They also will learn how to catalogue, organize resources and integrate the training and consulting services. After mastering the basics of library management the first year, students will spend the second year engaging with experienced mentors and understanding the role of libraries on campus.

 “Students will learn about the inner workings of a library, the day to day operations, and in the second year, they’ll supplement that experience with more environmental or contextual experience,” Budd said.