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Books and Reading
Laura Bush listens to a child's reaction to her reading of
Laura Bush listens to a child's reaction to her reading of "Book, Book, Book" during a visit to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library in Chattanooga, Tenn., June 20, 2003. White House photo by Susan Sterner.

Recruitment and Education of Librarians
for the 21st Century

Over the next decade, 40 percent of America's library directors plan to retire, and over the next 16 years, 58 percent of professional librarians are also projected to retire. It is essential to recruit and educate a new generation of librarians. The President's budget proposal addresses this loss with a special focus on recruiting and training the next generation of librarians. Last year, the President's 2003 budget included $10 million for this initiative. This year, the 2004 budget requested $20 million for this initiative.

The initiative will be managed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Funds will be used for efforts such as scholarships and fellowships for master's programs, support for doctoral students who will train the next generation of librarians, leadership development, distance learning for underserved rural areas, and efforts to recruit librarians to serve increasingly diverse communities with diverse language skills. Grants from IMLS help libraries and museums use new technology; attract state and local support; preserve our cultural heritage; and bring information, knowledge, and ideas to children, families, schools and communities.

Since the White House first proposed the recruitment and education initiative in February 2002, IMLS has worked extensively with the library and education communities to develop a program to address the shortage of librarians in the U.S., especially school library media specialists, library school faculty, and librarians working in underserved communities.

The grant priorities are to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, to develop faculty to educate these librarians, to enable pre-professional library staff to make the transition to their careers in libraries, especially in underserved areas, and to encourage research on the recruitment and education of librarians. Libraries and institutions of higher learning are eligible and encouraged to apply for the grants, which range from $50,000 to $500,000.

Access the grant application and guidelines at:

Related Links
White House Salute to American Authors Series
National Book Festival
Texas Book Festival
Laura Bush: Librarian and Teacher
Resources: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
White House Conference on School Libraries
White House Colloquium on Libraries, Museums, and Lifelong Learning
Highlights of Mrs. Bush's Library Tours and Visits
Teaching Children to Use their Public Library
Laura Bush's Recommended Reading