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Library Degree Scholarship Applications Due

Applications Due for Library Science Degree Scholarship Program

Aid program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services aims to increase diversity, improve services of Inland area libraries.

(June 1, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Scholarship applications are available for Inland area non-credentialed library staff from 11 partnering institutions, and students at University of California, Riverside and the University of Redlands who are interested in pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree.

The deadline to submit application packets is June 3 at 5 p.m. Application packets are available on the Inland Empire LEADS website,

The UCR Libraries received a $974,259 grant in 2010 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to recruit and educate librarians to advance diversity and service in the Inland Empire. The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant is designed to diversify the library profession and strengthen library services to communities with diverse language, cultural, economic and social needs. The grant will support up to 25 students.

Grant funds will help non-credentialed library staff from partner institutions, as well as graduating seniors and graduate students from UCR and the University of Redlands, to realize their educational and career goals, said Patricia Smith-Hunt, head of Preservation Services for UCR Libraries and project director for Inland Empire LEADS.

Two of the 12 original grant recipients have completed their MLIS degrees, Smith-Hunt said.

A pre-grant survey of several libraries in the region indicated that while many library support staff are interested in attaining the MLIS degree they don’t have the financial capital to do so, she said. “This IMLS grant is important on several levels including the support of educational opportunities for future librarians, the advancement of diversity within the library profession, and the development and expansion of programming and services to the diverse communities of the Inland Empire,” Smith-Hunt said.

To be eligible, applicants must be either currently enrolled or have been accepted into an American Library Association-accredited master’s program in library and information science and be employed full- or part-time at one of the Inland Empire LEADS (Librarians Educated to Advance Diversity and Service) partner libraries or be graduate students or graduating seniors currently enrolled at UC Riverside or the University of Redlands.

Partner institutions include UCR, the San Bernardino Valley College Library; San Bernardino Public Library; San Bernardino County Library; Riverside Public Library; Riverside County Law Library; Rancho Cucamonga Public Library; University of Redlands-Armacost Library; San Bernardino County Law Library; Moreno Valley College Library; and the Moreno Valley Public Library. UCLA will become a partner institution this year.

Grant funds provide scholarships to support tuition costs and the purchase of course materials, internships, mentoring, and opportunities for program participants to attend professional conferences while working toward their MLIS degree. Scholarships will be awarded for full- or part-time study up to one academic year. Students must reapply for scholarships each year.

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. The institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

For more information contact Patricia Smith-Hunt, head of Preservation Services for UCR Libraries and project director for Inland Empire LEADS, at or (951) 827-7702.



The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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