The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently announced 49 grants to institutions totaling $10,216,923. The awards are made through the FY 2017 second cycle of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.
NOVA’s Annandale Campus, six partner community colleges and the not-for-profit research service Ithaka S+R were awarded one of those grants totaling $449,388 to develop and assess a series of concepts for innovative services with the goal of improving library support of community college student success. Along with Ithaka S+R Director of Libraries and Scholarly Communications Program Roger Schonfeld, Annandale Dean of Learning, Technology and Resources Dr. Braddlee submitted a proposal for the grant in June 2017.
“We are delighted to announce today’s grant recipients whose projects are designed to have lasting benefits for the library and archives fields,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, IMLS director. “These grants highlight how IMLS helps steer the nation’s investments in libraries and ensure that librarians are equipped to provide citizens access to the information, resources and services they want and need.”
With the research project, “Community College Library Support for Student Success,” Braddlee and Schonfeld proposed coordinating a diverse partnership of seven community colleges and a not-for-profit research organization to test two key research questions: (1) How can “student success” be defined so that it is inclusive both of students’ own needs as well as important policy priorities? (2) What services can academic libraries offer to most effectively support students in their attainment of success?
In the initial phase, interviews to develop service concepts will be conducted with at least 50 students from the partnering colleges, which are four CUNY colleges (Borough of Manhattan, Bronx, LaGuardia and Queensboro), Monroe Community College of the SUNY system in upstate New York, and Pierce College District in Washington state. This will be followed in an assessment phase with a survey to gather input from thousands of students across the partner colleges, resulting in a dataset that will be made available for benchmarking and further research.
The project team will generate two research reports: one on student perspectives, practices and needs, and a second providing specific assessments of service models. It will also yield a toolkit that can be further adopted by community colleges nationally to test service concepts or develop and assess additional service concepts specifically relevant for their populations.
“Academic libraries are an essential element in the overall picture of student success. By bringing together community colleges from across the country, combined with the resources and expertise of Ithaka S+R, to create a toolkit and datasets that can be openly and freely shared, we aspire to establish pathways for academic libraries nationwide to better serve students in meeting their personal and career goals,” Braddlee said. “In accomplishing this, we also seek to build upon the value libraries already provide to their institutions. We’re appreciative to IMLS and to all of our partners for making this opportunity possible, and we’re looking forward to the work that lies ahead of us.”
Braddlee and Schonfeld will lead the project, and are partnering with Jean Amaral from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Katie DeRusso from Monroe Community College, Christie Flynn from Pierce College District, Jeanne Galvin from Queensboro Community College, Michael Miller from Bronx Community College, and Steven Ovadia from LaGuardia Community College. Megan Oakleaf of Syracuse University, Deborah Gilchrist of Pierce College District, and Bryan Alexander of Bryan Alexander Consulting and Senior Researcher for the New Media Centers, will serve as the external advisory panel for the project. Christine Wolff-Eisenberg of Ithaka S+R will be serving as lead consultant to the project.
The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty and library leaders. IMLS is awarding $4,659,763 of the nearly $19 million requested to fund 18 projects, including “Community College Library Support for Student Success.”
IMLS is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The IMLS mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. Their 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, Twitter and Instagram.