Grant Brings Technology Training To Rural School Librarians



The Wyoming State Library (WSL) and two other state libraries have partnered with Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) of Rapid City, South Dakota, to bring continuing education and training to school librarians in rural areas. School librarians in Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota are eligible to apply for a three-year professional development cohort program, designed to enhance their skills in the digital world. TIE, an extension of public schools, has worked for more than three decades to improve instruction throughout the region.

“The school librarian is the key to making the library a hub for learning across the entire curriculum,” said Jamie Markus, Wyoming State Librarian. “Developing their skills and knowledge through this program will better help them promote student achievement.”

This program, coordinated TIE, is free to librarians, thanks in part to a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Thirteen school librarians from each of the three states will participate in the cohort. Through face-to-face and virtual learning, selected librarians will gain expertise in utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and will be prepared to serve as instructional leaders in their schools.

“TIE has a long history of supporting classroom educators to leverage technology for learning,” said TIE director Dr. Julie Mathiesen. “We recognize this growing need among rural school librarians as they also have a need to transition to a more digital-based learning hub.”

The program begins this fall and librarians must commit to the entire cohort, through June, 2021.  Any school librarian may apply but the project’s target group is librarians working in tribal reservation schools or within 50 miles of reservations, Hutterite colony schools, rural districts with K-12 enrollments under 500, and schools identified as Priority or Focus schools.

More information is available from Paige Bredenkamp, WSL School Library Consultant, at paige.bredenkamp@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6331, or from Julie Erickson at TIE in South Dakota, jerickson@tie.net.

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, with a mission to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.

This project was made possible in part by IMLS, grant RE-7018-0050-18.

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