(Hartford, CT)-The Connecticut State Library is the recipient of an FY2017 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the amount of $387,250 for the EXCITE Transformation for Libraries project. “As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”
The American Library Association’s “Libraries Transform” public awareness campaign implies both that libraries transform the lives of patrons and that libraries are transforming as organizations with new services and ideas. Yet there are few solutions offered for how librarians can transform themselves by learning new skills and a mindset to encourage innovation and experimentation at their libraries. Earlier this year the State Library’s Division of Library Development piloted the EXCITE project to address these needs. “We sought to identify an innovative program of training that would address the overall culture of the library, the way library staff interact with each other as well as how they interact with the public, their partners, and stakeholders,” said Dawn La Valle, Director Division of Library Development and project director. According to La Valle, “this generous grant will give the State Library the opportunity to continue and expand on the work started by the pilot project both in Connecticut and the Northeast.
State Librarian Kendall Wiggin said that “by funding this project, the Institute of Museum and Library Services recognized the importance of the work that the Division of Library Development has been doing with EXCITE and the value of building our capacity so that more librarians can participate in this game changing program.”
The Connecticut State Library (CSL), Division of Library Development will lead a two-year, team-based experiential learning program with partners Innovation Builders (IB) and TechInPedagogy to improve library professionals’ skills in leadership and community engagement in the Northeast. CSL will offer multiple progressive, in-person training and coaching sessions for as many as 96 participants from up to 18 public, academic, and special libraries, with one of the trainings hosted by the Connecticut State Library and a second training hosted by the Rhode Island State Library.
The training will be comprised of three in-person sessions that are each followed by two months of fieldwork and concluded with a six month supported implementation phase. In addition, the team will lead a standalone bootcamp for additional participants from participating libraries and an intensive Facilitator Certification training for 6-8 participants who have already completed the Core Program.
IMLS The Institute of Museum and Library Services is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, our grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.