BCALA Receives IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Award

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BCALA Receives IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Award
Grant will support a national forum and a nationwide virtual student group for Black MLIS students

[NEW YORK, JULY 28, 2020 ]– The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) is the recipient of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Award in the amount of $100,000. The grant will support the “Breaking Barriers: The Future of Black Librarianship” national forum, a one-day pre-conference event to strengthen support for Black/African American MLIS students. Funding from IMLS will allow up to 50 LIS students, professionals, and educators to convene in order to distill approaches for increasing BCALA’s outreach to emerging librarians.

The forum will precede the 11th National Conference for African American Librarians (NCAAL), scheduled from August 5-9, 2021 in Tulsa, OK. In keeping with the conference theme, “Inspired by our Past, Igniting our Future,” the forum will culminate in the design of resources to recruit Black/African American librarians and the launch of an online, LIS program-independent student group called iBlackCaucus.

A recent needs BCALA assessment indicated that there is a clear need for student-centered community-building, culturally-relevant marketing, and mentorship. “iBCALA is so critical to our overall strategic plan of creating the future leaders in the library profession. We have a history of leaders within the Caucus and we will continue to support our members to lead out loud,” said Shauntee Burns-Simpson, BCALA President.

In light of the ongoing struggle for racial equality within the LIS profession and across the United States, BCALA is proud to partner with IMLS on this timely project.

“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”

For more information, visit the BCALA web site at https://www.bcala.org.

About the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)
BCALA serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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