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TWU Home > Marketing & Communication > News Releases

TWU, Dallas ISD project receives $905,000 grant


DENTON — A $905,030 federal grant awarded to the Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies will support a collaborative effort to improve school library services for an increasingly diverse student population in the Dallas Independent School District.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Librarians for the 21st Century grant will support the A-PLUS project, a partnership between TWU, the DISD and the Universities Center at Dallas. The project will add 45 new librarians to the DISD over the course of the three-year grant.

Through the A-PLUS project, 45 students will complete the alternative district-based school librarian certification program, then go on to complete all requirements for the TWU master’s in library science degree.

The first cohort of 15 students began training this summer in Dallas. The students will complete nine hours of graduate coursework from TWU, with their tuition and fees covered by the grant. DISD specialists and consultants will provide additional training, with experienced DISD librarians serving as mentors to the students.

“The A-PLUS Project is a continuation of TWU’s proud tradition in training and education for school librarians in Texas,” said Dr. Ling Hwey Jeng, director of the TWU School of Library and Information Studies. “It reinforces our commitment to partnership with the communities we serve.”

Dr. Barbara Lerner, project director and coordinator of P-16 Initiatives at TWU, said the university is pleased to be able to build upon its ongoing association with the Dallas ISD.

“We’re particularly pleased to be able to address the growing need in Dallas for trained personnel who can work effectively in an urban environment and who have multi-language skills,” she said.

According to the project overview, Texas schools are projected to add nearly 1.1 million students over the next 40 years, with most of the increase among non-Anglos. Projections indicate that, by the year 2040, 66.3 percent of students in public education will be Hispanic.

The report shows the disparity between the demographics of the student population and those of the professional librarian staff. According to DISD data, 62.6 percent of the district’s students are Hispanic, and 34 percent has limited English proficiency. However, only 2.8 percent of current librarians have multi-language skills.

“A school librarian is a partner in instruction who can contribute to the development and learning of students in the school system,” said Dr. Lerner, adding she’s confident the A-PLUS project will not only impact individuals from underrepresented communities who are attracted to librarianship, but also will serve as a model for partnered, culturally responsive school library education.

The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded more than $21 million in grants to 37 universities, libraries and library organizations across the country to recruit and educate a new generation of librarians.


For more information contact:

Jenna Miles Dr. Barbara Lerner Terry Alegria
A-PLUS Project Coordinator Coordinator for P- 16 Initiatives Library Specialist
Alternative Certification
Texas Woman's University Texas Woman's University
Dallas Independent School District
940-898-2797 940-898-2739 972-925-6700
jmiles@mail.twu.edu blerner@mail.twu.edu talegria@dallasisd.org


Page last updated January 22, 2009

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