Making it REAL! Recruitment, Education, And Learning:
Creating a New Generation of Librarians to Serve All New Yorkers
IMLS Grant Partners Program Evaluation Workshops
Presentations, June 1-2, 2005
New York State Library IMLS Grant Project Overview
By Stephen C. Maack
REAP Change Consultants
[Text version of presentation]
- Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
- New York State Library (NYSL)
- 6 NY Universities and 13 NY Teaching Libraries
- New York Library Association (NYLA)
- 44 MS/MLS/MLIS Students
- REAP Change Consultants
- A website consultant (to be selected later)
13 Library System Partners
- Capital Region BOCES SLS
- Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
- Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES SLS
- Mid-York Library System
- Monroe County Library System
- North Country Library System
- Northern New York Library Network
- Onondaga County Public Library
- Queens Borough Public Library
- Rochester Regional Library Council
- Southeastern New York Library Resources Council
- The New York Public Library/Branches
- The New York Public Library/SIBL & Branches
6 Universities Plus NYLA
- Long Island University, Palmer School
- Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science
- St. John’s University, Division of Library and Information Science
- SUNY Albany, School of Information and Policy
- SUNY Buffalo, Dept. of Library and Information Studies, School of Informatics
- Syracuse University, School of Information Studies
Who Else? -- Other Stakeholders
- Your library system staff and clients
- Communities your libraries serve
- Six university communities
- Other Universities where some students are going, outside the six in NY
- Other libraries and library schools across the U.S.
Who -- Strengths and Weaknesses
- Wide variety of institutional settings and communities
- Spread across types of libraries and library schools
- Students come from within organization and from the community
- Diverse types of students
- Many settings to compare (apples and oranges?)
- Program staff changeovers at some libraries
- Many teaching library programs serve only one student (no student variation within those programs)
Who -- Opportunities and Threats
- University – teaching library links
- Learn from other partners
- Cross library type boundaries within your system
- Close NYSL and partner cooperation and communication
- Communication difficulties might lead to misunderstandings?
- “We’re unique”?
- New York State Library, IMLS Grant as proposed
- NYSL IMLS Grant according to current expectations, plans, and procedures
- 20 IMLS Grant Projects as proposed
- 19 IMLS Grants Projects as currently planned and being implemented
What--Strengths and Weaknesses
- Some similarities across types of programs involved (e.g., children’s librarians, university programs)
- Some similarities across types of implementations planned (e.g., mentoring, shadowing, student rotation to
libraries of different sorts)
- Many program types to compare (apples and oranges?)
- Programs are still under development right now
- Outcomes based evaluation planning is of variable quality
- Outputs stressed instead of outcomes in evaluation
What -- Opportunities and Threats
- Benefit from closer University-teaching library links
- Internet MS, ML(I)S education
- Learn from one another’s approaches and experiences
- Disseminate new ideas and approaches within your system
- Be a national model!
- Difficulties of within organization and across organization cooperation
- What if no one tries out anything new?
- What if there is insufficient planning or follow-through over the next 2 years?
- Lack of follow-up funding to continue programs?
- NYSL IMLS application preparation process started in 2003/2004. Consultant Betsy Sywetz recruited partners,
who prepared program proposals.
- NYSL IMLS released a grant receipt press release by State Librarian Janet Welch dated July 23, 2004, with Mary
Linda Todd named as Project Coordinator.
- NYSL sponsored outcomes based evaluation training in 2004 and May 2005.
- Student recruitment took place beginning Fall 2004 to Spring 2005 (and some may occur later).
- REAP Change Consultants contract approval sent April 25, 2005, evaluators started work then.
When -- Strengths and Weaknesses
- NYSL had the foresight to seek the IMLS grant.
- NYSL landed the grant.
- The money is here and released for use.
- Everyone except the web site designer and some students are currently on board.
- We are together in person in June 2005 working on actualizing the grant.
- Staffing and focuses changed between 2003 and now.
- There were short time frames to put together proposals and to recruit students.
- Many partners had OBE training only after they wrote their original grant proposals.
- The REAP Change evaluators weren’t involved since the beginning and so are playing "catch-up."
When -- Opportunities and Threats
- The grant runs through August 2007 so there is time to do things.
- All can now work together on good planning, implementation and evaluation.
- Since there is time to plan ahead, future work might not have short turnaround times.
- The grant funding flow might not synch up well with planned grant actions and funding needs?
- Future local or state budget cuts might interfere with implementation timing?
- Procrastination or problems might chew up time?
- IMLS grant programs are funded throughout the state (rural, urban, upstate, downstate).
- Some partners are planning to implement their programs in a way that will affect multiple libraries within
- Some partners are planning to serve their communities in innovative new ways.
- IMLS and NYLS are hoping to find nationally replicable models of “best practices” for library school recruitment,
student training, and service to diverse communities.
Where -- Strengths and Weaknesses
- People throughout the state have a piece of this pie.
- Some universities offer on-line (distance) learning that rural area students plan to use.
- Some universities are teaming up to work closely with local library systems.
- Some students will be going to universities other than the six partners. This complicates university-teaching
library relationships, local and overall evaluations.
- Distance makes it hard for partners (and students) to get together face-to-face very often.
Where -- Opportunities and Threats
- Among the grant partners there are experience with and plans for on-line communication that could help overcome
- The teaching library and university interest in using on-line education offers a chance to explore best practices
in library education and internships with diversity in mind.
- Technology might not work well or might be more difficult to set up and use than expected?
- People might not know how to use or not take to new technology?
- Upstate/downstate cultural prejudices and mistrusts?
- "Not invented here" or NIMBY?
- Because NYSL and partners have the grant money
- Because partners care about library service to their communities in all their diversity
- Because partners want diverse students and capable employees to have a chance to get an MS/MLS/MLIS
- Because partners have some innovative ideas to test out
- Because partners need more trained, skilled librarian help and leadership
Why -- Strengths and Weaknesses
- Different reasons for action lead to different approaches – which is good for a multi-site grant
- Too many different expectations might complicate the project?
- Different expectations might lead to communication issues?
- Overall evaluation is harder.
Why -- Opportunities and Threats
- Think globally and act locally as appropriate.
- Keep communications and minds open.
- Learn from what others are doing that you might not have thought to do.
- Seek understanding about common IMLS project goals and directions.
- Involve all in process.
- IMLS might decide that NYSL and its partners aren’t living up to grant goals?
- Local Boards and situations might make some proposed joint or local work untenable?
- This is the question of the day and of the future.
We know what we said we were going to do.
How specifically will the plans be implemented?
We know we planned evaluation would happen.
How exactly will the evaluation happen?
How are we going to deal with all that?