Researchers at Maryland’s iSchool Awarded IMLS Grant

Grant to Fund Study of School District Library Supervisors


College Park, MD (June 30, 2011)--Ann Carlson Weeks, associate dean and professor of the practice, at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, is the recipient of a research award from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $497,006 award will sponsor a study on the demographics and skills of school district library supervisors.


Weeks will lead a team of researchers, which includes iSchool doctoral student Jeff DiScala, iSchool alumna and lecturer Sheri Massey, and Special Assistant to the Dean Diane Barlow, in the first extensive study of school district library supervisors since the 1960s. This study will explore the current roles and responsibilities of the individuals responsible for coordinating library and information services in the 100 largest school districts and in 100 mid-sized school districts in the United States.  At least one school district in every state will be included in the study. 


“School library supervisors often feel isolated; they have little information available about challenges facing library programs in other districts and effective strategies to address these challenges. This research is designed to collect and share baseline data---a critical step in analyzing the role of the supervisor in creating effective library and information services in our educational system,” Weeks says. In addition to collecting and analyzing information about responsibilities, staffing, and various types of support they provide to school libraries, the project will also build an online community for supervisors. This online community will provide supervisors with an effective way of collecting information and sharing best practices with colleagues throughout the nation.


“We want to create a vibrant, active online community that gives a sounding board to the unique needs of library supervisors,” says Weeks. “By creating a platform where information and best practices can be readily disseminated, I hope that this study will be the beginning of a long-term exploration of the contributions of library supervisors to their school districts.”



About Maryland’s iSchool

The College of Information Studies, Maryland's iSchool, empowers people, organizations and society to use information effectively through its research and undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Maryland's iSchool enables students and faculty to create new ways for people to connect with information that will transform society and is ideally located in the information capital of the world- the Washington DC metro region. The iSchool is transforming itself as well, from a small college with a strong foundation in library and information studies programs to a fast-growing and groundbreaking center of expertise that will help people manage the information explosion from childhood to adulthood.

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About the Institute for Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit



Mary Carroll-Mason

Communications Coordinator

College of Information Studies, Maryland's iSchool

University of Maryland

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College Park, MD 20742

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