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Sam Houston State University Department of Library Science

 Awarded Prestigious Grant

from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Sam Houston State University’s Department of Library Science will be able to offer full scholarships to 20 South Texas graduate students pursuing Master’s of Library Science Degrees.

According to Dr. Mary Ann Bell, Program Director, the South Texas Educational Project (STEP) Grant will offer a wonderful opportunity to students who wish to become school librarians. The following criteria will be used for selection of scholarship recipients:

Ø      Students must reside in Educational Service Center Regions 1, 2, 3, or 20.

Ø      Students must meet university requirements for admission to the graduate program.

Ø      Students will also submit writing samples and participate in personal interviews with faculty.

Students will receive instruction via face to face classes to be delivered in the South Texas area, online classes, and hybrid classes combining the two mode teaching modes. Regarding a timeline: recruitment and orientation of students will take place during the Fall 2007 Semester. Students will begin classes in Spring 2008, and will complete their studies in 2009.

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants are designed to help offset a current shortage of school library media specialists, library school faculty, and librarians working in underserved communities, as well a looming shortage of library directors and other senior librarians, many of whom are expected to retire in the next 20 years.

2006 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Vital Statistics:

Number of applications received: 111
Total amount requested: $54,387,132
Number of awards made: 35
Total amount awarded: $20,869,145
Total recipient match: $12,352,990

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “Nation of Learners” because life-long learning is essential to a democratic society and individual success. Through its grant making, convenings, research and publications, the Institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustain cultural heritage, build twenty-first-century skills, and increase civic participation. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

Those interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact Dr. Mary Ann Bell, Associate Professor of Library Science, Sam Houston State University at The department website is available at:


1. Can I participate if I am already a student at SHSU, currently involved in coursework? Regretfully, the answer is no. This program is designed to take a group of new students from beginning to end in our program.

2. I do not live in ESC Regions 1, 2, 3, or 20. Can I still apply? Regretfully no, but we hope you will still visit our website and consider our program! There are other opportunities to apply for scholarships and student aid. This particular grant was extended to meet the need in South Texas for school librarians due to rapid population growth.

3. Can I participate if I do not need a Master's Degree, because I already have one, and just want to take courses for certification? No, this grant is for MLS students only.