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Simmons College Graduate School for Library and Information Science Awarded more than $2 Million in Grants

BOSTON (October 6, 2004) — The Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science has been awarded more than $2 million in grants for several ground breaking projects, including an international study on image retrieval and management, a collaboration among three of the nation's top library schools to increase the number of high-level academic library professionals in the field, and an effort to train university librarians from the war-ravaged eastern European nation of Kosovo on modern library policies and procedures.

The grant total - $2,146,881 - is the most diverse assortment of funding the Library School has ever received, said Michele Cloonan, dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Simmons College Professor Ching-chih Chen received a two-year $493,020 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop user-oriented image management of distribution technologies for digital libraries. Entitled "IDLP: International Collaboration to Advance User-oriented Technologies for Managing and Distributing Images in Digital Libraries," the project will advance the understanding of digital imagery management and distribution technology by using an interdisciplinary team of computer and information scientists from the United States, China and Taiwan. The study will investigate the most efficient ways to search digital collections of images by using an integrated approach.

Dean Cloonan, in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries and two other leading library schools — the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Catholic University of America - collectively received an $826,182 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The funding will help to recruit, educate, and train 45 master's level students to attend the Association of Research Library Academy. The Academy, in building mentoring relationships with mentors from ARL libraries, seeks to address the need to fill higher-level library positions with experienced and skilled professionals based on concerns about the anticipated rate of retirement of library specialists within the next 10 to 15 years.

The Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the Institute for Training and Development of Amherst, MA, received a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State to train nine newly-hired librarians at the University of Pristina in Kosovo, beginning in 2005 or 2006. The project will provide these individuals with basic knowledge, practical skills, and team-working capabilities practiced by 21st-century librarianship. Assistant Dean Terry Plum will lead the project, which will take place in Boston and Amherst. The grant is the most recent and largest of several grant-funded projects on which Simmons and the Institute have collaborated, including Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Indonesia.

The National Leadership Grants for Libraries Library-Museum Collaboration program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded Simmons Professor Gary Geisler, along with Northeast Historic Film, a $272,179 grant. The funding will help a broad range of museums, libraries, and other institutions with video resources to catalog these resources, and make them more accessible through Web-based digital video libraries.

Lastly, the Northeast Document Conservation Center, in partnership with Simmons College, received a $205,500 grant to help make preservation a basic part of the master's of library science curriculum through cooperation among regional preservation centers and schools of library and information science. The project's goal is to arrive at consensus about content for a preservation course and to create an online curriculum with detailed lesson plans.

The Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, established in 1902, was one of the first schools of its kind in North America and currently is one of the largest. The highly regarded school educates approximately five percent of the nation's librarians and supports more than 9,000 alumni in library and information science positions around the world.

The school offers two primary academic programs for students in archives, library, and information science: the Master of Science and the Doctor of Arts in Library and Information Science. The school also provides specialized degrees, dual-degree programs, and continuing education programs.