Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | July 21, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders salutes NKU for receiving $1 million grant to train library staff in state’s poorest regions.

Northern Kentucky University has received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant that will expand online paraprofessional library programs and provide scholarships and technology stipends to 50 library staff members working in the commonwealth’s high-poverty rural areas.

NKU, which received $999,558, is one of 33 universities nationwide that received the grant, while 111 schools submitted proposals that totaled $63 million.  The grant will enhance existing associate and bachelor’s degree programs and provide scholarships which will increase the level of education and leadership among library staff in 50 targeted counties in eastern and far western Kentucky.

The programs will include Kentucky’s compulsory online certification program, the online associate’s degree at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and a new bachelor’s completer program in library informatics at NKU.  The programs are designed to provide a progression from basic certification through an undergraduate degree, both improving skills and knowledge on the job and readying students for pursuit of a master’s degree in library science.

In western and eastern parts of Kentucky, counties are in the utmost need of professionally trained library practitioners. Almost one third of the directors of county librarians throughout Kentucky lack an undergraduate degree. Library directors in these regions are extremely dedicated and would benefit from the critical skills and knowledge provided by the program, positively impacting the level of service they can provide to their communities.

Most librarians in these areas do not hold degrees because of financial barriers and location barriers. The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant received by NKU seeks to address both of these hurdles by providing completely online programs, renewable scholarships and technology stipends that include laptop computers and Internet access.


  1. Great article! Thanks for sharing.

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