SLIS Student Obtains Grant to Update School Library

SLIS Student Obtains Grant to Update School Library

SLIS Student Teresa Alesch successfully obtained a $27,000 plus grant to update the Graettinger Community School library. The grant was funded by The Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation (PACGDC), an Iowa not-for-profit corporation. PACGDC distributes funds to a number of non-profit organizations in Palo Alto County. Alesch is currently a fellow in the IMLS Teacher Librarian Fellowship program in which licensed teachers receive an MA in library and information science and endorsement as teacher librarians.

"This proposal requested funds to update the Graettinger Community School library and make it a central, collaborative figure as we leap into the 21st century by meeting the Iowa School Library Program Guidelines," Alesch writes. "According to these guidelines, 'The best school libraries are centers of learning in their schools.' A 21st century school library is a place where teachers are empowered to teach and students are empowered to learn, a place where technology, information, and resources are combined to support high-performance learning environments. Because we have not had a librarian employed for several years, our library is not frequented for curricular needs."

The first purchase will be Destiny Library Manager to update the school's automation system. This software will require a new computer station as well as an additional server just for the library. Since the school currently does not have computers in the library other than the base computer, there are plans to add four computers for student use and one additional one for the library assistant.

There are also plans to order two SMART Boards, which will be available for teachers to checkout. In addition, he library will offer mini laptops called Netbooks, which will be available for staff and students to check out.

The last step, according to Alesch, is to apply $2000 toward the reference section of the library. "Our entire collection, minus the popular fiction section, is aged and no longer useful (or used). The next grant proprosal and fundraising will target areas most needed for our curriculum. This was a great first-time experience in grant writing; I look forward to the first steps in turning this library into the central figure it is intended to be."