The Institute of Museum and Library Services is providing $799,493 to researchers at Syracuse University, the University of Maryland, and Towson University for the project, “Diverse Populations, Information, and Library Education.”

The three-year grant will provide scholarships for 20 students to enroll in the Information and Diverse Populations Concentration at the America Library Association-accredited Master of Library Science program in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland.

SU School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Renee Franklin Hill will work with her fellow researchers to develop new curriculum for the courses and workshops, teach the workshops, advise and mentor students in the program, and collect data from the project to share in scholarly journals.

Franklin Hill said the multi-institutional nature of the grant brings together a passionate group of educators who can share their ideas and expertise so that the project is comprehensive and successful.

“The project highlights the need to recruit and then educate a group of students who will enter the library workforce prepared to work with people who are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, language, and a range of other things,” Franklin Hill said. “In other words, the students we interact with will be ready to provide effective service to everybody.”

The new concentration will enable students to develop a range of practical and analytical skills to provide information and technology services to diverse populations. These students may enter careers that can range from working in a highly diverse library setting to conducting research about diversity in information settings.

Franklin Hill holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in information studies from the Florida State University College of Information. Her teaching centers on preparing students to be effective school library media center managers. Her research interests are comprised of three themes (1) education at the k-12 and postsecondary levels, (2) information provision to diverse populations, (3) increasing diversity in library and information science programs.