Lexington, KY – The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) recently received a grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the Continuing Education (CE) Connector Project. This project has two goals: greater shared development and delivery of CE programs across state libraries as well as collective state library engagement in national efforts to coordinate CE initiatives among national organizations. COSLA received a grant award from IMLS totaling $193,660, along with $42,540 in cost-share contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support this fifteen month project.
The library sector is expected to benefit from the CE Connector Project in several ways. First, this project aims to increase the leverage of state and federal funds by prioritizing CE areas for collective investment and fostering collaborative and adaptable CE development and delivery models. Second, this project will attempt to reduce duplication of institutional CE resources by tapping state library trainers to provide CE in other states and
repurposing existing custom training curricula. Lastly, this project will design and facilitate a more coordinated approach to state library agencies engaging with CE partners nationally.
A Coordinating Committee, led by North Carolina State Librarian Cal Shepard, will bring together a variety of expertise and perspectives among state library leaders to guide and support implementation of this national project. The following Coordinating Committee members were selected through a competitive nationwide selection process:
- Mary Chute, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library
- Anne Craig, Director, Illinois State Library
- Mary Soucie, State Librarian, North Dakota State Library
- John DeBacher, Director, Public Library Development, Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Technology
- Jamie Markus, Library Development Manager, Wyoming State Library
- Janet McKenney, Director of Library Development, Maine State Library
- Jennifer Walker, Director of Development Services, Mississippi Library Commission
- Shirley Biladeau, Continuing Education Consultant, Idaho Commission for Libraries Cindy Church, Continuing Education Consultant, Library of Virginia
- Joann Flick, Training/Development Specialist and Continuing Education Coordinator, Montana State
- Jay Turner, Director, Continuing Education and Training, Georgia Public Library Service
COSLA is excited to pilot new and better ways to foster and enable CE coordination and collaboration nationally. State library agencies play a critical leadership and provider role in the development and delivery of CE for local
library staff. This project provides a unique opportunity to work together across states to address the common training and development needs of library leaders and staff.