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For Immediate Release: October 01, 2009
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Project provides scholarships for librarians

The South Dakota State Library, in partnership with the Wyoming and Montana State Libraries, and the Idaho Commission for Libraries, will provide scholarships to educate at least six South Dakota librarians and four school library media specialists to work in the state’s libraries.

Recruitment begins this October. Those selected for participation will receive 80 percent of the funds necessary to cover tuition and fees toward an American Library Association-accredited Master of Library and Information Science or a School Library Media Endorsement. Students will begin their coursework in the fall of 2010.

The project, called the SWIM Regional Collaborative Library Education Project, is funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. SWIM was developed to improve library services for residents in the region by graduating students with strong technology skills and a commitment to a career in librarianship.

SWIM partners want to increase the number of MLIS librarians, increase the number of endorsed school librarians, recruit Native Americans and Hispanics to the library profession, and encourage professional development among librarians throughout the region.

Following graduation, all SWIM scholarship recipients will be required to secure a full-time professional library position for a minimum of two years in any academic, public, school or special library located in one of the SWIM states. The SWIM librarians will be ambassadors for the profession, sharing their expertise with colleagues and mentoring future librarians.

Charlotte Thomas, University of North Texas, will be at the South Dakota Library Association meeting, Oct. 7-9 in Aberdeen, to provide information about applying for graduate school and the coursework involved in this program.

For more information, visit or contact Colleen Kirby, South Dakota State Library, at (800) 423-6665.