N.J. State Library to recruit librarians

N.J. State Library
to recruit librarians

The New Jersey State Library, Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, and Thomas Edison State College have announced the receipt of a $497,388 three-year grant to recruit librarians and library staff for New Jersey’s urban public libraries.

Funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, the award is one of the largest awarded by the federal agency to 27 libraries and library schools around the country.

In a press release from the State Library, Norma Blake, state librarian for New Jersey, said, "We have a shortage of librarians in the state who have diverse backgrounds and who can speak different languages. New Jersey has one of the most diverse populations in the country and we need librarians and library staff to assist many of our new immigrants to the state and country."

"A portion of the grant will fund education costs for 10 students who have earned 60 or more undergraduate credits and who plan to earn a baccalaureate degree at Thomas Edison State College," said Marie R. Power-Barnes, director of marketing and college relations at Thomas Edison. "Of these students, those who plan on pursuing graduate studies at Rutgers University’s master of library and information science degree program will be preferred candidates."

"The grant will also pay for nine students currently working in urban libraries to enroll in the MLIS program at Rutgers and one minority doctoral student whose career goals are to become a faculty member and teach master’s students preparing to work in urban libraries," said Nicholas J. Belkin, chair of the department of library and information science at Rutgers’ School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies. Thomas Edison State College will provide information about the project to the public and students. According to Power-Barnes, the college plans to host information sessions and recruitment open houses.

"The grants are strategic and include tuition assistance, service expectations, and job placement and research," said Dr. Robert S. Martin, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. New Jersey was one of 76 applicants that applied for the grant.