Professional Development Offered For Rural School Librarians

For release: August 13, 2018

Contact Paul Higbee, 605-641-5371


School librarians in South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota are eligible to apply for a three-year professional development cohort program, designed to enhance their skills in the digital world.

Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) of Rapid City is coordinating the program, free to librarians, thanks in part to an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant.  Thirteen school librarians from each of the three states will participate in the cohort. Through face-to-face and virtual learning, selected librarians will gain expertise in utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and will be prepared to serve as instructional leaders in their schools.

The program begins this fall and librarians must commit to the entire cohort, through June, 2021.  Any school librarian may apply but the project’s target group is librarians working in tribal reservation schools or within 50 miles of reservations, Hutterite colony schools, rural districts with K-12 enrollments under 500, and schools identified as Priority or Focus schools.

More information is available from Julie Erickson at

TIE, an extension of public schools, has worked for more than three decades to improve instruction throughout the region.

“TIE has a long history of supporting classroom educators to leverage technology for learning,” said TIE director Dr. Julie Mathiesen.  “We recognize this growing need among rural school librarians as they also have a need to transition to a more digital-based learning hub.”

Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, said, “As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities.  They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other. IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, with a mission to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.”

This project was made possible in part by IMLS, grant RE-7018-0050-18.

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