A major grant is helping Pittsburg State University train library specialists for schools serving the nine Native American Tribes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
PSU officials announced the grant from the Laura Bush 21st Century Library program at the Inter-Tribal Council Building in Miami, Okla., in May.
“As a lifelong educator, I know that libraries are the beating heart of any school,” PSU President Steve Scott said. “They are also the repository for our culture and our history. This project will help us train a new generation of specialists who can provide information that is critical to individual success and also respect and celebrate the Native American history and culture of the region.”
The three-year grant, for $487,212, will pay for books and tuition, a laptop computer and a stipend for 25 students in PSU’s master of science in Educational Technology – Library Media Specialist Program. In addition to an online, two-year course of study beginning this summer, students will complete a year of mentorship.
The program, which is titled the 21st Century Library Alliance, is a collaborative effort between PSU, the nine Native American Tribes, 16 school districts with Native American student populations greater than 10 percent, and the American Indian Center for Excellence (AICE) at Northeast Oklahoma A & M.
Dean Howard Smith praised the efforts of Alice Sagehorn, chair of Teaching and Leadership, and Professor Sue Stidham in winning the grant, which Stidham administers.