Monday, December 15, 2014

Third Cohort of ACE Scholars Graduates from UNCG, Adding Diversity to the Library Profession

Students in third cohort of ACE Scholars Program at UNCG
with Michael Crumpton and Nora Bird
The December 11 UNCG commencement exercises marked the graduations of the third cohort of students finishing UNCG’s ACE Scholars program, through which eleven students earned their Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degrees.  Altogether, 50 students completed LIS degrees from UNCG as a result of the program. 

Like those of their predecessors, the educations of these most recent graduates were funded through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program administered by IMLS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services.    Throughout its existence, the ACE Scholars program was intended to broaden the level of diversity within the library profession and was the result of close collaboration and planning between the University Libraries and the Library and Information Studies program, with significant aid from the University Libraries' Diversity Coordinator Gerald Holmes, who was a mentor to many of the students who completed the program.

Co-principal investigators Assistant Professor Nora Bird of the Library and Information Studies Department and Michael Crumpton, Assistant Dean of the University Libraries sought and obtained IMLS funding for this third cohort in the ACE Scholars program.  Because of Crumpton and Bird’s interest and expertise in community college librarianship, this cohort focused on building diversity among librarians interested in working in community colleges.  Crumpton and Bird are acknowledged experts in that field and are the co-authors of Handbook for Community College Librarians, published in 2013 by Libraries Unlimited, a division of ABC Clio.

UNCG’s engagement in the ACE Scholars program actually began in 2009,  when the first cohort of students were admitted.  Former Associate Director of University Libraries Sha Li Zhang, now Dean of University Libraries at the University of Montana, conceived the program and received funding from IMLS to support it.  Additional IMLS funding in 2011 supported a second cohort, and funding for the third cohort was secured by Crumpton and Bird in 2013. 


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