Network of Illinois
Learning Resources in
Community Colleges

Next Generation Librarians

Find Your Future As A Community College Librarian

Tuition Awards for ALA-Accredited Masters Program at

U of IUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Graduate School of Library and Information Science

through an IMLS Grant Partnership with NILRC: Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges


This grant was awarded in 2007 under the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program


Sally Duchow

John W. Berry
Past President, American Library Association

Assoc. Dean Linda C. Smith


Black Hawk College, Moline IL
College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn IL
College of Lake County, Grayslake IL
Harold Washington College, Chicago IL
John Wood Comm. College, Quincy IL
Kennedy King College, Chicago IL
Lake Land College, Mattoon IL
Parkland College, Champaign IL
Rend Lake College, Ina IL
St. Charles Comm. College, St. Peters MO
Wm. Rainey Harper College, Palatine IL


American Association of Community Colleges

American Library Association:

Association of College and Research Libraries:

Librarians Serving Community-based Higher Education: Preparing the Next Generation of Community College Librarians [PDF Brochure]


play a vital educational role in the communities they serve. In Illinois, 60 % of all undergraduate students attend community colleges (240,000 students in 2006). Community colleges advocate for open access and equity, are committed to teaching and learning, support workforce development, promote lifelong learning, and offer programs in a wide array of fields—responsive to and based in their local communities. Illinois has the third largest community college system in the United States, with 48 colleges, plus satellite campuses, in both urban and rural settings.

photoCommunity college Libraries and Learning Resource Centers have been leaders in librarianship for many years. NILRC in its 34 years as a consortium has served the needs of its community college members, promoted information literacy, and sponsored global teleconferences. In this partnership with the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, NILRC has secured Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding to support professional library education for a cohort of 20 Masters Degree students. The community college librarianship-focused curriculum culminates with a six month paid internship at one of the grant-partner community colleges.


photoThe University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science is recognized as a premier institution, frequently ranked number one and consistently among the top three US LIS schools. Graduates of UIUC GSLIS are highly skilled at using the latest technology and methods for reference, research, information organization, and other professional tasks. They are also well-grounded in the theories of information organization and use. GSLIS offers courses on campus and through its LEEP online program. Grant cohort students may pursue the degree on campus or online. See the LIS web pages for comprehensive information about the school and for contact information.


Unique to this program are courses on community college topics offered through the UI College of Education, which will supplement the student’s LIS coursework. In addition, staff from the ten partner community colleges will actively engage with cohort students throughout the course of the program. Students will have support from the Grant Project Manager, as well as GSLIS advisors and faculty.


Librarians in community colleges, as in other areas of the library profession, have traditionally been less than representative of our increasingly diverse student populations. It has been a priority in ALA (the American Library Association) to recruit and educate a diverse professional workforce. This grant will seek to attract candidates who will equitably represent community college student groups.


Candidates for this grant program must first apply to GSLIS for admission into the Graduate College, following the procedures detailed on the LIS web pages. Deadline for Spring admission is October 15. Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements. Additionally, applicants will submit personal statements of interest (1-2 pages) in community college librarianship and in this grant-funded program. Candidates will be reviewed and selected for inclusion in the cohort by the NILRC grant team, separately from admission to GSLIS. More information about the grant and instructions for applying will be found on the LIS pages and at A written commitment to participate in the post-degree internship will also be required from cohort students.


photoLibrarianship in community colleges can be multi-faceted, incorporating elements of academic, school, and public library service. Positions offer collegial relationships, opportunities for leadership, scholarship, and community involvement. Areas of responsibility range from reference and instruction to technical services to archives and technology. Distance education developed early in community colleges, and CC libraries supply students with the latest electronic resources. Community college libraries anticipate significant numbers of job openings due to retirements in the not-distant future.