In the summer of 2009, the University of Wisconsin School Library Education Consortium (UWSSLEC) was awarded a 3-year Laura Bush 21 Century Librarian Program Grant. The grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services will provide $989,495 to support a collaboration among the UWSSLEC faculty, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), area educational agencies (cooperative Education Services Agencies, or CESAs) and the state professional association (Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association, or WEMTA). They have called the grant project WISE (Where Information Specialists Empower learners).
The purpose of WISE is to:
- Re-conceptualize the preparation of school library information specialists so they are are nimble in new information environments, skilled at collaborating to educate the 21st century learner and accomplished in creating environments conductive to learning, both formal and informal
- Address the needs of rural school by recruiting and supporting with full scholarships up to 40 teachers who have chosen to work in rural or undeserved settings and educate them as school library information specialists; in addition WISE will provide partial scholarships for students already in the UWSSLEC distance education program, and
- Through an Administrator's Guide and presentation, advocate to administrators the roles, expectations, recruitment and evaluation of school library information specialists.