OCLC awarded IMLS grant to support library learning in digital collections stewardship

OCLC's WebJunction will partner with state libraries, and create new on-demand course on how to build more diverse digital collections

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DUBLIN, Ohio, 7 September 2023—OCLC has been awarded an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant to support library learning in digital collections stewardship through a new on-demand course and facilitated group learning.

OCLC's WebJunction will partner with five state libraries—Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, and Wyoming—to co-design and pilot training based on the Digital Collections Stewardship course series, using a facilitated peer-learning group model. This effort will support up to 200 staff at libraries, archives, and museums in creating, sharing, and stewarding digital collections. The project will also create a new course for WebJunction's Digital Collections Stewardship course series on how to build more diverse digital collections.

"This grant will foster a more comprehensive, equitable, and inclusive approach to the communities these cultural heritage institutions serve, resulting in collections that better reflect their local and regional histories," said Andrew Harbison, Director, WebJunction.

The project will equip state library agencies with strategies and resources to successfully adopt the facilitated peer-learning group training model to increase the reach of their training. The initiative will also raise awareness of state and regional repositories, help states to create or strengthen the networks of learners at cultural heritage institutions, and support increased participation in available digital memory projects and related technical training.

"Digital collections stewardship can be a tough subject, and it can be overwhelming trying to work through training on this on your own," said Biz Gallo, Statewide Digitization Initiatives Coordinator at the Library of Michigan and co-founder of the Digital Initiatives Staff at State Library Agencies (DISSLA). "We see the need to work together as a community of learners. We know that using a cohort model works and is more effective than trying to learn all by yourself."

The new WebJunction course will add to the existing Digital Collections Stewardship course series that is currently available on-demand. The new course on diversifying digital collections will be published in 2024. Outcomes from the state library partner-facilitated learning program, including a freely available group learning guide, will be available in 2026.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library organization that provides shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


  • Bob Murphy

    Manager, Media Relations

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