IMLS grant leads to faculty/student collaboration
Wayne State University School of Information Sciences Assistant Professor Christine D’Arpa, along with graduate research assistant Ginny Schneider and colleagues from the University of Oklahoma and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, has co-authored a juried paper as a result of her grant-funded research project, Community Health and Wellness: Small and Rural Public Library Practices, Perspectives, and Programs.
The three-year, $475,782 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) was awarded in the fall of 2019 and supports the team’s research on health and wellness programming at small and rural public libraries in Michigan, Vermont, Oklahoma and North Carolina, with the goal of learning how those institutions address health and wellness through public programs.
“I was surprised at how much health and wellness is tied to public librarianship,” Schneider said. “Public libraries have long been addressing these problems and connecting those in their communities to the resources they need.”
Schneider is one of three graduate students supported by the grant - one at each institution. In addition to being co-authors of the juried paper, she and her fellow RAs/GSAs have developed a poster based on their work with faculty on the grant that will be presented at the ALISE (Association for Library and Information Science Education) conference this October. The title of their Works-in-Progress poster is Remote Research and Online Coursework: Complementary Experiences Prove Valuable for Graduate Students.
“It’s been the best supportive environment for someone without an academic background. It’s been a safe space to learn,” Schneider said. “It’s been wonderful having a whole team of people to support me and for me to be able to support them. Everyone brings something to the table.”
The IMLS is committed to encouraging graduate students’ participation in the research process. A portion of the grant was allocated specifically to provide support for graduate students in library and information science degree programs at each institution.
“Working with graduate students on this research project has been rewarding in ways I could not have imagined,” said D’Arpa. “The impact of the commitment of IMLS to provide support for bringing graduate students in LIS into the research process cannot be overstated. As we discuss in our paper for ALISE, these students are junior colleagues who bring unique ways of thinking to the research which serve to enhance the experience both for them and for the faculty.”
The following peer-reviewed presentations are direct results of D’Arpa’s research project, Community Health and Wellness: Small and Rural Public Library Practices, Perspectives, and Programs. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [LG-18-19-0015-19].
Juried Paper: Rubenstein, E., D'Arpa, C., Burke, S.K., Lenstra, N., Rose, A., Schneider, G., and Floyd, R. (2020). "12pm Eastern, 11am Central, 10am Mountain": Student Contributions to Research on Rural and Small Public Libraries.
Juried Panel: Adkins, D., Bossaller, J.S., Burke, S.K., D’Arpa, C., Lenstra, N., Mehra, B., & Rubenstein, E. (2020). Connecting rural public libraries to LIS education and research: The case of health services, programs, and partnerships.
Works-in-Progress Poster: Floyd, R., Rose, A., Schneider, G. (2020). Remote Research and Online Coursework: Complementary Experiences Prove Valuable for Graduate Students
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. Its mission is to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. The organization’s vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.