Wayne State University School of Information Sciences Associate Professor Kafi Kumasi has been awarded an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program award of $247,152 for "Project RUSL: Restoring Urban School Libraries."
Project RUSL: Restoring Urban School Libraries is a three-year master's level/ project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services ( $248,270) to provide education and professional development for 6 diverse classroom teachers who currently work in two local urban school districts to become certified school librarians and to build capacity to restore the school libraries at their respective schools.
During their certificate coursework and NEW immersive practicum experience, the school librarian candidates will receive on-demand, online professional development and mentorship from school library leaders drawn from participants in The Lilead Project (IMLS #RE-40-16-0166-16), a national leadership development program for school library supervisors. The school librarian/graduates will establish a peer coaching/professional development model for maintaining strong school library programs after the grant period ends. This project is in the piloting phase as it will result in evidence of the feasibility of providing an immersive practicum experience with embedded online mentorship and professional development during school librarian preparation coursework as a possible solution to restoring urban school libraries. It will also build evidence-based practices of culturally responsive pedagogy in the school library by documenting how a Hip Hop inquiry-based instructional approach is taught to preservice school librarians and applied with K12 students during field experiences and related coursework.