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Libraries receive $75,000 grant to study how to improve literary skills

Gayla ByerlyCindy BatmanLily RaminNT Libraries recently received a $75,000 2014 Library Cooperation Grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning (DI4LL).

The collaborative organization of librarians serves school, public and academic libraries in the Denton area. Funds for the grant came from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

DI4LL collaborators include the Denton Independent School District (DISD), Denton Public Library, the Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Blagg-Huey Library, TWU’s Department of Library and Information Studies, UNT’s Department of Library and Information Science and UNT Libraries.

Working together, those partners are focusing on the literacy of pre-kindergarten pupils through graduate school students by implementing in the region a literacy curriculum that, like other school subjects, builds in difficulty with each grade level.

The DI4LL project connects this community-wide collaboration of librarians with the DISD school librarians to develop and incorporate a Guided Inquiry style teaching and learning environment, which will develop critical thinking skills and engaged learning in students.

That teaching style is based on the book Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Your School, by Carol C. Kuhlthau, Leslie K. Maniotes, and Ann K. Caspari. DI4LL librarians studied Kuhthau’s work. The one-year grant will be managed by three UNT librarians — Lilly Ramin, principal investigator; Cindy Batman; and Gayla Byerly (above, from left to right) — who are also members of the DI4LL Project Team. 

The funds will be used to pay the salary of a project manager and an educational consultant, both with expertise in Guided Inquiry and school librarianship. The project manager and consultant are essential for organizing the project, working with the diverse needs of the DI4LL board, and developing a sustainable model.

- Caroline Booth, Director of Communications and Marketing, UNT Libraries

Posted on: Thu 03 October 2013

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