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iSchool Researchers Receive More than 1 Million in IMLS Grants

July 9, 2008

Faculty members from the iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology, are again being recognized for innovative research, receiving federal backing in Summer 2008 with two grants from the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“At the iSchool, our students are learning how to help people find the information they need,” said Dean David E. Fenske. “Grants from the IMLS further contribute to our goal of providing one of the highest-ranking education programs in the country which, in turn, provides our communities with the top-tier information specialists.”

“Modeling Interpersonal Discourse for Digital Information Service: Evaluation of the Question Answering Service of the Internet Public Library” received a $224,386 research grant. Dr. Jung-ran Park is Principal Investigator (PI) on this project, which will analyze interpersonal communication between librarians and the public in digital information service by studying patterns of communication employed by librarians and the public in their e-mail and real-time chat interactions. “The outcomes of this project will have potential to enhance the capacity of digital librarianship and be applicable to other information-seeking and sharing services through the computer-mediated communication channel as well as to interaction design of the emerging social technologies,” said Park.

Dr. Michael Khoo is Co-PI on “Cultivating Digital Librarianship Faculty: Tomorrow’s Leaders in Research and Curriculum Development,” working in correlation with the University of Texas Austin. The $978,617 grant will support four full-time doctoral students as they learn to become leaders in digital librarianship through innovative coursework, in-depth research, teaching experiences and engagement with the scholarly community.

“Since the program began in 2003, the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program has awarded more than $100 million to recruit and train the next generation of librarians,” said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Ph.D. “Whether working in public schools, colleges or local public libraries, librarians are essential contributors toward student and community success.”

During the past three years, the IMLS has contributed more than $3 million in grants to support the research of iSchool faculty members and the education of more than a dozen doctoral students.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit


News Media Contacts:

Susan Haine, iSchool at Drexel 215-895-6271 or

Niki Gianakaris, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741 or

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