Librarians Urge Department of Education to Tag Library-Tech Instructors as ‘High Need’

Librarians are showing a keen interest in a federal grant program that provides college scholarships worth $4,000 a year to students who agree to work as teachers in certain schools.

The program, known as Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program, or Teach, awards scholarships to students who commit to teaching—after graduation—a “high-need” subject for at least four years at schools serving low-income students.

The grant program definition of a high-need field includes: mathematics, foreign languages, bilingual education, science, reading specialist, and special education. The American Library Association wants “library media specialist” included on the list. The specialists teach students how to find, evaluate, and communicate online information, a field known as information literacy.

The library group is urging its membership to write to the U.S. Department of Education and prod it into categorizing library media specialist as a high-need field. The department released a proposed rule last month on how it would carry out the program, and asked that public comments on the rule be turned in by today. —Andrea L. Foster

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