The Laura Bush 21st (LB21) Century Librarian grant program was launched in 2003 to support projects that recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders as well as to support research efforts about the library services field. From 2003 through 2013, IMLS awarded 369 grants to address library and information science (LIS) graduate education, professional development of library staff, and research and institutional capacity. To determine the relative efficacy of this grant making, ICF was contracted to conduct an independent third party evaluation of completed awards from 2003 to 2009.
The study compared 109 grant projects in six LB21 funding categories – Master’s level programs, Doctoral programs, early faculty career development, continuing education ventures, institutional support endeavors, and research on the LIS field. The assessment was based on comparative case studies of 109 completed projects across all six categories with evidence from project grant records and grantee interviews. All data were coded deductively and inductively and combined with a mix of descriptive statistics and a content analysis.