Friday, March 4, 2011

Apply for graduate student stipends to attend "Beyond Books" through March 15th 2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Up to 10 fellowships, consisting of registration,

travel and lodging stipends for graduate students, are available to attend

"Beyond Books: News, Literacy, Democracy & America's Libraries," an

unprecedented collaboration of journalists and librarians set for April

6-8 at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media.

The two-day, agenda-setting work session and symposium will consider how

journalists and librarians can work together to promote civic engagement

and open information access.  It is designed to amplify the voices of

between 90 and 130 librarians, teachers, graduate students, journalists,

technologists, scholars and citizens in dialog, discussion and work.

The event is immediately before the National Conference for Media Reform,

in Boston, April 8-10. ( )


Graduate students in library and information sciences or journalism are

eligible. Send an email to<> or register

directly for the gathering via and choose the

$20 .request stipend. option.  Applications will be considered, and award

amounts determined, based on need, timeliness and the relevance of an

applicant’s experience or research focus.

For more information go to:

Find out who's participating:



Available funds will reimburse travel, lodging and registration expenses

of at least 10 "fellows" -- U.S. library or information-science graduate

students or recognized thought leaders (by publication or reputation)  in

civic engagement and open information access -- especially those with

knowledge of new media technologies.

"Beyond Books"  will inform next steps for designing and implementing a

possible national collaborative among, and training for, journalists,

libraries and museums on methods for improving open access to public

information and civic engagement -- consistent with the recommendations of

the 2009-2010 report of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of


The event seeks to identity recruit,  and begin training journalists,

technologists and other members of the public to uncover, study and test

new methods of access to public information and civic engagement,

particularly in common purpose between and among libraries, journalists

and local news providers.  It will:

(a)   Outreach to library and information science thought leaders,

especially graduate students, for their participation both onsite and

through pre- and post-event virtual proceedings and networking.

(b)   Prepare, convene, report and provide post-event assessment and next

steps for "Beyond Books: News, Literacy, Democracy and America's



For three centuries -- in American towns large and small -- two

institutions have uniquely marked a commitment to participatory democracy,

learning and open inquiry -- our libraries and our free press.  Today,

economic and political realities -- or fashions -- invite a thoughtful

examination of their roles, and the opportunity for collaboration among

these two historic community information centers, one largely public, one

largely private.

With via a pre-event social network, an evening agenda-setting dialogue, a

day of roundtable planning and closing action commitments, we'll discover

what’s possible at the intersection of public spaces, open documents,

citizen reporting and journalistic purpose.  Among the questions we may


     * What might libraries do to facilitate community social news


     * Must free speech be absolute within a taxpayer-supported


     * Should librarians be more partisan than reporters? Reporters more

       partisan than librarians?

     * Are libraries poised to become public-access media centers as cable


     * Should a library operate a news collective, non-profit or

       citizen-journalism service?

     * How can libraries help preserve a free digital information commons?

To download a printable version of this stipend posting notice go to:

For a narrative description of the event purpose and general posting

notice see:


Selection of Fellows will be based upon the following guiding criteria:

     * Graduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. school of library

and information science, a journalism graduate program or in a

professional position undertaking research or practice of library civic

engagement, social-media technology application or new applications of

digital media to open information access.

     * Graduate students should ideally demonstrate  interest, experience

or expertise in applying new technology or community engagement or

collaboration strategies among libraries, news and cable public-access

entities, either profit or  not-for profit.

     * Prospective stipend recipients will apply by registering to attend

the conference. Allocation of travel, lodging and registration stipends

will be determined by a selection group including  Dietmar Wolfram,

interim dean, School of Information Studies, University of

Wisconsin-Milwaukee;  Nancy C. Kranich, advisory board chair, American

Library Association's Center for Public Life, (and past ALA president) /

Rutgers Univ. library, Highland Park, N.J.; and Bill Densmore, director,

Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst and co-founder, Journalism That


"Beyond Books" sponsors include the Institute for Museum and Library

Services (IMLS); the Office of Information Technology Policy of the

American Library Association; the MIT Center for Future Civic Media;

Journalism That Matters; the Media Giraffe Project and New England News

Forum, both at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and others. The

conference is organized in part of a three-year IMLS grant to the

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:  "Overcoming Barriers to Information

Access: Educating the Next Generation of Library and Information Science



Journalism That Matters Collaborative /  c/o Media Giraffe Project /

Journalism Program / University of Massachusetts /  Amherst MA 01003  /

413-458-8001 /  <>

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