Charlotte North Carolina – The James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University has been awarded a $100,000 grant to be used for a project called “Making Space for Tech @ an HBCU,” which is the development of an academic Makerspace that will give all users the opportunity to gain proficiency in design and manufacturing technologies that are becoming more prevalent in the workforce.
Through the skills and knowledge that will be attained through project activities, all Johnson C. Smith students will have a competitive edge when entering the job market, making them more viable candidates for employment. The Makerspace will also provide an arena for research and innovation, which we believe will lead to an increase in faculty and student-based research campus-wide, and more effective research outcomes.
We also anticipate expanded entrepreneurial attitudes among JCSU student, faculty and community users, which will lead to a spike in new approaches to business and the creation of small-to medium sized enterprises. Lastly, that by implementing a Makerspace, we’ll create a replicable model for tech skills training that can be applied to other university libraries serving users of similar demographics.
This program was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-17-0034-17).
These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities. Makerspace Research Connoisseur and Project Manager Dr. Chantell McDowell said she believes a Makerspace at Johnson C. Smith University will influence the integration of the “maker” culture in liberal arts, business, arts the sciences, and technology in innovative, socially conscious ways that empower students to become entrepreneurs and leaders.
The James B. Duke Memorial Library received one of the 39 competitive grants for fiscal year 2017-2018 awarded to North Carolina libraries from this year’s federal allotment of $4,428,172. The LSTA grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds library projects across the state that advance literacy and lifelong learning, expand access to library resources and expertise, promote partnerships and collaboration, and digitize materials important to the cultural heritage of North Carolina.
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. Through the LSTA Grants to States program IMLS provides funds to State Library agencies using a population-based formula. State libraries may use the appropriation to support statewide initiatives and services; they may also distribute the funds through competitive subgrants to public and academic libraries. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.
For more information about North Carolina’s LSTA program visit the State Library of North Carolina’s LSTA web page at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ld/resources/lsta-grants or contact the State Library’s Federal Programs Consultant at 919-807-7423.