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School of Information Awarded $1.2 Million from IMLS for The Study of Digital Librarianship, Video Game Industry

AUSTIN, Texas — The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin has received $1.2 million from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) to prepare students for librarianship in a digital world and to research the collection and preservation of complex, community-built digital creations in the video game industry.

"These awards represent clear support for the research and field-shaping agenda we have set here at the School of Information," said Andrew Dillon, dean of the School of Information. "The funding basis for any emerging field is limited and to have secured more support from this program than any other school in the nation is testimony to the quality of our faculty."

Assistant Professor Lynn Westbrook, with fellow faculty members Gary Geisler and Luis Francisco-Revilla, received a $978,617 grant to educate four full-time doctoral students to become leaders in digital librarianship.

The collaboration with Drexel University and the Internet Public Library will develop library and information science faculty who will have the theoretical understanding and the practical skills required to develop the next generation of librarians who will be called upon to manage, preserve and provide access to an ever-increasing array of digital resources.

The project will focus on providing doctoral students with a deep understanding of digital librarianship in four specific areas: multimedia collections, digital library services, bridges between physical and digital libraries, and digital library evaluation.

Assistant Professor Megan Winget was awarded $255,040 to advance her research in the video game industry's methods, behaviors and attitudes for the purpose of building more meaningful models of collection and preservation of complex, community-built digital creations. Her study, titled "Video Games and the Culture Record: Studying the Creation Processes and Artifacts of the Video Game Industry for the Purpose of Collection and Preservation," can apply to a wide array of issues in digital preservation, from digital media art to immersive learning environments.

The School of Information is also partner in a $950,555 IMLS research grant led by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to educate archival doctoral students.

The project will address the shortage of professors in archival science by providing at least four doctoral fellowships in archival-related topics. The project will also strengthen the network of archival educators in information science and programs by developing three weeklong workshops for students, faculty and working archivists. The project, directed by Professor Anne Gilliland at UCLA, is a collaborative of faculty and researchers from UCLA, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh, Simmons College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information, contact: Amy Crossette, School of Architecture, School of Information, 512-573-1078.

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