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ITRL2 – Application Information

 GRANT NAME: Rural Library Professionals as Change Agents in the 21st Century: Integrating Information Technology Competencies in the Southern and Central Appalachian Region, Phase II

PROGRAM GOAL: The goal of ITRL2 is to provide the thirteen selected students, who have paraprofessional jobs in the SCA region’s rural libraries, with education to complete their master’s degree with a focus on IT and rural librarianship in the SIS program via distance education. The ITRL2 begins Summer 2013. Students’ duration in the master’s program is June 2013 – August 2015. Applications for enrollment were reviewed in January 2013. Students were admitted to ITRL2 in May 2013.

PROGRAM BENEFITS: Full-tuition scholarship for two years for students from library/information science Academic Common Market states in the Southern and Central Appalachian region [Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia]. For students from other states, tuition is reimbursed to the in-state amount (For details about tuition and fees, see URL: Allowance for materials are provided. This is a part-time degree program with a structured, individually-tailored IT and rural management- based curriculum with formal and informal professional mentoring by educators and practitioners.

APPLICATION & ADMISSION: Eligibility & Requirements

  • Currently working in a rural Appalachian library
  • Completed bachelor’s degree
  • A 3.25 cumulative GPA in undergraduate coursework and GRE scores (above the fifty percentile) or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in 12 or more hours of graduate coursework
  • Completed the UT School of Information Sciences Admission Application online available via URL:
  • Completed the ITRL2 Scholarship Program Application


PROJECT DESIGN: The overall project design covered five phases. These phases include: recruitment of ITRL2 students from rural libraries in the SCA region; needs assessment of library services and information challenges faced by rural regional libraries; implementation of educational/training activities; mentoring; and evaluation/assessment of program outcomes and dissemination of program results and expereinces.

ITRL2 program information technology courses:

  • Technology planning, assessment, and analysis
  • Database and web design, development, and usability
  • Building digital library, web portals, and Library 2.0 tools
  • Establishing hardware and software configurations for networking systems

ITRL2 program rural librarianship courses:

  • Service evaluation/assessment in rural libraries
  • Planning/management of a rural library program for youth and adults
  • Reader’s advisory and other information services
  • Grant writing and partnership development

CONTACT: For more information please contact Dr. Vandana Singh at 865-974-5917 or, Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

PARTNERS: UT-SIS’ Dr. Bharat Mehra is administering the project with Dr. Vandana Singh. The four partnering institutions from East Tennessee are: Clinch River Regional Library: Susan Simmons Byrne (Clinton, Tennessee), Ocoee River Regional Library: Beth Allen Mercer (Athens, Tennessee), Sevier County Public Library System: Rhonda Tippitt (Sevierville, Tennessee), and the Holston River Regional Library: Nancy Roark (Johnson City, Tennessee).