California Rare and Book School (CalRBS) is one of the nation’s foremost continuing education programs for librarians working in all sectors, well beyond the field of rare books. Public libraries, school librarians, academic librarians, and community leaders take advantage of CalRBS courses to support society in many crucial ways. For example, CalRBS trains librarians to be ethical and justice-oriented stewards of our cultural knowledge and also helps provide the requisite skills to support educational and information literacy programs in underserved and economically challenged communities.
This has been especially true during the pandemic, as COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we access information and obtain the requisite literacy skills to negotiate our complex world of information and social support systems. Underserved communities have been some of the hardest hit.
Librarians have served in essential ways during the pandemic by creating safe voting centers for the 2020 presidential election; providing free lunches to K-12 students required to attend school at home and who are otherwise unable to take advantage of free school lunch programs; and by creating safe spaces for the unhoused population that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. All of this in addition to the traditional role libraries play as community spaces that facilitate fair and equal access to information. Libraries have always served as a crucial extension of educational spaces, and we need your help to make sure we can continue to support this important work into the future.
Libraries are one of society’s essential institutions and CalRBS remains committed to training this generation of librarians to meet our communities’ unique and critical challenges, especially given our current global pandemic. But CalRBS needs your help to make that happen!
While libraries have found ways to serve an essential role in our society during the pandemic, funding sources for them have dwindled, forcing libraries to do more with fewer resources. The result is that an increasing number of librarians have been unable to obtain the continuing education funds necessary to maintain the skills necessary to stay current on standards, programming, and collaboration in the profession. These are essential skills if we are to expect libraries to remain a core support system in our society. CalRBS has received a record number of scholarship applications this year, clearly illustrating that we have an urgent need to broaden our support of librarians as they weather the pandemic.
How can you help?
To this end, CalRBS is reaching out to you, our support base, to support emergency COVID-19 Fellowships for librarians and students of librarianship such that we can continue to provide the skills necessary for current and future librarians.
- A gift of any amount helps us to provide scholarships to these librarians who have exhibited great financial need during this temporary COVID-19 period.
- A gift of $1,200 will pay for a librarian, an archivist or an Information Studies student to attend one course this summer.
- A gift of $600 will pay for partial costs of attendance for those who wish to attend but have financial constraints this year.
- SHARE SHARE SHARE! The Spark platform allows you to maximize your impact by sharing our campaign with your network. Spreading the word is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Use these links to share across your social media platforms!
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