Past Grants

Fulbright Senior Specialist

Teaching in Bahrain

Dr. Westbrook teaches in BahrainThe new National Library of Bahrain is starting to build collections, develop public services, and prepare staff for the challenges of managing a full array of library programs. Serving as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, I contributed to these efforts in May 2009, teaching 12 different classes for the Library's catalogers, acquisition librarians, reference librarians, and administrators. As the last of four invited specialists, I provided a "capstone" experience for staff in my presentations on critical thinking, developing a collection management policy, and information seeking.

I also taught all-day seminars on user education, information seeking, and collection management to the staff of the University of Bahrain Library. This well established library has experienced staffers who requested additional in-house training as part of this Fulbright opportunity. In addition, I taught a two-part workshop on structured information retrieval to members of the Bahrain Library Association.

Library staffers at both institutions were highly engaged, deeply committed, and avidly learning throughout each session. The challenges faced at both institutions are substantial and long-term. My colleagues and I contributed to the libraries' growth in this Fulbright experience. Any opportunity to return to this vibrant region of library growth would be a powerful contribution to my understanding of their information resources across centuries and political boundaries. I cannot recommend the Fulbright Senior Specialist program or the Bahrain library community too heavily.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Cultivating Digital Librarianship Faculty, 2009-2013, $1,232,993

The field of digital librarianship has reached the point of requiring specifically educated professionals for its continued growth. Consequently, it is necessary to create the academic programs that will develop the future leaders and educators of the field.  The Cultivating Digital Librarianship Faculty program (CDLF) will prepare four leaders in digital librarianship through innovative coursework, in-depth research, praxis-based teaching experiences, and active engagement with the wider scholarly community.  These carefully coordinated efforts will center on four areas critical to the next phase of digital library development: multimedia collections, digital library services, bridging physical and digital libraries, and digital library evaluation.

The primary goal of the proposed program is to educate and train four full-time doctoral students to become innovative leaders in the area of digital librarianship. Each student admitted to the program will work closely with one of the faculty team as primary advisor and personal mentor.  The CDLF graduates will have both the theoretical understanding and practical skills necessary for leading the field into maturity through their own research and teaching.  The next generation of digital librarians will be influenced by the curricular innovations and rigorous research of these new faculty.

University of Texas

Faculty Research Assignment, Spring 2011, Full course/administration release

Law Enforcement Information Needs Regarding Domestic Violence Support

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a substantive criminal issue with profound personal, health, and economic consequences for survivors as well as a complex impact on society at large. As members of the only agency legally responsible for distributing information to domestic violence survivors, law enforcement officers have a number of information needs pertaining to those responsibilities.  This exploratory study assesses and analyzes those needs through personal visits to ten, demographically diverse cities at which structured interviews will be held with the law enforcement officers most experienced in handling domestic violence situations.


University of Texas

Summer Research Assignment, 2010, $10,000

University of Texas School of Information

Temple Teaching Fellowship, 2008, $5,000

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Stepping Up, 2007-2010, $744,366

Stepping Up: Library Leaders for the 21st Century. As the leaders and managers of today's libraries move towards retirement, the gap continues to widen between the number of management openings and the number of recent graduates who are interested in taking on managerial responsibilities. The "Stepping Up" program provides a replicable model of community-wide cooperation designed to recruit, retain, and foster the professional growth of current library support staff who have an interest in earning their Masters in an ALA accredited program. With a particular focus on nurturing the development of librarians from under-represented populations and those with linguistic skills, the Stepping Up program will also enhance the diversity of our profession. The program creates an integrated structure for recruiting, educating, and supporting several library staff as they earn their Masters degrees. Through open-house events, personal contacts between faculty and librarians, and web information, the School will work with library managers to encourage the aspirations of staff who are interested in becoming librarians. Those applicants who meet the School admission requirements and are admitted, will be accepted into the grant program when their libraries agree to permit them either release or flextime sufficient to attend class for the grant's duration. Admitted students will be provided with basic laptops, professional mentors, peer mentors from the School's student organization, a faculty mentor, the payment of their fees/tuition, and a small stipend to off-set the costs of books and travel. All of the recruitment, retention, and support materials will be made available for general use; the entire program will be evaluated carefully with a focus on outcome assessment that continues beyond the three-year life of the grant. In addition, an established series of management workshops (one per semester) will be developed jointly by members of the School faculty and interested local library managers and then offered to the library community at large. Driven by the management issues most critical to local practitioners, the workshops will augment the School's required management course and deepen the students' understanding of management's essential role in the field. By encouraging the involvement and attendance of all library staff from local academic and public libraries, the workshops continue the recruitment drive, raise awareness of management issues, and enhance the opportunities for students to engage with practitioners. Finally, a structured, two-way connection between the School of Information faculty and local librarians will be strengthened, developed, and regularly reviewed. Joining together on recruitment and retention efforts, both groups will be able to better understand each other's strengths. Collaborating on the workshops, both groups will be able to further develop the connections between the classroom and the library.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Information for People in Crisis: An Assessment, 2009, $215,862

IPIC’s goal, creating a tool with which public libraries could assess their services to domestic violence survivors, was surpassed in both focus and assessment utility.  The initial fieldwork identified an unambiguous and unanimous view of domestic violence as a constellation of problems.  The project was, therefore, extended in scope to include six foci: health, homelessness, employment, education, life skills, and domestic violence.  In tandem with this need to expand the IPIC focus, librarians universally valued a practice-based assessment tool that allowed them to reiteratively assess and develop their own services. A community service toolkit was therefor developed, tested, revised, and re-tested in multiple communities. The resultant web site provides concrete, practical tools (e.g., staff training programs, sample access policies, and agency-vetted bibliographies) for library services and administration in and across each of the six areas of community need.  Using the IPIC toolkit librarians can reiteratively shape assessments, enhance services, and share their resources with colleagues.

Past Services

Research Methods in Library and Information Studies

A monographic series at Scarecrow Press, co-edited with Professor Ronald Powell of Wayne State University.

Call for proposals [PDF]:

The General Editors of Research Methods in Library and Information Studies, a Scarecrow Press monographic series, invite prospective authors to submit proposals for possible publication.

The Research Methods in Library and Information Studies series supports research in all areas of library and information studies by presenting, delineating, explaining, and exemplifying a full range of research methodologies.

Works in this series are expected to serve the needs of scholars, graduate students, library managers, information professionals, and interdisciplinary faculty. The series' current monographs are:

Both applied and theoretical proposals are welcome, as the series ranges from action research (e.g., cost-benefit analysis techniques) to analytical approaches (e.g., bibliometrics). Works on both a macro (e.g., historical analysis) and a local (e.g., performance/output evaluation) level will be included. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches are sought.

Books will vary in length, structure, and degree of formality, although all will be well researched and carefully documented.

The following areas of interest are only a few examples of the research issues and approaches for which proposals are sought. Please contact either editor to discuss further options.