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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Reed College has been awarded $200,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The award will be used to strengthen the role of the library and improve student research skills.

"As information technology has widened the world of resources available to us, it also has presented us with new challenges. Our goal is to help students develop competencies necessary for thesis-level research in their senior year and for application in their lives beyond Reed," said Victoria Hanawalt, Reed College librarian.

The Mellon grant will fund a four-year project in which faculty members and librarians collaborate to develop a series of workshops, four to six weeks in length, to be offered at the beginning of each semester. The workshops, which will be taught by librarians with the assistance of recent Reed graduates, will provide hands-on instruction in the library research competencies targeted by Reed's professors as essential for coursework. Just as science courses include a laboratory component in which students learn hands-on research skills to complement the course’s conceptual component, these library workshops will give students an opportunity to learn and practice library research techniques using information resources.

To support the workshops, the library will develop a hands-on computer classroom for library instruction. In addition, project personnel will develop instructional web pages and other resources to assist seniors engaged in thesis research, as well as students in other courses who may benefit from additional instruction in library research competencies.

At the conclusion of the four-year project, a colloquium will be held for selective liberal arts colleges in the Northwest and comparable national institutions to discuss and compare experiences with similar library initiatives. This colloquium will provide an opportunity for inter-institutional cooperation in the development of discipline-based library instruction programs.

The Mellon Foundation recently supported the development of an information gateway at Reed College that provides a variety of electronic resources for student and faculty research through a single computer interface.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York, New York, was founded in 1969, the result of the consolidation of foundations founded by the daughter and son of Andrew W. Mellon. The foundation aids and promotes religious, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes to further public welfare or promote the well-doing or well-being of humankind.

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