June 2010 cover SCAN - St. Catherine University St. Catherine University
June 2010
 
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Have Books, Will Travel

MLIS professor awarded Fulbright Scholarship to study in Zambia

Think of her as the driver of an international bookmobile.

Mary Wagner, a professor in St. Kate's Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, will travel to Lusaka, Zambia, this fall to teach at the University of Zambia about building library services for children and young adults. She'll also work with the Lubuto Library Project, a nongovernmental organization that develops open access libraries for African street orphans.

The former director of MLIS, Wagner was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant to fund her year in Zambia.

One goal is to create "a service-learning relationship" between the Lubuto Library Project — which helps children learn to read — and the University of Zambia. "I want to encourage education and library-science students there to come and work with kids in the community library center," she says.

Wagner will be in Zambia from October 2010 to August 2011. Her husband and two young-adult daughters will accompany her.

"My oldest daughter just finished two years with the Peace Corps in Peru and is figuring out what to do next," Wagner says. "My younger daughter just graduated from college. We all thought, 'Why not go to Zambia?'" Wagner's family members plan to find work or service opportunities in Africa.

Wagner believes her experience in Zambia will help inform the "International Librarianship" class that she teaches at St. Kate's. She also hopes to create opportunities for St. Kate's MLIS students to do internships or study-abroad programs in Zambia or southern Africa.

— ANDY STEINER

 

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