SIRLSSchool of Information Resources and Library Science
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SIRLS was also intrigued by the body of anecdotal evidence from blogs and course evaluations that the hands-on components of the courses might be having a significant impact on student perceptions of technology, willingness to attempt further technology coursework, and interest in jobs that required greater technical fluency.
After receiving IMLS funding for the virtual lab project, SIRLS selected VMWare's Lab Manager running under VMWare VCenter 4 to serve as their primary sandbox architecture.
SIRLS is also in the process of creating a template of the Digital Library of Information Science and Technology (DLIST), maintained by the University of Arizona Library and SIRLS, for use in classroom instruction.
SIRLS anticipates that four to six master's classes per semester will use the lab for some aspect of instruction in addition to the DigIn classes.
By project end, SIRLS anticipates having at least 300-400 individual cases to analyze, along with additional data on students' perception of courses using the sandbox.
Also, 20% of the students admitted to DigIn are current SIRLS master's students either pursuing both the certificate and a master's (the graduate college permits a "double-dip" of two courses that can be applied to both) or taking DigIn classes as part of the distributed elective requirement for the master's degree.
SIRLS has received a number of inquiries from foreign students; however, since they are not eligible for scholarship funding, only one has actually applied to date.
This may be due in part to SIRLS's strong emphasis on American Indian and Hispanic librarianship and Knowledge River, a SIRLS program focusing on educating information professionals who have experience with and sensitivity to Hispanic and American Indian populations.
Beginning in fall of 2010, SIRLS will conduct annual surveys of current students and graduates to determine overall impact of the program.
SIRLS therefore applied to IMLS in 2009 for three years of funding for scholarships specifically aimed at students representing diverse disciplines and small cultural heritage institutions and students with a commitment to serving diverse communities of practice.
Finally, SIRLS has committed to an ongoing process of curriculum development for the DigIn program that addresses issues of competency with respect to the curation of digital resources of cultural significance.
As part of its dissemination plan, SIRLS has committed to sharing relevant content developed with IMLS public funding.