Reaching Those Who Served

Reaching Those Who Served is a 3-year Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) grant-funded research project focused on the need and challenge of extending recruitment of military veterans to library and information science graduate programs.

The grant enables us to provide scholarships for 12 military veterans to make substantial progress in pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at one of three universities.

The project is being led by the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin in partnership with the School of Information at San José State University and the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Why Veterans?

With their strong service orientation, motivation to serve others, interest in change and life-long learning, flexibility, and adaptability, military veterans have the qualities to be excellent prospective students for graduate library and information science (LIS) programs.

Veteran Stats

  • There are 18.8 million veterans in the U.S.
  • Veterans make up 7.6% of the population of the U.S.

(U.S. Census. Selected)

  • 9.3 million veterans are 65 or older
  • 1.6 million veterans are under 35
  • 20% veterans are members of a community of color
  • 11.6% of veterans are black
  • 6% are Hispanic
  • 1.5% are Asian
  • 0.7% are American Indian/Alaskan Native
  • 0.2% are native Hawai’ian or other Pacific Islander

(U.S. Census. Veterans Day 2016)


We want to know

  1. How do military veterans choose careers in librarianship and information studies?
  2. What are effective strategies to recruit military veterans into LIS graduate programs today?

To answer these questions, we will conduct interviews with veterans who already work in an information-related field, conduct surveys related to the admissions process for veterans, analyze data related to improving recruitment of veterans to library and information science programs, and develop and distribute tools for universities to assess and improve their recruitment and admissions process for veterans.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

Reaching Those Who Served is funded through a federal grant from IMLS (grant number: RE-96-17-0018-17).

As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”