Today the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) a federal department, announced that it had green-lighted a research planning grant proposal submitted by the University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Library & Information Studies (SLIS) and Shaffer this last fall. IMLS received over 100 applications through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant Program, requesting over $32 million in funding. Only 16 were chosen with a total of just over $5 million awarded; the OU-SLIS/Shaffer proposal being among them. Dr. Betsy Martens of the OU-Tulsa/SILS program will lead the study. She and her team (OU-SLIS Director Dr. Cecelia Brown, Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer and Tulsa City-County Library COO Kim Johnson) will investigate the best components and structure for an accelerated 21st Century Public Library Leadership online Master's in Library & Information Science (MLIS) for working library professionals in rural and urban libraries in the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The program looks to redefine the MLIS by introducing electives taught by professors in fields as varied as Social Work, Marketing, Fundraising, Public Administration, Employee Relations, Project Management, etc. If able to launch the program as envisioned, participants who have not quite finished their bachelor's degree would be able to earn credits that simultaneously count towards fulfillment of their BS & MLIS degrees.