The purpose of this paper is to augment knowledge about perceived benefits and drawbacks of practicum programs in academic libraries.
Many library science programs require or encourage practicum experiences. The paper surveyed past practicum students and site librarians about experiences with their practicum program.
Practica in librarianship that balance structure and independence were reported to be beneficial, both for practicum students and for the libraries that host them. Students enjoyed the theory‐to‐practice aspects and the diverse populations of the academic library. The Auraria Campus's student body displays great diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, socioeconomics, age, and prior educational experiences. Practicum participants also made constructive suggestions for changes in terms of structure and content. Students and site librarians valued their interactions with one another, even though the librarians were aware that mentoring and supervising practicum students consumes time.
Master of Library Science (MLS) programs, students, and libraries should consider these results when evaluating or considering practicum programs.
At present, the library literature contains very few examples of evaluation strategies for library practicum programs. This article presents an easily adaptable model for assessing practicum programs in order to make improvements to their own programs.
Ferrer‐Vinent, I.J. and Sobel, K. (2011), "A study of Master of Library Science candidates and librarians at a practicum site library", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 7/8, pp. 365-376. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074801111150486
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