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Purpose – There is a dichotomy within library and information science (LIS) education today. It has been a long time coming, and the rise of information schools (iSchools…
Purpose – There is a dichotomy within library and information science (LIS) education today. It has been a long time coming, and the rise of information schools (iSchools) in LIS education, with their focus on skill sets that complement libraries and their mission but ultimately prepare students for careers and jobs outside of librarianship, is one of many contributing factors. Many accredited library programs that used to focus on preparing students for work in libraries are now expanding their courses and degrees more toward “information” rather than “libraries.” This is understandable given that many library science programs have been subsumed into other departments and colleges such as business, education, and information technology, where their expertise in educating and training students toward graduate degrees is highly regarded and where the available jobs and salaries outside of libraries are much more numerous and desirable. This chapter hopes to frame the current challenges from the perspective of one member of the ALA Committee on Accreditation (COA).
Design/Methodology/Approach – This is an opinion piece, based on the author’s current membership on COA and focus on the library profession.
Findings – As an opinion piece, there are no findings.
Originality/Value – This chapter tries to show the value of the library profession and its curriculum in today’s society.
Purpose – Research shows that new graduates of Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs often fail to understand and appreciate the connection between…
Purpose – Research shows that new graduates of Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs often fail to understand and appreciate the connection between library science theory and practice. In other fields, culminating experiences often serve the function of combining theory and praxis for students. While notably different from the current structure of the MLIS curriculum, other disciplines provide a model for how the culminating experience component of a degree program can be facilitated successfully. This chapter examines the culminating experiences of other fields in order to provide guidance for how American Library Association-accredited MLIS programs could adopt or integrate similar programs.
Approach – The study explores four culminating experiences commonly used in other fields: fieldwork, apprenticeships and residencies, service-learning, and creative exhibitions. For each culminating experience, recommendations for potential applications to MLIS curricula are provided.
Findings – Culminating MLIS experiences that bring students into the communities they will serve – for example, fieldwork, residencies, and service-learning – may better prepare them for the new world they will face as LIS professionals and may better introduce them to the experiences of their patrons. Exploration of these alternative culminating experiences may help students bridge the gap between theory and practice during and beyond their MLIS degree programs.
Originality/Value – A thorough literature review revealed no similar examination of culminating experiences in MLIS programs’ curricula in particular. Combined with other studies that make recommendations for updating the MLIS curriculum, this exploratory study can serve as a useful resource for MLIS programs hoping to redesign their curricula.
Purpose – This chapter examines the use of high-impact student engagement practices in library and information science (LIS) education programs.Approach – This chapter…
Purpose – This chapter examines the use of high-impact student engagement practices in library and information science (LIS) education programs.
Approach – This chapter opens with an overview of systematic planning, an outcomes-based process used to support the continuous development and improvement of higher education programs. It then details the essential contributions that students can make in systematic planning through high-impact student engagement practices, and summarizes the core competencies that students develop through these practices. A synthesis of the extant research on high-impact student engagement practices in LIS education and the results of a content analysis of select accreditation self-study reports were used to identify how these practices are utilized in LIS programs.
Findings – Five high-impact student engagement practices were used by LIS education programs: student advisory boards, student-organized meetings, student-run surveys, student-led course evaluations, and student-led curriculum development programs. These practices may be used as pedagogical tools to support mutually beneficial outcomes for LIS students and their educational programs.
Originality/Value – Student leadership in systematic program planning promotes positive student and programmatic outcomes. Broader adoption of these practices across LIS education programs will help promote student learning, prepare students for professional practice, and improve the quality and relevance of LIS education programs.
Purpose – This chapter provides a historical overview of libraries and library and information science/studies (LIS) education in Australia, charting the changing nature…
Purpose – This chapter provides a historical overview of libraries and library and information science/studies (LIS) education in Australia, charting the changing nature of the LIS academy and the profession. The chapter then examines the knowledge, skills, and qualifications required for current and emerging LIS professionals, discussing how we embrace new knowledge and analyzing whether there are aspects of current LIS education that we need to hold on to or let go of in order to re-envision LIS education in the future.
Design/Methodology/Approach – A brief historical analysis of Australian librarianship, library associations, and LIS education, dating from European colonization in 1788 to the present, 2017, sets the context and informs the discussion.
Findings – This chapter demonstrates how social, political, technological, and educational forces have influenced libraries, librarianship, and LIS education. Within this context, we propose ways forward, such as partnering with broader information communities, adopting emerging specialties, building closer relationships between academia and practice, and considering “letting go” of some of the old as we add the new.
Originality/Value – By providing an original historical overview of librarianship in Australia with a particular focus on LIS education and how the goals and focus of both librarianship and LIS education have evolved over the centuries, this chapter contributes to an informed discussion designed to assist in re-envisioning the information professions and disciplines in the future.
Purpose – As change creates more uncertainty for library practitioners, graduate library education needs to explore how best to prepare students to manage ambiguity…
Purpose – As change creates more uncertainty for library practitioners, graduate library education needs to explore how best to prepare students to manage ambiguity through new approaches to identifying and solving challenging problems. We advocate for incorporating design into graduate library education.
Design/Methodology/Approach – First, we discuss the need for a design approach to librarianship. We then introduce the nature of design thinking and philosophy and discuss the ways in which it is already present in librarianship. We review past developments and recent trends with a special focus on the ways in which design thinking, methods, and philosophies are (or are not) incorporated into library and information science (LIS) education.
Findings – We synthesize these findings to propose recommendations and suggestions for an alternative degree program to the traditional Master of Library Science (MLS): the Master of Library Design (MLD). This includes the presentation of a new model of library education that blends design philosophy with traditional library science content.
Originality/Value – This is the first compilation in the library literature to propose the development of a new type of library degree that we refer to as the MLD; hence, it has a high level of originality. While the library literature has examples of practitioners applying design thinking to improve library services, this chapter’s value is that it promotes the integration of design thinking and philosophy more broadly in order to better equip future library professionals for a rapidly changing information landscape.
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore the ways in which bachelor’s degree programs in library and information studies can support and enhance Master of…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore the ways in which bachelor’s degree programs in library and information studies can support and enhance Master of Library Science (MLS) and Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs.
Approach – The history of undergraduate library degrees is examined, followed by a brief discussion of the current landscape of library education. Finally, five ways in which library and information science (LIS) undergraduate programs can revitalize the MLS/MLIS are addressed and analyzed.
Findings – Bachelor of Science in Library Science degrees can impact the MLS/MLIS degree in five discrete ways. Undergraduate programs can interest student in future information work, allow for more specialization in graduate programs, allow paraprofessionals to advance their library education, support rural libraries, and can lead to more rigorous MLS/MLIS curricula.
Value – As libraries and library education are in transition, undergraduate LIS degree programs have the potential to transform LIS education as a whole.