LIS Education, Advocacy, and the Future of Librarianship

15/04/2011 § 13 Comments

Note: I posted this a bit ago on my blog, but since it has a lot to do with how we approach LIS education as students and new professionals, I wanted to post it here too!

A lot of discussion has been circulating about the future of librarianship in response to comments made by Jeffrey Trzeciak (of McMaster University) indicating that he wouldn’t hire any more librarians, preferring instead to give certain positions to people in IT or with PhDs. I agree that in many instances you might want to consider candidates from a variety of backgrounds, but to discount librarians (especially coming from the University Librarian himself!) is an indication of how deeply our field is misunderstood. I first read about it through Jenica Rogers’ post, which I think provides a great intro to the subject and some awesome perspective on why we need advocacy as professionals (not just as a profession or as institutions.) My fellow Hack Library School editors, along with Courtney Walters and a few others, began discussing the topic via Twitter (I was at work, so didn’t get to jump in until after the fact!) If you’re interested in seeing the discussion, look for #savelibrarians. In addition, some blog posts have started going up to discuss our future as professionals–a great post in particular is Courtney Walter’s discussion of our identity crisis as librarians/info pros.

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Lets Get International! – LISNPN Edition

14/04/2011 § 5 Comments

HackLibSchool is proud to feature this guest post from Ned Potter AKA thewikiman AKA one of the recently named Library Journal 2011 Movers and Shakers! In the spirit of the web allowing us to cross many types of boundaries, its important for us as students to consider growing communities and professional connections outside of our continent to continually enhance our point of view and frame of mind, which is exactly what Ned is working toward. Act locally, think globally and get involved!

LISNPN logo via Ned Potter

Let’s make a global nework

I run a network for New Professionals in the Library and Information field, called LISNPN. And by professionals I really do mean ‘people involved with the information profession’ – this is NOT somewhere exclusively for qualified librarians.

The network has forums, how-to guides on things like getting published, public speaking, and networking, plus anonymous reviews of library schools (so far, only UK ones, but we’re looking for more) so people can make a better decision as to where to go. We also have blog posts but, frankly, HackLibSchool kicks our asses in that department and has made me think we need to try harder… But we did have a really cool interview with Buffy Hamilton, Bobbi Newman and Andy Woodworth recently – and now all of them are Movers and Shakers!

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Someone To Look Up To – Finding Your Library Hero

13/04/2011 § 11 Comments

In my Introduction to Library Science class, we were told that a primary goal of the class was to start the process of professionalization. Wikipedia describes professionalization as,

“Professionalization is the social process by which any trade or occupation transforms itself into a true “profession of the highest integrity and competence.”[1] This process tends to involve establishing acceptable qualifications, a professional body or association to oversee the conduct of members of the profession and some degree of demarcation of the qualified from unqualified amateurs.” « Read the rest of this entry »

To iSchool or not to iSchool?

12/04/2011 § 5 Comments

Micah - Geoff Johnson approached me about posting this survey here, and I thought it reflected many of the types of conversations we’ve had over the past few months, and especially related to Nicole’s post about non-traditional LIS work from yesterday. Actually, because of this post, I did a little research and discovered that FSU-SLIS, my school from which I am graduating in two weeks, is an iSchool and I had no idea. What’s in a name? When applied to library school, it’ll be interesting to find out. Feel free to answer in the comments OR by filling out the Survey Monkey linked below. Here’s Geoff:

A couple colleagues and I are working on a project to help understand the differences between traditional Master’s of Library and Information Science graduate schools and iSchools. An important part of our research is an understanding of the perceptions of prospective and current students and recent (or not-so-recent) graduates. If you could assist by completing the following survey and give any additional insight, it would be greatly appreciated.

If any of these questions seem unclear, worry not – we’re just looking for your opinion or your perceptions based on what you already know.

Note: In answering questions about your preferred school to attend, please assume all schools are equally easy for you to attend logistically (i.e. in terms of location, cost, etc.). For example, when question F asks whether you’d prefer to attend highly-ranked schools, don’t let the fact that you live far away from most highly-ranked schools (if you do) affect your answer.

Also, if you’re already in school or you’ve already graduated, please treat questions about such choices as though you had the decision to make again with the benefit of what you know now.

In the near future, you can expect a blog post on our findings.

Answer questions in comments or CLICK THIS SURVEY.

Are you:

  • A prospective Master of Library and Information Science/Master of Library Science/Master of Information Science Student
  • A current student at a school that describes itself as a school of Library Science or Library and Information Science
  • A current student at an iSchool or School of Information
  • An MLIS/MLS/MIS graduate
  • Just interested

If you chose option 1, 2, 3, or 4 above, please indicate where you go to or went to or intend to go to school.

If you were to make the decision again, or if you are currently making the decision,  would you select a traditional LIS program, or a program offered at an iSchool or a School of Information?

  • Traditional LIS
  • iSchool
  • There’s a difference?
  • I would choose a completely different field/program

How different do you think the curricula or course offerings in an “iSchool” or school of information are from a more traditional MLIS/MLS programs?

  • Not at all – same thing.
  • 90% the same – maybe two or three extra classes to make a school an iSchool
  • 50% the same – mostly the same stuff, but enough classes that I could be an “information professional”, not “just” a librarian if I so chose
  • 25% the same – some overlap, but a completely different experience

Please provide 3 words that describe traditional LIS programs:

Please provide 3 words that describe iSchool/information school programs:

Please choose the statement that most closely matches your feelings

  • I would choose a highly-ranked traditional LIS Program
  • I would choose a highly-ranked iSchool/School of Information
  • As long as it’s highly ranked, iSchool/Traditional LIS doesn’t matter
  • I prefer to attend any traditional LIS school – ranking is less important
  • I want to attend an iSchool – ranking is less important

Non-Traditional Roles in LIS

11/04/2011 § 24 Comments

Research Analyst.  Yup, no “librarian” in that title.  Yet, it’s my current job title.  And it is the job title of my 6 other colleagues.  They all of have MLIS degrees (and very soon so will I!)  Now I’ve discussed my role in a previous post on special libraries.  So I won’t go into that again.  But what I did want to talk about is this whole idea of using the skills taught in the MLIS degree and how you can apply them to positions outside the “typical” library setting.

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