Hack Your Program: The University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science

16/06/2011 § 13 Comments

*Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body, the University of South Carolina, or the School of Information and Library Science. I started in Fall 2010 as a full-time, out-of-state student. All criticism is meant to be constructive.

School of Library and Information Science

Davis College, the home of SLIS at the University of South Carolina

When I tell people I am from Seattle and go to school down here,the first thing they ask me is, “why?” My stock answer is that, “I really like Hootie and the Blow Fish,” which I follow up with a, “No really it’s not as crazy as it sounds.” In reality I came here for the opportunities. Even before Micah was talking about hacking library school it’s what I had planned on doing. Thankfully Micah started talking about it, so now I have the vocabulary to discuss my strategy for making it in library land. USC has an up and coming Library School. We have a good staff, decent course offerings, and lots of opportunities here in Columbia.

USC (as we call ourselves in the abbreviated form) or SoCar (as I refer to the school) offers a B.A., MLIS, several certificates of advanced study,  and Ph.D. in Information and Library Science. The MLIS program offers on classes on campus and online. The distinction between on campus and online cohorts is minimal with students in either able to take classes through either delivery method. However, many core classes are only taught online, so students in Columbia will have to take online classes, but not necessarily vice versa.

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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 »

Hack Library School goes to Camp

24/03/2011 § 1 Comment

I had the good fortune of attending the 2011 InfoCamp Berkeley.  People there were talking about and coming up with crazy new ways to discuss, think about, and present information. However, I also saw some examples of reinventing the wheel. There were topics where information science seemed to be struggling with  some of the same problems library science had already dealt with. Being around these occasional redundancies  sparked the realization that for almost ten years people have been discussing library school and the problems involved with library science programs.  While we have a good idea or should at this point about library schools problems, many of these complaints have increased, in large part correlating to the rise of distance programs. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the essays on library school in Revolting Librarian Redux, published in 2003.  It contains almost the exact same concerns as we face today. I also contend that due to the problems in the still nascent field of distance education many of these problems have been compounded. We feel those impacts keenly due to the tight job market we face upon graduation. Though top rated schools with a campus based program feel them less than others do, the same types of complaints are almost universal.  The fact is that institutions haven’t changed in response to these problems for whatever reason.

Infocamp Berkeley 2011 Registration Table

Infocamp Berkeley 2011 Registration Table

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