Hack Your Program: University of Sheffield iSchool

28/07/2011 § 7 Comments

Michael Pawlus graduated from the University of Sheffield in December 2010. He currently resides in Korea due to extenuating circumstances but is actively seeking opportunities to join a library this fall. His interests include information literacy, electronic learning objects and web developments that increase the reach and impact of library services.  More of his writing can be found at goodnewslibrarian.info and he is also on Twitter @michaelpawlus.

Standard Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body, the University of Sheffield, or the iSchool. I attended the one-year graduate course from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010.  All criticism is meant to be constructive.

Program Overview

The University of Sheffield is the UK’s first iSchool.

It boasts an impressive research output record that has placed it at the top of the UK-government sponsored Research Assessment Exercise since it was first conducted in 1986.  A recent survey showed that 40% of the most cited information studies academics were working at Sheffield.
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Hack Your Program: University of Iowa SLIS

08/07/2011 § 4 Comments

Note: like other posts in the Hack Your Program series, opinions expressed here are mine alone. I have grown so much and enjoyed myself thoroughly at SLIS, so the few items I offer as ‘areas for improvement’ should be viewed as constructive criticism and also understood through the lens of LIS education or the U of I as a whole: most of the things I talk about it that section are not specific to SLIS. I absolutely loved by time at SLIS and felt like it allowed me to really come into my own as a researcher and a student–I’d love to hear the thoughts of other SLIS students and alumni too, and I’m happy to share more information with folks who are considering applying!

Quick Overview: SLIS is located in the University library in Iowa City. Our department has 8 faculty members (all of whom I adore, btw) and small class sizes. The largest classes I encountered were the Foundations courses (more on that later) where the entire incoming cohort (~30 people I think is average) takes the courses together. Most of my classes had between 12 and 20 people, although some have slightly more or less. The MLS is a two-year program, although some students (like me) take longer.

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Hack Your Program: Beit Berl Department of Library and Information Science

01/07/2011 § 1 Comment

Ahava Cohen has completed her first year in the advanced graduate certification LIS program at Beit Berl.  Originally from NYC, she has been living in Israel for over 20 years. When not in school she serves as Information Officer in charge of portfolio companies for a private investment firm.  Over the school break she will be joining a fellow student in creating and cataloging a music collection in a small suburban township.
She can be found on Twitter (mostly in English) @AhavaCohen and WordPress (in Hebrew) at soferim.wordpress.com.

This is my perspective on my grad program, although I did consult with other students during our regular cafeteria hours for their input. This week I finished my first year (of three) in the LIS track. My program is unique among those I’ve read about on Hack Library School — not only is it not in the US, we don’t do our coursework in English. I also think we’re pretty unique in our student make-up.

Program Overview 

Beit Berl College is located just outside Kfar Saba, Israel. There are five tracks:

  • BA in information management
  • library science (graduate certification)
  • information science (graduate certification)
  • LIS (graduate certification)
  • archivist (non-BA, non-graduate)

Beit Berl Library

The graduate program does not (at this point) grant a masters’ degree, though that is the future direction of the program. LS graduates get government certification and IS students get certification from the college. In Israel, those are the general job requirements in LIS. Students who pursue the higher level of librarianship certification do earn points towards an MA in the college’s School of Government. Archivists take no courses with the LIS or BA students; required courses are common to the certificate and BA students. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hack Your Program: Valdosta State University MLIS

28/06/2011 § 43 Comments

Kim Mears is in her final year with the Master of Library and Information Science program at Valdosta State University. She currently lives in Augusta, Ga and works at the Greenblatt Library of Georgia Health Sciences University as a Medical Library Associate.  With interests in open access and information literacy, she plans to explore the world of academic librarianship further. You can find her on Twitter @kimberwimber.

Disclaimer: I have attended the Valdosta State University Master of Library and Information Science program since fall 2009 and plan to graduate spring 2012. These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body or the faculty. All criticism is meant to be constructive. This is the only MLIS program offered in the state of Georgia and I am afforded the opportunity to attend this program through the University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Program Overview 

The Valdosta State University Master of Library and Information Science program is primarily an online program with required face-to-face orientations. Fall and spring admissions allow students to enroll in the program twice a year and orientation takes place on the VSU campus over a designated weekend. (This process was slightly different when I started the program in fall 2009. We met one weekend a month for the first semester at Macon State College, which is located in middle Georgia).

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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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