Office Hours Extra: Heretical Thoughts Sharing 5

At the Future of Academic Libraries Symposium, I had about 15 minutes to hear from the attendees about their own “heretical thoughts” about LIS education. Thanks to Dale Askey (@daskey) for capturing these while I lead the discussion:

Being more selective about who gets in to library school.

Cut down number of graduates; avoid overstocking the profession.

Deans/professors at conferences/forums, at thought leading/forming events. Where are they?

LIS schools need to manage expectations of profession; libraries are being unrealistic by demanding immediate gratification in the form of
perfectly fit graduates

Instructional design should be part of the mix

Internships integral? Yes, must be strong partnerships with host libraries and communities.

More critical thinking skills taught in library school. Crucial component.

Lighten up, be playful, take risks.

ALA accreditation? Enabler?

Teach MARC and cataloging as history course.

Reduce adjunctification, less online instruction by semi-skilled instructors, allow practitioners sans PhD into the teaching ranks as full-time faculty.

Create unflappable and intellectually curious self-starters.

Require work experience to enter library school (as support staff)


What would you add?

5 thoughts on “Office Hours Extra: Heretical Thoughts Sharing

  • Margaret Driscoll

    Michael, I’m so glad you’ve joined the ranks at SJSU SLIS! I’m not sure I’ll be able to take your course as I’m entering the final count-down to graduation, but I wish I’d seen your presentation that was apparently ‘heretical!’
    On that note, SJSU SLIS offers some pretty amazing course opportunities (i.e., not standard LIS fare?) including instructional design (K-12 or post-secondary emphasis), metadata, digitization & preservation, web design & accessibility, etc. — most taught be extremely skilled practitioners. I wish, of course, that courses like information literacy were REQUIRED, but maybe that’s the next step.

  • Margaret Driscoll

    Oh, and I forgot to mention courses such as Web 2.0 (with an emphasis on online communities, collaboration tools, reputation and branding), Virtual Services, Text/Data Mining, Archivists: Meet Web 2.0, Special Collections in a Web 2.0 World and the Open Movement & Libraries. All offered at SJSU SLIS.

  • Outside the Box

    Hooray for including instructional design and critical thinking skills. But “Being more selective about who gets in to library school”? If we cap enrollment, how do we pay increases in salary and benefits? Where does the money come from for more full-time faculty? Are tuition increases OK? “Require work experience to enter library school (as support staff).” Why? Does everyone who goes to library school have to work in a traditional library after graduation? Of course not. That type of thinking is not even close to heresy. It’s just old-fashioned. I would add: Start teaching modified versions of LIS courses to students in other disciplines. Why should we be the only ones who have these skills?

  • Amanda

    I graduated with my MLIS recently and have been struggling with how much my classmates don’t seem to care about librarianship as a profession. Often times they haven’t even heard of HUGE hooplahs like Harper Collins, don’t volunteer, intern, or want any practical experience. I wanted a challenging environment with people who were motivated and ready to go head to head with me. Instead… I got people who were scared of using their computer.

  • Naphtali

    The idea of requiring work experience for entrance into a library school, makes me nervous and mostly for selfish reasons. I would not have gotten into library school if this were a requirement as I entered grad school straight after my undergraduate degree. I had little work experience, period. I understand that, as a profession, we want to bring people in who know what libraries are about and we want those prospective students to know what they’re getting themselves into. But business schools do not require time spent in businesses. Law schools do not require their students to have spent time in law offices. Also, I think there is something valuable about having students who come into the profession without a strong attachment to how things were done either at their library or in the profession. Fresh eyes can bring fresh perspectives

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