Office Hours: The LIS/Library Divide

My new “Office Hours” column is up:

Other professions (though not journalism) have strict continuing education (CE) requirements. CE, mostly carried out by consortia and state or national associations, is not as formalized for us. Consider this another call for professional development “with teeth.” Professional librarians should be expected to be always adding skills and knowledge as part of their duties. Formalizing a rigorous process says we mean business. Wafting through a few conference sessions, sitting with a group for a webinar over the lunch hour, or spending a desk shift doing “professional reading” should yield to more active and transparent forms of learning. Could massive open online courses (MOOCs) for CE be an avenue to explore? I’m hoping to know more about that after our Hyperlinked Library MOOC this fall.

Emily Weak commented:

I agree that the gap between LIS educators and practicing librarians needs to be addressed. I recently worked with Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School to put together a survey of employers, where they could talk about the ability of the MLIS to prepare librarians for employment, as well as their ideas of the skills and experiences that MLIS students should have.

We’ve received 291 responses so far, and are still collecting, even though we’ve started sharing results. It’s been an interesting conversation between students, instructors and employers. We’re posting not only statistics and analysis, but individual responses here:

Take a look at the link for more!