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First Class

First class meeting we have two objectives as laid out by Prof Black:

  • Be prepared to speak for 4/5 mins on the possible doctoral dissertation you have in mind (you may have more than one option so cover these too) and how you think a knowledge of the history of LIS or simply a knowledge of appropriate areas of history might add value to your work. You may need to do a little thinking and research on this in advance.
  • Read the paper available at this URL as an example of how LIS has changed, considering where it has come from and in which direction it might be travelling:

Future of LIS Programs

My thoughts on the paper below


p. 3 "The impetus for CSU‘s review of its LIS curriculum was ultimately a combination of an organisational restructure, acknowledgement of changing knowledge and skill requirements from employers, and the limits of the library education market." He grounds all of the above with facts from reports, and other literature, with the exception of the "skill requirements from employers" Why aren't the Aus Ass of Libraries core competencies mentioned? And why does the author acknowledge the convergence of disciplines, but not requisite skill sets for LIS professions (I may be getting hasty here)

p 4. "it dominated a market, but that market was showing few signs of growth."

p 6 : "Fields such as informatics, information processing, and digital preservation are profoundly relevant to the modern librarian, and to all information professionals." But what are these professions? It is certainly wise to point these out but how do we sustain iSchools without clearly understanding what a profession in digital preservation is.

Speaking of Records and Information management he says "). Neighbouring disciplines such as Information Systems were not covering the gaps." But gaps implies that there are two skillsets unmatched. That is to say the archivist of today needs not just a grounding in the traditional archival science theory (largely concenred with manuscript curation) AND information systems, including database maintenance, encoding and programming skillsets.

Wha Wha, eat my words "Analysis also showed, however, that many of these ―non-library‖ areas are not supported by large numbers of professionals, even though they are populated by increasing numbers of end- users. Full-blown, stand-alone programs could not be justified on analyses of potential numbers of students and subsequent positions for them in the workforce." Which is so so so true.

So, instead of independent programs they created strands "In effect, the old Library and Information Management curriculum was stood on its head: instead of a library- oriented core and a scattering of non-library electives, the new curriculum started with an information-oriented core, and followed up with specialist courses that could be taken independently or as part of a particular specialisation, including various librarianship specialisations."

"Both the undergraduate and postgraduate generalist programs were restructured so as to accommodate a range of formal specialisations, offered in the final third of the programs, following a common core" Interesting, I wonder how this is achieved and how students feel gaining a core competency before specialisation. Would be nice to know what students intended to study before they gained CC and how that correlates with what they actually pursued. Also wonder if a better balance might be achieved, such as a 3-1 balance of courses.

(Worth Reading in future Seadle, M. and Greifeneder, E. (2007), ―Envisioning an iSchool curriculum‖, Information Research, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 1-11. [1] )

p13 "To transform programs from a focus on information practice in the specific location of libraries to programs that cover information practice more inclusively, independent of location, requires close engagement with various other information disciplines and fields, such as information technology, computer science, archives and records management, and information systems." But I didn't see evidence of this... How was this acheived? Other than the fellowship for new methods of delivery, there was no mention of the way that faculty members expertise fit (or did not fit) the new "strands" of specilization.

"Success is dependent on at least four key ingredients: faculty buy-in, faculty expertise, organisational support, and support from the various communities of practice." The latter point is important, but how do we engage alumni and communities of practices consistantly? Contextualization of internships? Adjunct Faculty? Professional Organizations?

My conclusions: Very big ideas were used in creating this curricula, especially with regards to terminology like HCI and informatics (not always properly explained). The need to widen the core knowledge of LIS students is apparent, and this seems like an infrastructure for achieving a balance of core information skills, and hybridized / blended specializations. I just wonder to what degree these curriculums will benefit students solely concerned with gaining professional the author alluded, it's a "chicken and egg" scenario; prepare students for future problems or prepare students for current positions that are quickly becoming obsolete. Personally, what I'd like to see any LIS program stress is the skill set to be continually learning, championing progressive professional development as a means of remaining relevant. It's undoubtedly beyond a school's capability to achieve this, but it's a facet that seems missing from any program that wants to be forward looking.