Sunday, January 06, 2008

Uneasy tensions in LIS Education

This article covers the training and education of librarians.

Education for 21st century librarianship continues to face many of the uneasy tensions that have been present since its beginnings in the 19th century. Some of the tensions facing Library and Information Science Education:

Tension # 1: Generalization versus specialization

There's always been a tension between specialization and generalization in the history of the development of Library Science as an academic discipline (at least in the United States). I guess you could say both have won or maybe they co-exist uneasily? For example, one can still get a graduate degree in Library and Information Science with just about 12 courses. In some schools such as the University of Arizona's School of Information Resources and Library Science the generalization-specialization is exhibited in the following ways: graduate students can specialize in an area of study such as Knowledge Organization. The specialization is a core intellectual problem area of LIS - see this article in D-Lib Magazine for more. Or they can specialize in a particular information environment such asSchool Library Media certification.

Tension #2: Practice versus Theory

Tension #3: 1 year versus 2 year graduate degree

Tension #4: Education for Information (the I word) versus Education for Library Science (the L word) or is it LIS Education?

Tension #5: Cataloging education versus Knowledge organization (or organization of information) approaches

Tension #6: Distance learning versus classroom delivery

The Williamson report on library education chastised librarians and called them "prejudiced" even in this regard for failing to take advantage of new technologies that would provide access (to library education through DE - distance education) to rural areas.

Tension #7: Crisis Criers - if we believe some folks LIS education has been in crisis now for over a hundred years in the US (since inception in fact). continue reading @

Education - LISWiki

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