Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Librarianship with specialization in a field: Works Well or Does Not Work?

Specialization in librarianship is age old, nothing new. But, adding an MBA, is indeed news to some--This is not about Ph.D., or wearing many professional hats / multi-tasking, or Jack of all trades and master of none.

Another quick thought. Most library schools, in India and abroad have special librarianship, as a part of the master's (universities, DRTC, etc.) program. DRTC / INSDOC in India, have been leading the world in introducing content and approach from fields, such as, MBA, Engineering and other practice oriented fields. In this context, not so sure, if there are indepth and recent studies that compare the market value (salaries, job opportunities, status among other faculty, professional outcomes, etc.) of a university based masters versus DRTC / INSDOC trained librarians.

Reading now:
The MBA and Academic Business Librarians: More than Graduate Education for Subject Specialists.
By: McGuigan, Glenn S.. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 2008, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p405-417, 13p, 1 Chart; DOI: 10.1080/08963560802183179

For the purposes of academic business librarians, the curriculum within an MBA program should provide an introduction to various areas of specialized knowledge and enhance their abilities to engage effectively in their responsibilities as subject specialists. As related by the Education Committee of the Business Reference & Services Section (BRASS, 2006), core competencies for business knowledge include (but are not necessarily limited to) accounting, advertising and marketing, banking, company and industry research, insurance, international business, investment and finance, jobs and human resources, small business, and taxation. These subject areas would be addressed by most MBA programs that may categorize fields of study in the areas of accounting, finance, management, marketing, operations management, and increasingly, information systems.
Familiarity with studying these topics within a classroom setting should strengthen the subject specialist's abilities in assisting students who are doing research for these very same courses.

... As Liu and Allen (2001) explained, the vast difference in salaries between academic business librarians and those in the private sector with an MBA "reflect the fact that librarianship is not in a very advantageous competitive position when compared with business jobs. Accordingly, it is not surprising that relatively few academic business librarians have business degrees" (p. 559). Therefore, unless a drastic change takes place, the environment of a labor shortage for qualified, academic business librarians will continue.

According to Bharat Chaudhari, and his comment at Linkedin, the following two Universities are offering MBA in Business Librarianship and Library Management degrees:
1. University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill, USA
2. University of Hull, UK

On the same shelf:
  • MBA for Librarians Series | ALA Connect
  • The Countries You May Like to Go with your American / Canadian MLIS - A literature survey
  • Factors in success or failure of foreign-trained librarians in Canada
  • ALA‐APA Programs for the People MBA for Librarians Series
  • A New Look at the Background and Work Experience of Business Librarians. Perret, Robert. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, Jan-Mar2011, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p46-66,
  • Librarians' Education in the Age of Knowledge: Consideration of Skills, Methods, and Tools Akram Fathian Dastgerdi
  • What Is *She* Doing Here? Crafting a Professional Identity as a Digital Humanist/Librarian, Lisa Spiro
    So should humanities PhDs who wish to work in a library get a library degree? An MLS certainly does have value. By getting a library degree, you not only develop useful skills such as managing collections, creating metadata, and overseeing digitization projects, but you also attain professional certification and a professional network (Danley). However, several library directors have told me not to bother with getting a library degree, since my PhD and work experience more than prepared me for my position—but they did suggest getting an MBA.
  • Starkey, Jennifer. "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Getting a Second Master’s
    Degree But Were Afraid To Ask
    ." (Dec 2006)
  • M.S. in Library and Information Science/Specialization in Public Librarianship.
  • Early Career Librarianship in the Business Library, by Gene (EUGENE) Hayworth. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, Volume 13, Issue 3, 2008; Special Issue: Career Paths and Career Development of Business Librarians
  • Leadership or Management: Expectations for Head of Reference Services in Academic Libraries Felix E. Unaeze
  • Collaborative Convergence: Merging Computing and Library Services at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, Jason Frand and Robert Bellant
  • Can’t Get No Respect: Helping Faculty to Understand the Educational Power of Information Literacy, William B. Badke
  • Corporate librarian or corporate climber? Understanding your skills and communicating their value can help you pursue a career path outside a library ... An article from: Information Outlook, Amy Maule
  • The Need for Subject Librarians in Ghanaian Academic Libraries
  • Careers in Preservation Librarianship - LIScareer
  • Subject specialization in a liaison librarian program
  • Career Paths and Career Development of Business Librarians, Diane Zabel
  • Should librarians be considered professionals? May 1, 2012 — Graham Lavender

  • Wednesday, March 07, 2012

    Chris Brown Syed - Obituary

    Chris's picture @ Academia:

    Short bio at Linkedin and
    and obituaries at
    Funeral date and details are up @ Facebook:
    Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be at the Smith’s Funeral Home, 1167 Guelph Line (one stoplight north of QEW) BURLINGTON (905-632-3333) on Friday, March 23 from 3:00- 5:00 and 7:00 – 9:00. A funeral mass will take place at St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church 4072 New Street Burlington Saturday March 24 at 10:30 AM, Internment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery 600 Spring Gardens Road Burlington with a reception to follow at the cemetery.

    ...Unfortunately, Chris's mother died within days of his passing. We will be having a double funeral. The times have not been set but the weekend will be the 23/24 - visitation Friday night and a funeral mass on Saturday. The funeral home arranging all of this is Smith's FH in Burlington
    I received the following message, about his departure:
    Bio update:

    Suddenly at home in Burlington on Tuesday March 6 2012, Chris in his 61st year. Beloved father of Colin and Kiera, dear friend and former husband of Terri Lyons. Cherished son of recently deceased Betty Syed. Much loved cousin of Mark (Maggee) Brown and Melanie (Michael) Robson and nephew of Anne Brown. Chris was a brilliant man with many unique talents (papermaking, Old Norse, playing the bagpipe) that endeared him to many. After taking a first degree in film production, and subsequent master's degrees in librarianship and philosophy, he obtained a PhD, in the area of Library and Information Sciences from the University of Toronto in 1996. Along the way, he spent a few years studying things medieval as a non-degree student, and once traveled overland from the UK to India and back with the Commonwealth Expedition, led by Lionel Gregory OBE. Chris taught at Wayne State, University of Buffalo, Arizona, Seneca College, etc. One of his greatest satisfactions was that he had an impact on many students and future librarians throughout North America. Chris was a strong supporter of the Liberal party in Burlington and canvassed for multiple candidates over the years. His proudest accomplishments though were his two teenage children....

    It is with great regret that we inform you that Chris Brown-Syed has suddenly passed away. Chris has been teaching at Seneca since Spring of 2003.

    He had been an Editor of the journal, "Library and Archival Security", and author of the recent book, "Parents of Invention: The Development of Library Automation Systems in the Late 20th Century". Santa Barbara, CA : Libraries Unlimited, 2011.

    After taking a first degree in film production, and subsequent master's degrees in librarianship and philosophy, he obtained a PhD, in the area of the geopolitics of information from the University of Toronto in 1996. Along the way, he spent a few years studying things medieval as a non-degree student, and once traveled overland from the UK to India and back with the Commonwealth Expedition, led by Lionel Gregory OBE. .
    Chris worked as a computer operator for the British firm Plessey, and later headed the North American training group for the Library Systems Division of Geac Computers. This involved much travel - across the US and Canada, and to the UK and Australia.

    His areas of interest include the geopolitics of information, library automation and security, history and philosophy. He taught full-time in Michigan and New York, and part-time in Arizona, Illinois, California, and Ontario, Canada.

    This is a great loss to our community. He will be sadly missed.
    Christopher was a good human being and an intellectual, worth envying. On such sad moments, we are reminded the words of the wise: To God we belong, and to Him is our return. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

    On the same shelf:
  • More about Chris Brown-Syed, at his website [PS. The Website Is Down, Now], Try this link, he called it alternate / here

  • Parents of Invention: The Development of Library Automation Systems in the Late 20th Century by Christopher Brown-Syed
  • COMPUTING: An entry from Macmillan Reference USA's Encyclopedia of Communication and Information by CHRISTOPHER BROWN-SYED