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


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