This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Back To Schedule
Thursday, February 8 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Curriculum SIG: Practitioner Input in Curriculum Design: Is Our Present Model Working?

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

This panel discussion consisting of LIS Educators and Practitioners will be a continuation of the successful 2017 discussion on this topic. 
While it is recognized that library and information graduates are still required to be taught core theories, knowledge, and skills while at university, employers are increasingly demanding them to have additional skills to enable them to function as competent information professionals (Stephens & Hamblin, 2006, p. 224). A study on perceived preparedness of recent graduates by Creel and Pollicino (2012) still supports this. They surveyed both recent MLS graduates and practitioners. It revealed that there are still larger gaps between the two sides and suggested service learning projects and course work may need to be reexamined within the curriculum.
            In a panel discussion at the ALISE 2016 Conference, Abbas, Garnar, Kennedy, Kenney, Luo, and Stephens (2016) concluded that research is necessary to inform LIS education and practice but that numerous barriers place constraints on this process (p. 94).  One of those barriers is that there is a need to establish relationships with practitioners and to involve them in the research. Because they are not frequently involved in research, the focus may not be on issues important to practitioners. 
             While it is important for LIS research to inform practice, it is also important to curriculum development that LIS faculty are aware of exactly what skills and knowledge practitioners are expecting of new graduates and the types of positions being created. In a perfect world, educators and practitioners would have plenty of time to read research and follow position advertisements, but this does not happen on a regular basis. Serendipitous discovery of new job titles may take place when educators attend the ALA conferences and attend meetings geared toward LIS Education such as the ACRL LIS Education Interest Group.  At the ALA Midwinter 2016, it was discovered that positions such as Assessment Librarian and Instructional Design Librarian were being advertised. It is important for educators to learn of these types of jobs in a timely fashion and not have this knowledge bogged down in the time it takes to publish an article.   
            As many library schools implement internship programs, it might be wise to review the programs where all parties can meet together. Bird and Crumpton (2014) presented their case study with internships in an attempt to propose a model where all parties, the student, practitioner supervisor, and the LIS educator, can get benefits from the internship. They introduced Crowley’s (2005) proposal, ‘The Real Learning Connections project’ where faculty could help practitioners with literature reviews; librarians could use those to create evaluation or assessment activities that have a theoretical basis; and researchers could conduct interviews with librarians about best practices and use those results in their classrooms. Bird and Crumpton also suggested mentorship programs between librarians and students as one of the models.
            There have been some collaborative works between practitioner and academic programs (Mehra, Black, Singh, & Nolt, 2011; Richardson, 2010; Simmons & Corrall, 2010). In Richardson’s (2010) report, the author presented a review of a practitioner-based teaching model for the Maters Science in Information and Library Management (ILM) at the University of the West of England (UWE) where the courses were taught and developed by the practitioners. The review revealed positive results that the model is meeting student and employer needs in terms of the skills they require in their future roles. This might be obvious but it is important to reflect the needs of employers in our profession. The findings also questioned how one can ensure the involvement of practitioners and how one can maintain the balance of academic and practical skill in the future of the course.
             Even with recognition of the importance of collaboration with practitioners for our LIS curriculum, there is not a mechanism for practitioners to inform educators on the requirements of the field and this needs to be developed. This panel discussion consisting of LIS Educators and Practitioners will be a continuation of the successful 2017 discussion on this topic to consider just how this could be accomplished. 
Panel composition: LIS educators: Linda Lillard, Professor, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; YooJin Ha, Associate Professor, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Cecilia L. Salvatore, Associate Professor,  Dominican University; Nora J. Bird, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Practitioners: Michael Crumpton, Assistant Dean for Administrative Services at University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Jason Coleman, Head of Library User Services, Kansas State University Libraries

Abbas, J., Garnar, M., Kennedy, M., Kenney, B., Luo, L., & Stephens, M. (2016). Bridging the            divide: Exploring LIS research and practice in a panel discussion at the ALISE '16            conference.   Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 57 (2), 94-100.
Bird, N. J., & Crumpton, M. A. (2014). Real learning connections: Questioning the learner in the            LIS internship.   Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 55 (2), 89-99.
Creel, S. L., & Pollicino, E. B. (2012). Practitioners' & LIS students' perceptions on preparedness             in the New York metropolitan area.  Education For Information, 29 (1), 53-69.
Crowley, W. A. (2005). Spanning the theory-practice divide in library and information science.             Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.
Mehra, B., Black, K., Singh, V., & Nolt, J. (2011). Collaborations between LIS education and             rural libraries in the Southern and Central Appalachia: Improving librarian technology             literacy and management training.  Journal Of Education For Library & Information             Science, 52 (3), 238-247.
Richardson, A. (2010). Practitioner involvement in teaching LIS at UWE.   Aslib             Proceedings, 62 (6), 605-614.
Simmons, M., & Corrall, S. (2010). The changing educational needs of subject librarians: A            survey of UK practitioner opinions and course content.  Education For Information, 28 (1),            21-44.
Stephens, D., & Hamblin, Y. (2006). Employability skills: Are UK ILM departments meeting             employment needs?" New Library World, 107( 1224/1225), 218-227.

Thursday February 8, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm MST
Cotton Creek II