<$BlogRSDURL$>
Christina's LIS Rant
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
  Library School Curricula... IMHO
Based on Meredith's posts and some thoughts I've been mulling over. You know, Marine officers are required to successfully complete The Basic School - it teaches infantry skills, basically - regardless of whether they are to become lawyers, supply officers, Naval aviators, or in fact infantry officers. All of the officers have to have undergraduate degrees with certain history, government, language, and other courses. They also have to go through follow on school for whatever their actual work will be. Granted, their life is much harder and it costs lives if officers can't lead -- but my point in mentioning this is that the Marines have a brand and a world-recognized image. If you meet a former Marine officer, you know that she can shoot, she can navigate, and she can lead -- regardless of whether she graduated TBS last year or a decade ago. They are -- across the board -- competent.

If you meet a librarian -- what can you say about her? You should be able to assume that she knows:
(see also SLA's Core Competencies)

There are many librarians who spend their entire careers happy as a Librarian I. They have no intention of moving up. In fact, many libraries are very flat in structure so this may be a good thing (as there's no where to go).

I disagree with a couple of Meredith's points:
1) ability to troubleshoot new technologies -- well this would be nice, but I've known some very effective librarians who tried really hard and just couldn't get the mindset for this. As long as at least one person each shift can do it... Troubleshooting really is a way of going about things -- it's not something you really learn in school but you can learn to follow a protocol (check to see if it's plugged in, try to reboot, try to get to an external web page...).
2) ability to easily learn new technologies (emphasis mine) -- this is so not fair. I'm really fearless as anyone who knows me is aware -- I'll flip switches to see what they do, try all the links to see where they go -- but there are librarians who struggle every step of the way. They do it and they continue to fight the good fight, and they get there ... with lots of handwritten notes on crumpled pieces of paper that they carry with them everywhere... but they do get there. Saying someone should learn "easily" -- it's more a willingness to learn that's important. For some, each new thing fits into a pattern and a little experimentation will get the basics. For others, each new thing is an entirely new thing.


All librarians have to understand customer service. That should be beat into them every step of the way. It doesn't matter if you're a cataloger or keep up the systems, or what -- it's all about the customer/user/patron (whatever you're calling those people for whom you exist). Librarians need to talk to and with the community they serve whether that community is elementary school children, undergraduates, or research scientists. Even if they are in some of the behind the scenes positions they should demand user feedback and do usability testing.

Library managers must have follow on training (even at the Librarian II level or even if you're a solo librarian fresh out of school) on how to foster creativity, innovation, and how to lead. Technical report writing and proposal writing should be prerequisites for library school (what did you learn in junior English if not that?)

I hope to add to this later ... time to go exercise my customer service skills :)
 
Comments: Post a Comment


Links to this post:

Create a Link

Powered by Blogger

This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

Site Feed (ATOM)

Add to My Yahoo!

Creative Commons License
Christina's LIS Rant by Christina K. Pikas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
Most Recent Posts
-- Web of Science Updates...
-- A poem on Open Access from Stevan Harnad for Frida...
-- Notes on Collaboration Expedition 52: Wikis
-- Oh for crying out loud...
-- Playing with IE7, search block...
-- Why "visual search"
-- Social web & Informal Learning
-- There's handouts and then there are handouts...
-- LISNews.org | Statement from W. David Penniman Dea...
-- No wonder IT doesn't want to support blogging...
ARCHIVES
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 / 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 / 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 / 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 / 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 / 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 / 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 / 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 / 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 / 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 / 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 / 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 / 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 / 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 / 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 / 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 / 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 / 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 / 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 / 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 /

Some of what I'm scanning

Locations of visitors to this page

Search this site
(gigablast)

(google api)
How this works

Where am I?

N 39 W 76