D-Lib has an article about a new grant-funded partnership between the library and information studies departments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Indiana University at Bloomington to develop a program in digital libraries. They will offer it as part of the masters curriculum and as a post-masters program:
The project directors envision two programs that couple the theoretical orientation of graduate library education with the “real world” of work in academic digital libraries. This project will help guide other graduate library schools across the country that are struggling with 1) attracting the best and the brightest to the library profession and 2) educating students and practicing librarians who are excited about employment opportunities in digital library programs. From our own experience and our discussions in both informal and structured settings, we know that this need exists. We are gathering information from numerous sources, including digital library professionals, recent LIS graduates and current students now working in digital library development, and job ads for librarians in a variety of digital library jobs. These data will be used to made recommendations on the modification of existing courses and the creation of new courses as part of a Digital Library Specialization.
Check out their program site for more info.
Very cool! I wish they’d had this program when I was looking at library schools (though, at the time, in-state tuition and not leaving my husband — boyfriend at the time — were my criteria for choosing a school). It’s nice to see some recognition of the “real world” in a library school curriculum. The skills that many libraries are asking their job candidates to have often aren’t the things that are being taught in library schools. I wonder what Michael Gorman would say about this. 😉
Gorman is doubtless apoplectic. [expletive] Gorman.
I wonder who they’re going to find to teach, though. I do wonder that. The typical Ph.D doesn’t know jack squat about this stuff. And if they’re not planning to hire typical Ph.Ds, who *are* they planning to hire, pray tell?
Some of the best teachers I’ve had in both of my masters degree programs were adjuncts who didn’t have a PhD at all (though some did have one as well), but had tons of practical experience in the subjects they were teaching. Those classes were so much more grounded in the “real world.” I’d assume that they’ll have a mix of people who are experts in the field and people who are career academics, but I certainly don’t know what their plans are. I hope you of all people don’t think a non-PhD can’t teach a class in the LIS curriculum, Dorothea.
Good Lord, no. In fact, I’ve offered to teach a markup-and-metadata course for SLIS this fall.
But for budgetary-political reasons, it’s unwise to rely entirely on a force of adjuncts, and doubly unwise to *say* that’s what you’re doing. Programs rely on tenure-track “lines,” not adjuncts, to stay alive. So I do wonder how they’re finessing the whole thing.
May ask these questions on CavLec, I’m just *that* curious.