Monday, February 25, 2008

How Well Are Library Schools Preparing Graduates for Web 2.0?

The most recent issue of ARIADNE, a British journal for library and information professionals, is now available.

In it, there is an article entitled Web 2.0 in U.S. LIS Schools: Are They Missing the Boat? that argues that the current curriculum in library graduate-level programs in North American universities (including Canadian faculties despite the title) is not adequately preparing students to deal with the rapid changes in the information landscape known as Web 2.0 and Library 2.0:
"Several researchers have argued that libraries will be only one part of the information society, and not necessarily the most important one. Librarians will become a small part of the growing body of information workers, since responding to the challenges of information management will require knowledge and skills from disciplines traditionally considered peripheral to LIS. Furthermore, education for LIS should expand, beyond skills and technology, to include new cognitive, social and situational processes (...)"

"The KALIPER Report identified several trends that demonstrated active movement towards a change in the education of information professionals for libraries and other information environments. The first trend was the change that LIS underwent at the end of the twentieth century, from a library-focused model to an information-focused paradigm. Another trend referred to two related areas – increased user-centeredness and increased inter-disciplinarity. The third trend related to the increased investment by LIS programmes in Information and Communication Technology and its inclusion in their curricula (...)"

"This preliminary survey indicates that LIS schools in the United States are not adequately prepared for the rapid changes in Web technology and use. It seems that the LIS programmes have not yet internalised the importance of the new, changing and dynamic innovations that are taking place in their environment. These programmes do not offer full courses that deal with the new concept of Web 2.0, and only a few of them include several issues which are based on Web 2.0 in their courses."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:40 pm

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