Monday, March 02, 2009

March 2009 Issue of Info Trends Focuses on Education

There is a new issue of Info Career Trends. This month's edition deals with education:
  • To MLIS or not to MLIS?: "When considering whether to earn an MLIS, pay is just one variable. You also need to consider the transferability of the skillset, the value of professional training versus learning on the job, what librarians and other info pros are asked to do that the MLIS doesn’t cover, other options for professional training beyond the MLIS, and the value of the MLIS as a professional credential. Ultimately, how can career information workers ensure that we get the education and training we need to be successful?"
  • Learn by Doing: Hands-on education through internships: "The classroom provides an important channel for theoretical learning and information-sharing (whether in a classroom on the quest for your MLIS, or in an online continuing education seminar), but there is simply no replacement for practical on-the-job education. Interns are given the opportunity to work in a learning capacity, rather than being confined by a job description that can limit the ability to work in other areas. Further, interns are often encouraged to rotate among multiple departments or help develop new library projects and initiatives, all of which works to your educational advantage."
  • Four Skills I Wish I Learned in Library School: "When you are unable to learn such skills through formal coursework, how do you go about picking up related competencies? Below, find ways to learn several library-related skills. [deals with event planning, exhibit space design, marketing and project management]"
  • Seriously, Play!: "My educational experience in library school was wonderful, but we all know that we learn much more on the job than could possible be covered in school. However, I wish I had learned two things in particular before graduating: That playing is underrated and necessary, especially when learning new technology, and; How to make online library resources and services accessible to everyone. I learned these two lessons after my formal schooling ended, but believe they are important for all librarians to know."
  • No One Taught Me How to Teach: "Like many of my colleagues, I graduated from library school with no formal training in information literacy instruction. I knew that as an aspiring academic librarian, I would eventually have to teach — but I just figured I’d worry about it when the situation presented itself (...) After going through the recovery stages of teaching failure — blaming library school, blaming students, blaming myself, soothing pain with lattes — I set out to improve my teaching skills. Two years later, this process is far from complete. I’m constantly learning and growing as an instructor, but I have managed to take part in a number of professional development activities that have compensated for my lack of formal teaching training. If you too need to supplement a somewhat weak teaching background, there are some very concrete steps you can take to do so."
  • Everything I need to know… I didn’t learn in library school: "I admit that I jumped into librarianship without knowing exactly what I was getting into. I knew that I enjoyed helping people, investigating the unknown, and organizing information. What I didn’t know were the nitty-gritty details of a librarian’s day-to-day work life. Sure, I picked up a lot of clues while working on my master’s degree, but there are many things I wish I’d learned."
  • Determining your Niche through Continuing Education: "Having insight into the ongoing needs of my workplace helps me determine the direction of my continued education, which I feel is extremely important to my professional advancement: I evaluated my previous education and experience to decide what additional skills I need to maintain and increase my value in the field; I decided what areas I’m truly interested in learning more about; I considered what areas the library I work in and the field as a whole tend to lack; Finally, I determined how to go about finding the training and funding necessary to sharpen my skill sets."
  • Skill Check: Utilizing Your Nontraditional Library Education: "During graduate school, I found my classes composed of teachers, social workers, businessmen, stay-at-home moms, religion majors, philosophy minors, secretaries, musicians, and lawyers (...) What weren’t similar, though, were the responses about the education and career paths my classmates took to end up sitting in a library class. This intrigued me. How could so many individuals, with so many different interests, be motivated to enter the same profession? I believe this is because librarianship embraces, not only the library skills you learned in your cataloging class and collection development course, but also the skills you learned as a business major, as a candidate for your Juris Doctor, as a biologist, or as a history major. It offers an opportunity to maintain your interest in anthropology, psychology, business, or religion, while also forging a new interest in information services – the best of both worlds."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:28 pm


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