Poll: Most Valuable Areas of Study
01/03/2012 5 Comments
I suspect no graduate program is without its critics. That can be both good and bad. On one hand, institutional criticism suggests students and new professionals are eager for challenging study in the most relevant applicable areas. Unfortunately, it often suggests that graduate programs are deficient in too many important areas. Perhaps no professional degree is met with as much scrutiny from its own candidates as the graduate library degree. Particularly in the last few years, as the field has negotiated tremendous issues of technological applications, Google, ebooks, and funding crises, current and former library students have created a patchwork of curricular assessment that seems to hang in the ether over Libraryland like a giant storm system. Whether anonymous complaints or constructive collaboration of blogsites like Hack Library School, there seems to be no shortage of suggested alterations to the accepted library school course catalog.
Some areas of knowledge and skill I find particularly useful to current librarians:
- Social media and public profiles
- Programs, partnerships, and outreach
- Fundamentals of semantic web
- Research methods and information evaluation
- Print and digital collections
There are other great assets, for sure–writing skill, management savvy, special collections, and digital media tools, to name a few. But given the way most programs are currently structured, I’m interested to see what people think are the most valuable areas. Which courses should be required of the MLIS and which should be left to the student’s election?