"The problem" with technology classes taught in library schools today "is that there is often a one size fits all approach to the classes," says JLY in the article "What Is Needed to Educate Future Digital Libraries." As someone currently enrolled in library school, I have to ask: Is this approach to library science education really problematic? Is it, in fact, resulting in the miseducation of soon-to-be digital librarians?, as the author of this article seems to be saying.
A library science class at Connors State College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1964.
photo source: http://www.connors.cc.ok.us/gallery
Before I address these questions, I have to commend JLY for asking us to consider the quality of the current state of library science education. Any action that prods educators to update their programs in order to better prepare students for an increasingly high-tech workforce is a positive, in my opinion.
But I don't agree with JLY's critique. I think that at the core-class level of library science education, a general approach to teaching technology skills is not a detriment - it's a necessity. At that level, the purpose of a one-size-fits-all approach is to give students of various backgrounds and abilities an overview of a subject that they can delve deeper into as they progress in their education. And at my library school, there "are different levels of technology classes that students can build upon" after completing a general course on technology as it applies to librarianship. Maybe that's not the case at the library school that JLY went to/is attending. If so, perhaps his/her article on the matter will nudge that school into the 21st century.
WeAreLibrarians.com * November 28, 2011
What Is Needed to Educate Future Digital Librarians
In Young Choi and Edie Rasmussen's What Is Needed to Educate Future Digital Librarians; A Study of Current Practice and Staffing Patterns in Academic and Research Libraries, they studied and surveyed 48 librarians from 39 insitutions. Here are their results: