Librarian Education

LSU recommends closure of MLIS program

LSU has recommended closure of the Master of Library and Information Sciences program due to budget cuts. The MLIS program at LSU is the only one in Louisiana.

http://www.lsu.edu/chancellor/budget/updates.htm

Here's an opinion piece on the closing from the News Star.

School Librarians 'A Dying Breed'? Update from Australia

More than 90 per cent of teacher-librarians in Australia are believed to be over 40, compared to half of teachers generally. Many teacher-librarians also retire early because of a lack of promotional opportunities reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Meanwhile, there are just four tertiary courses nationally to train them, from a peak of 15, and only about 100 graduates a year.

Library associations say job security is poor, discouraging potential students. In Victoria, rationalisation during the Kennett era and dwindling budgets has meant many principals have chosen to hire extra classroom teachers instead of librarians to reduce class sizes.

''The view is that libraries are not important because students just access information online,'' Mrs Ellingworth told The Sunday Age. ''But the thing is, students have got information overload. They don't know where to start.''

Ms Ellingworth conducts sessions for students on finding, assessing and publishing information safely on the internet. But she would like to offer the students more.

''We used to have specific library programs … but now we work with teachers and classes..''

Are public libraries glorified babysitting services

"My town officials think all we're running here is a babysitting service" a librarian recently shared in a moment of frustration. She went on to mention studies about the proven impact on cognitive abilities when toddlers are actively engaged in library programs like Lapsit versus passively engaged with toys & videos.

This was news to me; my how the educational product companies and toy manufacturers had shaped my understanding! I also hadn't thought of toddler programs as educational initiatives. When I've seen adults and toddlers together at the library, I've usually thought "oh, aren't those kids adorable" and "I'm glad people are getting together to have fun". Though it now seems obvious, the educational and literacy component of Lapsit was lost on me.

This last point was intriguing, so I did some quick research. I googled "Lapsit" and got plenty of results from library websites around the country. I clicked through to the top 20 (all different libraries, by chance) and searched for the terms literacy and education in the page content, in images or as part of the navigation.

  • 80% made no mention of literacy or education in conjunction with Lapsit
  • 20% contained the term literacy
  • 10% contained the terms literacy and education

Clearly these stats don't tell the whole story, but they tell a good one about the help libraries need presenting information to the public.

********* -- Read More

Academic Libraries

Academic libraries are different than public libraries when it comes to the patrons they serve, but one thing that is the same--disasters and crime. On any given day librarians and staff must be prepared to deal with episodes of theft, inappropriate behavior from patrons in the library, natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes on the east coast and even earthquakes, all of which can do untold damage to collections and the lives of those who work in libraries. Additionally, on college and secondary campuses it seems that we are reminded frequently that there are unstable individuals that care nothing about taking someone's life. Should this cause panic in how we handle the daily activities, the answer is no; however it should cause concern and action. Develop a strong disaster preparedness plan and familiarize yourself and your staff with the necessary steps to take if a disaster strikes. While it is sometimes easy to be amused by the stupid things that people do, we should never forget the seriousness of the actions that a few can take or the consequences of mother nature having a bad day. http://cool.conservation-us.org/bytopic/disasters/

Did You Meet The Love of Your Life @ Library School?

Clarion University of Pennsylvania has a page on Facebook, and is inviting its members to relate stories of how they met their significant other at library school. They also have a page of couples photos on the site.

Here's their page on facebook; as Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, please add your own love story in the comments. Did you meet that someone special at a lecture, in the library, in the cafeteria or at the gym? Let us know, and of course where & when you went to library school.

Thanks to Kelly Palma for the tip!

Rutgers sure has hubris

After taking the word "library" out of its name last spring, filibustering an Alumni Association meeting that was supposed to pass a resolution against this change, and various other nasties, Rutgers SCILS (now "SCI") has been hitting up its library school alumni for money! Of all the nerve...

No particular link (it was an email), but here's the original debate:
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6645615.html

Gates Foundation Funding International Library Program at UI

The Gates Foundation will help the University of Illinois train librarians from around the world. The two-year $484,000 contract with the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will support a training program for public librarians in other countries.

The Mortenson Center has already worked with librarians from more than 80 countries, and the money will expand that work to two more nations selected by the foundation, said Barbara Ford, director of the Mortenson Center. Report from The News Gazette.

The Global Libraries initiative works with countries that demonstrate a need and a readiness to help public libraries provide free access to computers and the Internet, and training on how to make use of these tools.

For the current project, the foundation is looking at Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Chile, Mexico and Botswana.

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs is the only one of its kind in the world and was established in 1991. It is a nondegree program that seeks to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians, regardless of geographic location or access to technology.

RSS feeds from Library Journal

Library Journal's headlines as soon as they are posted with LJ’s RSS feed.

These include:

Library Journal - Latest News
Library Journal - Academic Libraries
Library Journal - ALA Annual Conference News
Library Journal - Careers News and Features
Library Journal - Tenopir Online DB
and many more

See: See RSS feeds from Library Journal

Managing "favorites" in iBistro library catalogs

If your library has "tell me when..." options for users to receive email alerts when new items are added to the catalog, you may be interested in this instructional material- it's easy to add favorites in iBistro, but figuring out how to remove them is far less obvious....
See the instructional videos at the Delaware Library Catalog blog here

This is the story of a struggling librarian from Uganda

The incoming chair of the Petroleum & Energy Resources Division [DPER] of SLA dropped us a link to an interesting librarian.

This is the story of a struggling librarian from Uganda, Africa and how the Petroleum & Energy Division [DPER] of SLA has sponsored his membership in SLA and now DPER is fundraising to help bring Stephen Kizza to the 2010 SLA meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. The division board members feel that this very positive story demonstrates the power of SLA networking and how SLA members help one another. DPER International Relations Chair, Dennie Heye of Shell in the Netherlands said, "I want the world to know the power of SLA and networking. I hope it inspires others to do the same with peers in lesser developed nations." -- Read More

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