First annual LSJ Emerging Leaders special issue

Library Student Journal believes that in many ways the average LIS student today understands the average user better than does the average LIS professional. We have new and exciting ideas. We see information needs in new places (and new worlds). We can, and should, make a vital contribution to the LIS field while we are still students.

Do you have a colleague who is doing innovative research? Have you met someone at a conference whose blog you read daily because it inspires you to think in new ways? Has a classmate come up with a creative new way to address a current problem in your local library?

If so, we want to hear about these people!

To nominate an emerging leader, please send us the following:
1. Full name, school affiliation and email address, of nominee.
2. Reason for nomination. Try to be as specific as possible - which project, event, concept makes this person an emerging leader.
3. Your full name, affiliation and email address.
Send your nomination to librarystudentjournal [at] gmail [dot] com, and be sure to put "Nomination" in the subject line.

The special issue will appear in April 2008.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at the email below.
Check out the journal at


"Library Student Journal believes that in many ways the average LIS student today understands the average user better than does the average LIS professional."

One word rebuttal: BULL!

Exactly what do they understand that a professional with 5, 10, 20, or 30 years of experience doesn't understand?

Those students may have a better understanding of some things. No doubt there are some people who've been around for 30 years who just stopped caring long ago, but those veterans also know more about some things that the students don't.

This 40 year old MLIS degreed former public librarian with 2 additional subject matter Masters degrees and a law degree who works for a Big4 firm thinks that in many ways the average LIS student today is a moron.

See this peer reviewed journal article for why he thinks that:

It's kinda like the doctor issue. Do you want someone who's fresh out of med. school and has been trained in the latest techniques or do you want someone who's had 30 years of experience?

And is worried about his tee time in an hour, his retirement in 6 months, paying for his kids college next year, and then what's wrong with you, in that order.

I've been thinking there's a bell curve to careers, people seem to hit a peak at some point, and then as they feel like they've paid their dues and are ready to retire they stop caring so much. They worry about kitchen remodles, motor homes and the DJIA.

That's been exactly my experience with Doctors especially.

That's just what I've seen, obvious exceptions occure all the time. If you're offended you might just be on the wrong side of that curve. I have enough experience to know my experiences aren't the same as everyone elses.

I am horrible at Halo, DDR, and Guitar Hero-- so I guess all the N00bs got me there.

I am a first year library student and I do not have a lot of library experience, so maybe it is not my place to say, but even I know that libraries are not exactly bastions of innovation. This is the second blog comment by a professional I have read today that insinuated that library students think that Guitar Hero is an important part of librarianship. I think this is sort of missing the point.

A lot of the comments on this subject have been very defensive and negative. Personally, I think we students do have a fresh perspective to offer and I do not think that is such a horrible thing (no matter what an peer-reviewed APA article might say:)

Now if you don't mind I'm going off to synch my wiki-videogame to my ipod blog podcast.

It is possible that some of the younger LIS students (let's say those just out of high school, going straight into college and then grad school) are much more comfortable and knowledgeable about technology and LIS technology related applications, software, etc. (this could be things even like Meebo, Facebook that libraries are now using) than some people currently in the profession. as a 30-something, I have no problem saying the librarians younger than I have even more knowledge in these areas than I do...

I graduated from library school not much more than a year ago, and I would like anyone to actually define the "average" LIS student to me. My class included every ethnicity, multiple nations, ages 21-75, etc

I found the average LIS student to be quite enthusiastic, with a desire to help people and a genuine love of books. However I also found the unprepared for graduate study - frankly most were not prepared for undergraduate study. Many of them lacked basic skills and most of them were innumerate.

In every group project assigned in my cohort it was either myself of another student that did the bulk of the work, we found that many others were either slackers or incapable of doing the assigned work.

That said I found the at least one their of the instructors to be sub par. the most egregious example of this was the instructor that taught Database Management Systems - which in actuality was an introduction to MS Access. He insisted that DB2 was an operating system. He did however enjoy spending a great deal of time attempting to fornicate with the co-eds.

Library school, at least the two with which I am quite familiar is not much harder than a parochial high school.

So perhaps you might wish to reassess your question. Since there are both qualatative and quantative measures one cannot define the average LIS student any more than you can define the average waiter, or senator. One can use statistical measures to find the mean age of LIS students, the mode to find that most LIS students are white, and one can simply assume that the majority of LIS students in US schools are going to be American. If we were to use my library school class as a model we can also use the mode to find that most students are female.

If fact in library school I did just that and found that statistical measurements reveal a white woman slightly older than 38 who was born in the area commonly defined as the midewest. She has just under two children and none of those with children had children who had not started school (including children >5yoa who are homeschooled) 74% of the respondents reported being heterosexual, 4% reported being homosexual and 22% did not respond to that question.
Amazingly they are quite responsive when responding to anyonomous online surveys (password protected and available only to students in the LIS) as 84% of those invited participated at least in part.

If you really want the complete results I can dig them up somewhere. I can only fund the .ppt on my hard drive. The study was done in 2003.