University of Illinois : "Librarians are social workers, DVD clerks,..

and libraries are unemployment offices."

Or so this article seems to say when it reported that the University of Illinois is attempting to merge the Graduate School of Library and Information Science with the College of Media, the School of Labor and Employment Relations, and the School of Social Work.

But librarians have been saying the same for years, that we've become babysitters, video stores and time-wasting centers for the unemployed and the unemployable.

So why shouldn't college reflect the true nature of the work?

The most important factor I can see in favor of the merger is that a report concluded that combining the schools would create "intellectual synergies."

Oh. My. God. Haven't we all been saying this? That we need greater opportunities for intellectual synergy? I have it tattooed right here on my left butt cheek. Oh, crap, the tattoo guy spelled synergy wrong. It looks like it says, Syndy. That's what you get when you go to a guy who tattoos strippers all day.

What amazes me most about this story is that the Illinois law school has 735 students and the library school has 713 students enrolled in the current class. It just surprises me that the classes are about the same size. But of course, the law students are willing to pay out about 3 times more money for their education, so the university prizes them more.

I'm against the merger. I don't have any loyalty to the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, but I don't think merging any school with a library school would ever benefit the library school.

The LJ article adds that "GSLIS has consistently ranked at or near the top of U.S. News and World Report's rankings of library and information science schools." Wow. That must mean that they teach the complete ALA-required core librarian competencies: Wii, PS3, XBox 360, FarmVille and all the portable apps like, Angry Birds and Bejweled. That's gotta be some education.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


a merger is not in the best interest of the GSLIS or the library students, but since library science education is old 20th Century librarianship, what difference does it make. Apparently, library schools aren't any more interested in remaining relevant than a lot of libraries.
Do you suppose the College of Media, the School of Labor and Employment Relations, and the School of Social Work are all teaching 20th Century theory and methodology? Maybe that's where the synergy is. Let's all get together and protect our old ideas and techniques. WooHoo!

Add new comment

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.