I wrote this article a while back, and is has been in drafts, forgotten, today I reviewed it and added additional text.
SCOUNL Focus 67 publication included an article regarding views from the experts in various library schools across the UK & Ireland.
This list is very one dimensional as it does not represent all librarian views and many sectors have different skills and there are many different types of experts in the field of Librarianship. Yet I am happy to see this being published, it is important today to get all our opinions out there. In light of a another post by Libfocus it just goes to show how these different discussions are needed today.
As the article is very long I am going to address the first question that was put to the seven experts, ranging from UK. NI & ROI. I hope to gather the important parts and add my own thoughts from the perspective of a new professional. From there I hope (yes I have very high hopes) to continue addressing each question in separate blog posts.
How does your library school engage with the active profession?
Lyn Robinson Head of Library and Information Science in City University London, states how the school is active on Twitter with #citylis by engaging with students, graduates, and alumni. The school acknowledges the productive achievements in promoting their work through the school’s blog and inviting alumni as guest speakers to the school. In addition building a connection with a Library Association gives students strong engagement with the profession, in this case, CILIP. The school also offers an optional mentorship scheme whereby the student is paired with someone within the profession.
The establishment of #citylis is the best place for any student to be no matter what college you are in. Blogs and Twitter accounts are what you need in college, and as a new professional it is encouraging to see new projects spring up every semester.
The mentorship scheme really excites me, having had the experience of being a mentee it is crucial in building confidence and pushes you out of your comfort zone. Having a strong mentor as a new info pro can have a huge impact on your career, and I would encourage anyone to pursue developing a mentor/mentee relationship.
Marie O’ Neill of Dublin Business School, shares how her library school engage with the profession, she states that her colleagues are “active practitioners” where they bring real world industry insights and their knowledge to the table. Leaving college and entering the real world can be a strange transition, you become just another employed person and you can loose sight of the wider profession you are in. Having leaders that produce high quality research can steer you in the right direction through your career, and keep you in touch with current topics and trends.
Anoush Simon, from Aberystwyth University gives us a unique insight into how the town of “Aber” as an information town, how exciting is that, to be able to study Information Studies in a town dedicated to Information. This is then reflected in the teaching and learning where students partake in projects with local libraries, museums and archives, if this is not actively engaging with the profession then I don’t know what is!
From Aber we jump back across the sea to Ulster where the course Director of Library & Information Management
School of Education Jessica Bates talks to library employers, here she asks for their insight in developing and updating the curriculum, and how the school can keep current with the ever changing skills and knowledge now needed for librarianship.
In University College Dublin, Kalpana Shankar nudges students to attend conferences on all topics in and around Library and Information Studies. Conferences are so very important when you are beginning your journey in Librarianship, they are gateway to what you can do in your career, it allows you to think about what you wish to present on. Each student is different, interests are different so the library association they join and the conference they attend and present on will also differ, explore now and dip your toe into all topics.
The University of West England take an approach similar to Ulster here the teaching and learning includes employer and teacher. They do this by inviting professionals to discuss current issues and topics and create study groups for the students. In addition they look to employers and professionals for input into teaching topics.
Lastly we see the Robert Gordon University take a serious engagement with the profession by being highly involved with library associations such as CILIP. Having a Head of Department representing students and professionals as President of a highly renowned association such as CILIP is sending a very clear message that they have and maintain strong links with the LIS community.
With #uklibchat September Twitter chat being about how we as LIS students and graduates can get research to the right practitioner and maintaining the links we need to achieve publishing research over our career. I hope this article gives us an insight into the many ways we can reach out to library schools and collaborate with students and teachers.