Data Obsessed

The weblog of an almost-librarian interested in special, corporate, and government librarianship, with occasional forays into technology and anime-related geekiness.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

*tilts head*

Hmm. While I am not entirely sure whether this post is directed at my complaints about impracticality or not (I don't, after all, read all the SLIS blogs under the sun), I feel the sudden need to clarify my position on library programs and practicality and theory and all sorts of fun things like that.

Theory's all well and good; I like theory. I majored in Economics and minored in History in college, and believe me, neither field is particularly high on the practicality side. And I quite agree that a background in history, ethics, et cetera is quite necessary to make good librarians. Having said that...

Is there something wrong with a part of each course being "This is usually how you do this in the working world"? I mean, I don't know about the rest of my fellow students, but I'd never worked in libraries before I got here. I don't have a terribly clear understanding of what librarians do. And that was part of the reason I came to school here - I wanted to know before I dove headfirst into the profession. I thought knowing how was worth the $40,000 I'm shelling out for this education.

I'm certainly not saying that theory isn't important; theory's very important.

But practical knowledge is certainly worth spending time on as well. And most library programs have nixed teaching most of the practical aspects of the profession. Some don't even require that their students take practica.

That, I think, is very, very foolish, and turning an MLS into a solely academic degree is rather dangerous.

But this is, of course, only my opinion.

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