LIS Faculty and Practitioners Surviving and Thriving Together discussion to be held at Midwinter

December 15th, 2010 No comments

The American Library Association Committee on Education (ALA-COE) and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) are co-sponsoring  a Library Education Discussion Group entitled:  “LIS Faculty and Practitioners Surviving and Thriving Together” to be held on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011 in San Diego during the 2011 Midwinter Meeting.   The event is scheduled from 4  – 5:15 p.m. and will be held in the San Diego Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 32 A/B. 


Practitioners and Library & Information Studies (LIS) educators are encouraged to join colleagues in discussing a variety of hot topics such as:  the role of adjunct faculty members, ethics in library education, engaging alumni and employers in library school education, library school closings, the role of practitioners/employers in accreditation and other timely issues.  Roundtable discussions will be facilitated by member-leaders from both ALISE and ALA with the information collected to be used for further study by both groups. 

The Library Education Discussion Group will be an annual event that provides an open exchange of ideas and an ongoing dialogue between LIS educators and practitioners.

For more information, contact Lorelle Swader, director, ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment. 

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ALA Library Education Assembly Minutes

July 26th, 2010 No comments

ALA Library Education Assembly


Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Washington Convention Center, 149A/B

Meeting called to order by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Chair, at 4:00 p.m.

Lynn introduced two special guest speakers who had been invited by the Committee on Education to speak to the assembly about issues regarding library schools facing closure, consolidation, or other kinds of cuts:

1) Linda Smith, Associate Dean at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science

2) Beth Paskoff, Dean of the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University

1. UIUC-GSLIS—Linda Smith spoke first about recent events that affected GSLIS. On March 5 an academic unit review committee was appointed to examine possible structural changes regarding four academic units on campus with less than 40 faculty per unit, which included GSLIS.

Background Information & Challenges:

  • UI-UC is part of the Illinois multi-campus university system, which is funded by the state. Currently, the state still owes $335 million to the University of Illinois.
  • Additionally, public library systems in the state are facing cuts because of the state budget shortfall. State legislation has been passed that allows universities to borrow up to 75% of what the state owes them to compensate for the shortfall.
  • Additional concerns: The University of Illinois is also facing some additional challenges due to changes in administration, which has led to the appointment of both interim and new administrators. Furloughs, voluntary retirement, and voluntary separation incentive packages are some of the measures that have taken place to offset the university’s budget issues. However, academic unit review also took place to determine if there would be any cost-savings if smaller units were folded into larger units.


Proposal of Merger/Alignment:

One of the options that GSLIS faced was a merger with the College of Media. Although GSLIS as a whole was not opposed to alignment with another academic unit, they found that GSLIS had points of intersection with several other units, not just the College of Media.


Ultimately, they determined that realignment with the College of Media would not move the College forward. GSLIS was very proactive throughout the process and documented their responses thoroughly. They also documented initiatives that will help sustain their ability to keep moving forward as a unit.

The final report, which determined that GSLIS should remain an independent academic unit, can be found at The report is available for public comment until July 1, 2010.


  • Linda emphasized that the lesson to take away from the experience is that higher education in the 21st century, especially public higher education, has to find alternative sources of revenue and not rely too heavily on state funding.
  • Overall, Linda stated the climate for the entire review process was one of transparency, openness, and collaboration, which is partially a result of the political climate in the state. As a result of the report, there is still work being done to examine other possible revenue streams for the university.


2. LSU SLIS closure—Beth Paskoff reported on the probably closure of the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University.

Background Information:

  • Seventeen months ago LSU had proposed examining the realignment of smaller units on campus. SLIS was told they would be realigned with social work, education, and kinesiology. SLIS stated that these were not logical alignments, and asked for possible alignment with computer science to possibly form a College of Informatics, but the request was denied.
  • Ultimately, the option for realignment was completely taken off the table because it would not have been cost effective. SLIS has continued to state that they would be open to realignment if it would help with cost savings, but at this point, administrators are no longer discussing realignment as an option.
  • On May 21, SLIS was identified as one of many programs slated to be completely cut, due to statewide budget shortfalls.
  • Although the chancellor has recommended SLIS be cut, ultimately it is up to the Board of Supervisors, who are scheduled to meet on July 16, to explain what the budget plan is and decide what programs and schools will be cut. A 23% cut in state funds is coming/expected.



In response to the chancellor’s recommendation, a letter-writing campaign to show support for SLIS has been started. Support letters (more than 200 sent in a few weeks) have been garnered from faculty, alumni, and organizations such as MLA, AALL, ALISE, SLA. The ALA Committee on Education currently has a draft resolution for Council to pass at Annual to show ALA’s support for SLIS.

Beth shared many good points with the assembly as to why SLIS should be saved:

  • LSU has the only ALA-accredited program in the state; if closed, students would be forced to enroll in out-of-state programs, costing them much more
  • LSU SLIS is highly ranked, has a history of success (79.5 yrs); there are alumni in 49 states


  • The need for graduates in LIS in Louisiana is increasing, especially due to the expansion of public libraries in the state
  • Just under 5% of all graduate degrees from LSU come from SLIS
  • SLIS is a cost-effective program, because it brings in both tuition and grant monies
  • LSU published criteria for program eliminations, and SLIS does not fit the published criteria
  • The closure of LSU SLIS would have a significant negative impact on the social, economic, and cultural well-being as well as the information literacy of Louisiana’s citizenry. Overall, there has been a lot of negative press seen in Louisiana lately—it was noted that the BP oil spill might have an impact on this, because tax revenue will go down if people are unable to work, etc.
  • In times of crisis, LSU SLIS provided information access, particularly after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; SLIS was awarded an IMLS grant to education 30 librarians to work in hurricane-devastated areas


Next Steps:

There was a great deal of discussion during Q&A about what the next appropriate steps should be in terms of advocacy:

  • Lobbying: Beth stated that the chancellor’s mind has been made up, but lobbying the Board of Supervisors might still be effective
  • Press Coverage/In-Person Support: She stated that press coverage would also be useful, and the suggestion was made that perhaps a show of support in person at the Board of Supervisors meeting would have a big impact. Other SLIS deans and administrators, especially those in the SE, could travel to Louisiana to the Board meeting to show support for the SLIS program in person (ex. Clark Atlanta University), and perhaps draw some press attention in the process.
  • Letters of support: Gathering these are still helpful– She stated that SLIS has been proactively trying to obtain support from alumni, current students, and other LIS educators through online petitions, letter-writing campaigns, etc.
  • Additional Support: Obtaining support from people in other disciplines and industries would be helpful as well, because the Board is comprised mostly of business leaders, lawyers, etc., not academics.
  • Awareness: This could have implications for any LIS program; everyone should be concerned about these cuts, as other campuses may see what others are doing and follow suit. Be proactive about involvement with the university, by doing things like joining with other departments, like Education (in LSU’s case, this was difficult because an interim Dean was not appointed)


*Beth reminded everyone again the next Board meeting would take place on July 16.

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

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Online Petition to Save LSU/SLIS

July 20th, 2010 No comments

For those interested in signing an online petition in support of the Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science (LSU SLIS), an online petition is available:

“Save LSU’s SLIS Program”

hosted on the web by, the free online petition service, at:

The sharing of this information is as an individual only and not in any of my roles as an officer, committee member, association member, etc. of any professional association or institution.

thank you,


Lorna Peterson

University at Buffalo

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Update about the future of LSU School of Library & Information Science

July 20th, 2010 No comments

On May 24 the Chancellor of Louisiana State University, citing state budget cuts, announced plans to close the School of Library & Information Science. Before this proposal can be implemented, it would first have to be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors and then by the Louisiana Board of Regents.   The university told us in May that they expected the Board of Supervisors would discuss SLIS at the Board’s July 16 meeting, but I learned this morning that we will NOT be on the agenda this month.

The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be August 27, and SLIS may be on the agenda for that meeting.  As I learn more details, I will keep everyone informed through our website, listservs, etc.

This revised schedule does not change our concerns about the future of SLIS.  For the last six weeks, the faculty, students, alumni, and friends have been writing letters to the Board of Supervisors and have been signing an e-petition to support the School.   We appreciate the strong support the School has received from professional associations including AALL, ALA, ALISE, LLA, MLA, and SLA, and from the hundreds of people who have written letters, and the more than 2,000 people who have signed the e-petition.   For more information about writing letters, and for a link to our Facebook page (which has the link to the petition), please go to

The linked article from the July 13 issue of the Baton Rouge Business Report provides good coverage about SLIS:

Beth Paskoff, Dean
LSU School of Library & Information Science

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Special Education Assembly Meeting

June 10th, 2010 No comments

As current chair of the ALA Committee on Education (COE) and in helping to fulfill COE’s role of providing a networking platform for dialogues between LIS educators and practitioners, the Committee has offered Beth Paskoff, Director of the Louisiana State University Library and Information Science Program, and Linda Smith, Associate Dean of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, an open forum for discussion at the Education Assembly during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. I am happy to announce that both have accepted the invitation. This will enable Dr. Paskoff and Dr. Smith to have a national platform to discuss the issues concerning their programs and to garner the support of practitioners and others in the library community. This also will help COE define our role in looking into this matter on behalf of Council and in supporting the programs during these challenges.

Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Location: Washington Convention Center, room 149A/B


Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research
Cell: 303-246-3623
Fax: 614-718-7378

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Comments from the 2010 Forum

January 26th, 2010 No comments

The comment below is posted on behalf of an educator attending the Forum:

“Scott Walter hit an important point–it is important to graduate knowing what you do not know and to graduate with the drive to continue learning. We can not possibly cover and teach everything.

Teaching to the competencies can certainly limit innovation and creativity, they should be guidelines not measured outcomes.

If COA is to make sure that there is a quality course/education for the student then we should be careful of standards and competencies driven by professionals already practicing.

Service learning answers a lot of the questions.”

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2010 Midwinter Forum on Library Education

January 7th, 2010 No comments

2010 Forum on Library Education

The American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Education and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) will present a forum on Library Education. The forum will be hosted by ALISE and held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, (MA) at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.
This year’s theme will be: “Learning Outcomes: Methodologies for Connecting Communities”

Representatives from Library & Information Studies (LIS) education and ALA divisions will discuss the following issues of learning outcomes in LIS education and how the professional community views LIS graduates:
What is a Learning Outcome? How might the new competences impact LIS education? What relationship do the new competences have to established division competences? Is there a chasm between LIS education and professional practice?
The forums on library education are annual events and are venues for an open exchange of ideas and ongoing dialogue between LIS educators and library practitioners on current topics related to library education matters.
Speakers: Rachel A. Applegate, Indiana University – Indianapolis; Lynn S. Connaway, OCLC; Sara Kelly Johns, Lake Placid Middle/High School (NY); Dan O’Connor, Rutgers University and Scott Walter, University of Illinois – Urbana.

For updates and additional information about the Forum, please visit the

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2009 Midwinter Forum on Library Education

December 17th, 2008 No comments

The American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Education is presenting a forum on Library Education. The forum will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver in the Colorado Convention Center in Room 702/706.

The Forum on Library Education will be dedicated to the Core competences of librarianship, as set out in a document being presented to the ALA Council for approval at the meeting.

The event continues the dialog on issues in library and information science education and identifies new issues and challenges confronting the profession. The discussion will be moderated by Michael Gorman, university librarian emeritus, California State University, Fresno, and will feature presentations on the Core competences by two LIS educators, Rick Rubin, director, Kent State University, School of Library, and Ken Haycock, director, San Jose State University, School of Library, and two practitioners, Sherrie Schmidt, university librarian, Arizona State University, and J. Linda Williams, coordinator, Library Media Services, Anne Arundel County Public Schools. There will be ample time for discussion, Q&A sessions and audience interaction.

The first Congress on Professional Education, held in 1999, recommended the establishment of a set of core competences for the profession. Various committees have worked on the competences in the years since. The Presidential Task Force on Library Education has recast the work of those committees into a document setting out the desired outcomes of an ALA-accredited master’s level education. It does not prescribe a “core curriculum” nor does it state the means by which ALA-accredited programs should achieve the prescribed outcomes. Once approved, the Core competences will be the basis for revision of ALA’s standards for accreditation that shape how ALA-accredited programs are assessed.

For updates and additional information, please visit the website at:

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Call for Proposals for 5th Forum on Education

March 4th, 2008 No comments

Call for Proposals – 5th ALA Forum on Education
5th ALA Forum on Education: Service Learning and Citizen Engagement
We are pleased to announce a call for participation for the 5th ALA Forum on Education to be held on Friday, June 27, 2008 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm during the upcoming ALA Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. Masters Level students who have participated in a service learning project or who have designed a yet to be completed service learning project are encouraged to submit a proposal.

The 5th ALA Forum on Education will feature a researchpalooza format followed by a traditional poster session. During the researchpalooza you will address the audience from a podium and present your service learning project in 90 seconds or less with the aid of one PowerPoint slide to an audience of 150 ALA members. Following the researchpalooza presenters will be asked to participate in a poster session where attendees will be able to ask questions and further discuss service learning projects. The researchpalooza format was a great success at MidWinter 2008 and we excited to offer an opportunity to participate in this innovative program.

To participate, please submit the following information via email to
Title of Project:
University Affiliation:
Email Address:
Abstract or short description of service learning project:

Proposals will be accepted through March 16 and presenters will be notified by March 28

For more information please contact Joe Sanchez at

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2008 Midwinter Library Education Forum

December 11th, 2007 No comments

Dear Colleagues:

In case any of you are available on Friday, 11 Jan 2008.

We are pleased to invite you to attend the Forum on Library Education to be
held on Friday, January 11, 2008 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm during the upcoming
ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This Forum is sponsored
by the American Library Association (ALA) and its Committee on Education
(COE). This Forum continues the dialog on issues in library and information
science education and it identifies new issues and new challenges
confronting our profession.

The Forum will focus on the doctoral student experience in schools of
library and information science. As part of this effort, a unique program
will feature a researchapalooza where doctoral students will present their
research to the audience in a mere ninety seconds. Immediately following the
presentations a thirty-minute poster session will take place followed by
facilitated group discussions about the gaps and links between research and
practice. Facilitated discussion topics will include
– Current Status of LIS Ph.D. programs
– Gaps between Practice and Research
– Overlaps between practice and research
– Connections between ALA and LIS student work

To register for 4th ALA Forum on Education – The Ph.D. Experience: Research
into Practice please visit

This Forum is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and its
Committee on Education (COE).

Host: ALA President Loriene Roy
Location: 201BC (PCC-201BC) Pennsylvania Convention Center
When: Friday, January 11, 1:30PM

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