Notable dissertations 2019 (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Notable Dissertations 2019

June 3, 2019

This year’s crop includes research on the power of reading, librarian–teacher collaborations, and school librarians as academic leaders. The nine dissertations selected from digital archives and online databases have practical implications for school, public, academic, and special libraries; feature quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies; and include measurable recommendations for change. The students and their topics … Continue reading Notable Dissertations 2019


On My Mind, by Terry Weech

Trends in Accreditation

May 20, 2019

The 2010 ALA-COA Memorandum of Understanding is clear on that. It makes no mention of preparing students for other professions or for alternative information careers outside librarianship. Nor is there mention of “information science” or any of the other pursuits often included under the umbrella term the information professions. However, including the term information studies … Continue reading Trends in Accreditation


Columbia University, circa 1906. Photo: ALA Archives

By the Numbers: Library School

May 1, 2019

1887 Year that the first library school in the world was established. It was founded at Columbia College—now Columbia University—in New York City by Melvil Dewey. 61 Number of American Library Association (ALA)–accredited MLIS programs in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 64% Percentage of ALA-accredited MLIS programs that offer completely online degree programs. … Continue reading By the Numbers: Library School


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Barriers to Diversity

May 1, 2019

Sometimes structures are designed to help the same people they unintentionally harm. Most LIS programs encourage or even require students to complete a practicum or internship where they get real-life work experience. For some, this can lead directly to a job at that institution; in other cases, LIS students gain valuable skills that make them … Continue reading Barriers to Diversity


Melissa Lockaby, assistant professor of library science at the University of North Georgia, demonstrates how not to greet patrons in libraries.

Soft Skills: Hard to Teach?

January 27, 2019

Melissa Lockaby, assistant professor of library science at the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, drew on her background in human resources to present a career development workshop on “The Soft Skills: What Library School Doesn’t Teach You” at ALA’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle on Saturday, January 26. As a veteran library professional … Continue reading Soft Skills: Hard to Teach?


Kerri Price, a Charleston County (S.C.) Teacher Librarian Cohort member in University of South Carolina's Library Scholar program, works with students in her school library, alongside her therapy dog, Bailey.

The Value of School Librarians

January 15, 2019

Library advocates across the US are fighting to prove that every student is better off with a trained librarian in their school, but budget cuts are threatening school librarian positions across most of the country. Several states in the Southeast are facing a different crisis, however—a shortage of qualified school librarians to fill empty positions. … Continue reading The Value of School Librarians


Librarians interviews for this story, clockwise from bottom left: Graham Tedesco-Blair, adult services librarian, Newark (N.Y.) Public Library; Fobazi Ettarh, undergraduate success librarian, Rutgers University–Newark in New Jersey; Chera Kowalski, assistant to the chief of staff, Free Library of Philadelphia; Nicole A. Cooke, associate professor and MS/LIS program director, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Tom Rink, instructor, library services, Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Homa Naficy, chief adult learning officer, Hartford (Conn.) Public Library; Amanda Oliver, MFA student, University of California–Riverside.

Other Duties as Assigned

January 2, 2019

As told to Anne Ford American Libraries asked seven librarians—public, academic, and school; urban and rural—their thoughts about the many directions in which their profession finds itself pulled. “At the end of the day, somebody is dying.” Chera Kowalski Assistant to the Chief of Staff Free Library of Philadelphia Chera Kowalski has received national media … Continue reading Other Duties as Assigned


Zoe McLaughlin

Getting Advice

November 1, 2018

Here are some people and resources to consider when building connections for your job search: Career centers. Your school’s career center is an obvious first stop. It can be useful to learn if the center’s staffers have certain specialties. For example, someone may be well versed in interview preparation, while another person may be better … Continue reading Getting Advice


Notable dissertations

Notable Dissertations 2018

May 1, 2018

How were these dissertations selected? Each year I locate and read the many wonderful LIS dissertations out there via university digital archives and online databases. I select dissertations that have practical implications for libraries. Next I look for a variety of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. Those most relevant to current issues and … Continue reading Notable Dissertations 2018


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Learning Outside the Box

May 1, 2018

Building or renovating a library is often only cursorily covered. The Practical Handbook of Library Architecture: Creating Building Spaces That Work, by Fred Schlipf and John A. Moorman, is long overdue. Its functional predecessor, Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings, third edition, by Philip D. Leighton and David C. Weber (ALA Editions, 1999), answers many … Continue reading Learning Outside the Box


Joseph Janes

Degree or Not Degree

March 1, 2018

Let me start then by expressing profound gratitude to the members of the search committee. I know several of them—fine, clearheaded, and experienced people all—and I also know they must have done yeoman’s work. These tasks are important, time-consuming, and often with little reward other than self-satisfaction because you can’t tell anybody what’s going on. … Continue reading Degree or Not Degree


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Learning to Teach

January 2, 2018

In that first professional job, at a small library, all librarians—from the director to the systems librarian to the head of technical services—taught classes. None of us had been prepared by our coursework to teach, and no on-the-job training was provided. While my initial efforts to teach information literacy were cringeworthy at best, I learned … Continue reading Learning to Teach