LIS and the Next Crisis

September 1, 2021

God gave Noah the rainbow sign No more water, the fire next time! (“Mary Don’t You Weep,” Black American spiritual) I will never forget Friday, March 13, 2020, the last day we worked in our building. It was also our admitted-student day, and several attendees had already arrived. Our staff quickly arranged a socially distanced … Continue reading LIS and the Next Crisis


On My Mind with Mercedes Rutherford-Patten and Nicki Viso

Starting a New Legacy

May 11, 2021

As representatives of the first generation of college graduates in our families, we face a distinct set of challenges entering grad school. Mercedes comes from a working-class family; both her parents held positions in manufacturing; Nicki’s parents pursued jobs in industries that did not require a college degree. Our parents encouraged and supported our decisions … Continue reading Starting a New Legacy


Illustration: Man does virtual interview at home with laptop, wearing shirt and tie with pajama bottoms and slippers (Illustration: Shane Tolentino)

The Virtual Job Hunt

May 3, 2021

After a particularly tough rejection, she reached out to a librarian friend for moral support. “She said, ‘You have it, but, by the way, there’s this job that opened up at the last minute in my district,’ which I didn’t know about,” Vela says. “So she put my name in.” It was Vela’s 35th job … Continue reading The Virtual Job Hunt


On My Mind by Terrilyn Chun

Get with the Programming

January 2, 2020

My first job at Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library (MCL) was in public relations, which involved writing and editing news releases, brochures, and fliers and, increasingly, planning programs and events. An operating levy, passed when I was a few years into the job, brought a wave of construction, renovations, and expanded public program offerings. New programming … Continue reading Get with the Programming


Global Themes and Reflections in LIS Education

October 1, 2019

Day 1: Perspectives on diversity and inclusion, data ethics, and fake news In “The Hoax and the President: Historical Perspectives on Politics, Truth, and Academia” on September 24, Sharon McQueen, an independent scholar, explored the rise and impact of fake news in journalism and the information ecology. She said fake news can be traced back … Continue reading Global Themes and Reflections in LIS Education


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?



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