ERIC Number: ED235817
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Destruction of an Undergraduate Library Science Instructional Program: A Case History.
MacVean, Donald S.
The first step in the demise of the Western Illinois University undergraduate library science instructional program, which produced graduates with a minor in library science who were qualified to direct school libraries, was its merger with an audiovisual (AV) program in the education department. The library science minor was originally under the direction of the university library, but in 1971 it was moved to the education department where it fell under the control of audiovisualists. The Dean of Education deliberately reduced library science faculty positions in order to spare termination of other faculty, but refused to drop the program. In 1975 the library science minor was abolished and some of its courses merged with AV courses into a major called learning resources. All references to books, libraries, and library science were replaced by such words as media, multimedia, and graphics. Students largely rejected the program; enrollment dropped 93% by 1981-82. Program failure can be attributed to student preference for a traditional library science major, the attempt to merge two very different subjects into a single major, the use of confused and meaningless program terminology, the assignment of unqualified instructors, and poor classroom instruction. The text of the official proposal for the institution of a major in learning resources and a 13-item bibliography are provided. (Author/ESR)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Western Illinois University