ERIC Number: ED352032
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Specialization in Library/Information Science Education: Issues, Scenarios, and the Need for Action.
McClure, Charles R.; Hert, Carol A.
Library/Information Science (LIS) education is facing cataclysmic change brought about by changes in the information professions. LIS education must provide education for the evolving information professions or it will become obsolete. Two central characteristics describe the status of LIS schools and their likely evolution. First is the depth and range of their programs. Some schools offer only one degree, the MLS (Master's degree in Library Science). Other programs have multiple degrees and specializations at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The second characteristic is the program perspective. Some LIS programs begin with the presumption that the school is shaped by the discipline of library science. Others begin with the presumption that they are defined by the evolving information professions. LIS schools that will prosper will develop models of graduate and undergraduate information studies; they will develop a range of program specializations to meet the needs of existing and evolving information professional niches; and they will integrate a range of information from other disciplines into coherent programs of "information studies." Intended to serve as a catalyst for discussion of LIS education and the role of specialization, this essay: (1) explores the definition of specialization; (2) assesses the existing context in which LIS programs operate; (3) presents several possible scenarios to develop specialization in LIS education; and (4) identifies and analyzes key issues related to the implementation of specialization in LIS education. A discussion of five change strategies and the characteristics of strategic thinking necessary to bring change concludes the essay. (Contains 32 references.) (KRN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Media Staff; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Specialization in Library/Information Science Education (Ann Arbor, MI, November 6-8, 1991).