The first issue of Conversants, a journal focused on participatory networks, came out on Friday, and it features an editorial by Andrea Mercado, “Making Library Schools Smarter.” Mercado touches on a lot of the things I’ve been thinking about lately: The fact that librarianship requires higher level computer skills, and the unfortunate fact that library schools aren’t really teaching them (or at least they aren’t requiring they be learned). She makes the point I made last week that part of the blame also lies with library school students, and she argues that admissions requirements should be much steeper.
What I find most interesting in her editorial are the practical curriculum recommendations she makes, most of which I think are great. I especially like the idea of having Technology Labs that are not affiliated with one particular course but that students take throughout their time in library school, where they would learn and use emerging technologies. And I would love to take a class on managing technology projects–while I am learning that stuff on the job (sort of) it would be great to have a course dedicated to looking at different project management techniques and tools, best practices, and potential problems and conflicts. Frankly, I learn better in a classroom than on the job; that’s why I’m in graduate school.
An article totally worth reading for anyone who’s been involved in the recent debate (alright, it’s not really a debate) around librarians and systems knowledge. I haven’t read any of the other articles in Conversants yet, but a few of them look pretty interesting. This might be a good one to add to the ever-growing reading list.