As the ALA Committee on Accreditation re-evaluates its standards and frustrated librarians continue to add to the 157 comments on the Library Journal editorial "Can We Talk About the MLS?" by Michael Kelley, the topic of library and information science (LIS) education continues to remain one of heated discussion. The careers that LIS graduates follow after graduation vary considerably, leading some to wonder what really defines library and information science as a field. This discussion is also particularly relevant for LIS graduates who struggle to find positions after graduating despite an increasing number of open positions--what gaps exist between the skills employers require from potential candidates and the ones that LIS students gain in school?
This study is based on a survey of over 575 librarians, through which the perceptions of librarians at various stages of their careers, especially recent LIS graduates, are revealed. The information gathered in this study is useful to library school administrators and faculty, those in libraries responsible for hiring and/or training new LIS professionals, recent LIS graduates, those in LIS graduate programs, and those considering which LIS program to attend.
The study attempts to answer the following research questions:
1) How do librarians, especially recent library science graduates, perceive the effectiveness of their library science education in preparing them for their first positions?
2) What could be done to improve the LIS education to better meet the needs of new librarians?
Feel free to contact me with questions or comments about the data and/or research process!