What sort of technology would you expect to find in a library school?
University of Kentucky, Lexington.
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what would I EXPECT to find is a world away from what I usually find. Clarion U. for instance has an abominable library website and MLIS departmental site. There's nothing on either page to suggest that the 21st century has made any changes to library science- the curriculum looks like it hasn't changed for twenty years. No web site programming requirements, no new technology classes, still teaching DIALOG? Their ALA accreditation is taking place again this year- it would be a farce if they made it but I bet they will.
I'll get the ball rolling... :)
The tech in the school should be, I think, the tech people will deal with on the job, that their patrons use, and/or that the librarian will be rolling out into use by their community.
Given that the web is arguably the dominant first point of reference for all information needs (whether searching or sharing), a basic familiarity with the technology of the web is essential for all librarians.
To call out a few specifics:
- an introduction to the basic concepts of usability, findability, accessibility, and user-centered design;
- a firm grip on the model of the client/server relationship;
- a general sense of the way web sites can be structured, pages dynamically assembled, and asynchronous load techniques like AJAX;
- general experience with making web pages using XHTML and CSS (with the understanding of the concept of separation of presentation from content that that implies);
- a good survey of current technologies used in information seeking & sharing: current browsers & the way to add extensions to them, instant messaging, blogging, feeds, bookmark mgmt/sharing tools, citation mgmt/sharing tools, email (of course);
- a good survey of current trends in web use by a variety of patron types, including some discussion of international variations such as mobile device usage, and in particular a look at social software & habits;
- and exposure to sources which help keep connected to what's happening on the web technologically, both in libraries and outside.
I would expect to find a variety of technologies. Perhaps I'm biased having used technology to get a Graduate Assistantship to get through library school, but we had a full PC lab, Macs, Solaris machines (that were never used), tablet PCs and more. We had video editing capabilities, and podcasting, too.
I think that library schools need to have any type of technology that their graduates can expect to encounter at their chosen field, within budget. Software can be more important than hardware; however, a Sympodium in graduate school will help an academic/instruction librarian feel more at ease when s/he is confronted with teaching and using one.
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