The future of the MLS program

Aug 11 2015 Published by under librarians

University of Maryland (am affiliated, but not with this effort) just wrapped up an effort to look at what the MLS should be for the next few years. Many librarians gripe about their programs - how they didn't learn what they needed or learned stuff they don't use or isn't relevant. The thing is that it's only a 2-year program and our profession requires continuous work to keep up to date and learn new skills. Anyway, I like this part of their write up:

Attributes of Successful Information Professionals. The findings indicate that successful information professionals are not those who wish to seek a quiet refuge out of the public’s view. They need to be collaborative, problem solvers, creative, socially innovative, flexible and adaptable, and have a strong desire to work with the public.
Ensure a Balance of Competencies and Abilities. The debate between MLS programs needing to produce graduates with a “toolkit” of competencies versus providing graduates with a conceptual foundation that will enable them to grow and adapt over time evidenced itself throughout the Re-Envisioning the MLS Further interjected into this debate was the notion of “aptitude” (specific skills) versus “attitude” (“can do,” “change agent,” “public service”). Any MLS curriculum needs to balance aptitude with attitude.
Re-Thinking the MLS Begins with Recruitment. Neither a love of books or libraries is enough for the next generation of information professionals. Instead they must thrive on change, embrace public service, and seek challenges that require creative solutions. MLS programs must seek and recruit students who reflect these attributes.
Be Disruptive, Savvy, and Fearless. Through creativity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, information professionals have the opportunity to disrupt current approaches and practices to existing social challenges. The future belongs to those who are able to apply critical thinking skills and creativity to better understanding the communities they serve today and will serve 5-10 years down the road – and those who are bold, fearless, willing to take risks, go “big,” and go against convention.

The final report is in pdf here.

One response so far

  • Robin Sinn says:

    Thanks, Christina.
    This follows on many discussions, but I like the emphasis on the types of personalities that will thrive as future information professionals.