ALISE 2002 (New Orleans, January 15-18, 2002)

SIG Curriculum

Conveners: Marija Dalbello (Rutgers) & Jane Robbins (Florida State University)


Description: In developing their curricula to harmonize a multi-disciplinary academic field with a dynamic field of application, we examine how LIS schools are currently shaping digital library education in their curricula. Digital and digitalized libraries have been stimulating almost a decade of advocacy,innovative research, and development efforts. The panelists will focus on the convergence of disciplinary approaches (humanities / social sciences / science & technology) in interpreting the phenomenon of digital library in their curricula; they will provide an insight into the existing paradigms defining digital library education. The panel will offer an insight into alternative approaches, practical applications and obstacles in integrating digital library education into their curricula. Panelists: J. Stephen Downie and Carole Palmer (Illinois), Colleen Cool (Queens), Paul F. Marty (Illinois)


J. Stephen Downie and Carole Palmer (Illinois): Integrating Digital Libraries across the Curriculum

Historically GSLIS has not built curriculum or developed courses based on types of libraries. Our philosophy has been to ground courses in themes, principles, subject areas, skill sets, and broad based user communities that have wide applicability across the information professions. For instance, we teach information consulting, not corporate librarianship--it draws students with interests in business, engineering, and specialized research information services. Our students build their programs around their specialized interests, which *are* often focused on type of library.They have ongoing opportunities through their projects and assignments to build up expertise that fit their educational goals. Therefore, faculty might advise a program of study for digital librarianship, but there are no formalized courses that would be included beyond the standing core.

Our digital library curriculum has evolved within this model, integrated across the curriculum. We have never had a faculty member propose a "digital library" course, yet, because DLs are a prevailing focus in the professions, we have many courses that are largely devoted to the development of digital libraries. Moreover, our distance education program (LEEP) continually brings students and faculty face-to-face with the technologies and issues involved in providing information resources and services via the Web. The DLI1 initiative and other digital library research projects at UIUC provide rich learning environments and sites of study for many of our courses and student projects.

Changes in our curriculum have emerged from the faculty's shared assumption that most, if not all, of our graduates will need to have their expertise to build and manage digital libraries. The courses and the research initiatives in the school provide an environment that promotes that educational goal, even where students have differing conceptions of what digital libraries might be and what their roles will be in them when they enter the field after graduation.

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Colleen Cool (Queens): Integrating Digital Library Education into the MLS Curriculum

The speaker will discuss differences between digital library education at the MLS and Ph.D. levels, and describe the development of the course in digital libraries currently offered at Queens College.


Paul F. Marty (Illinois): Museum Informatics and LIS Education

This talk will address the question: "How should LIS educators prepare students to play a pivotal role as managers of information resources in the digital museum?" It will discuss existing strategies designed to train museum information managers, the relative importance of information management in museums today, and what can be done to improve efforts in both of these areas. It will explain why and how LIS programs should take the initiative in training and positioning future information managers in museums. Examples will be drawn from a course on museum informatics developed and taught at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois atUrbana-Champaign, in Fall 2001.

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Last revised: December 8, 2001
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