Re-Envisioning the MLS

For my final LBSC 622 class, we all attended the Re-Envisioning the MLS: The Information Professional of the Future event at the MLK branch of DCPL. re-envisioning the mls 1

So this initiative was launched back in 2014 and it’s going to be a three year process that deals with questions like, what is the value of an MLS degree and what does the future MLS degree look like?

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Two of the comments that stuck with me from the panel discussion both came from Richard Reyes-Galivan who is the Executive Director at DCPL. In response to the question of the validity of an MLS degree, he compared it to an MFA in Poetry, sharing a conversation he had with Thomas Lux. He asked Lux was it necessary to get an MFA in order to write good poetry and Lux told him that you could write poetry without an MFA, however the MFA shows a commitment to poetry (i.e. craft, theory, community).

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The other interesting comment from Reyes-Galivan came after Sari Feldman asked the panel to share the characteristics of the future library professional they look for during the interview process. He said that communication skills are eroding and that people may have “lots of bullets underneath some titles in their resume, but they can’t put a resume together. They can’t speak, they can’t write…’ so that the ability to communicate is a key factor in a library professional.

If you want to hear the discussion in it’s entirety, it’s available below.

7 thoughts on “Re-Envisioning the MLS

  1. Having your MLIS in order to show commitment to the librarianship is a barrier in terms of time and money. I don’t feel more committed to my field now that I have a MLIS. I feel annoyed that getting taken seriously requires an expensive piece of paper.

    • Good point. It certainly required a lot of my time and money. Most of what I have learned working at a public library has made me able to do the work that is required and not my degree, however I can’t move up the ranks without it.

      Do you think there should be an alternative? I’ve seen some library jobs that will substitute degrees in other Master’s programs in lieu of and MLS/MLIS.

  2. My dream is to get my MLIS, but it’s been slow going since I have to pass Statistics to get my B.A. I keep hearing from librarians how they learned more from working on the job than they did from their degree. I still plan on getting the MLIS, but there’s so much time and money to invest in it.

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