Have you ever wanted to ask a question to someone whose opinion you really respect but were afraid to ask for fear of making the person uncomfortable? John Dupuis made himself an easy target for this type of question by offering to publicly answer absolutely anything (within reason, of course). Apparently this idea has been going around, and I think it’s a fabulous way for bloggers to challenge themselves, and for readers to really get to know their favourite bloggers.
I took advantage of this opportunity and asked John the following:
What is your biggest criticism of MLIS programs in North America, and what do you think library schools should be doing to fix this?
(I know what you’re thinking: this sounds a little negative for the ILSS. But think about it: it wouldn’t be a very uncomfortable question if I asked him to praise library school!)
John left a thoughtful and detailed response, explaining exactly what he thinks a good library education should consist of – here’s a brief excerpt:
One interesting thing that always comes up is the technology course. How many courses should be part of the core and what should they cover. Well, I’m pretty minimalistic on this, surprisingly. You often see on blogs long laundry lists of stuff every librarian should know about technology, as if we’re not allowed to have colleagues whose talents and interests compliment our own. Everybody should take one (maybe two) courses that establishes a basic common vocabulary and knowledge base as well as some experience with a few key tools, like a basic web development tool, a CMS, blogs, wikis or databases.
So I’d like to thank John for taking the time to put some thought into this issue, and I encourage you all to ask him questions of your own.