Andrew Dillon of the University of Texas’s iSchool notices one possibly-moribund library school, another library-school merger, and some typically ignorant talk about the boundaries of librarianship.
But how ignorant is it, really? Think about that. How many library schools right now, today, still do not require even a single technology course, of any kind? (How many library-school students still think such training is optional? That, too, is a failure of education.) How many vapors would be vapored in the hallowed halls of ALA/ALISE if it were suggested that technology education should be required of future information professionals?
If we don’t want to be accused of being buggy-whip manufacturers, perhaps we shouldn’t act like them. That’s all the Loon’s saying.
Anyway, the Loon can’t say she’s particularly upset about either of the two merger situations, though she did find the Indiana president’s remarks rather fatuous. Look, fundamentally, the LIS education industry is producing enough librarians and archivists—arguably too many, in fact! She admits she’d prefer that a sausage factory go under, rather than a small school like St. Kate’s, but realistically, that isn’t in the cards.
As for Indiana, the Loon is… jealous, actually. She’d positively adore rubbing elbows with the informaticists. Yes, mergers are an administrative nightmare; yes, they’re a comedown in academic-status terms…
… but look at it this way. The boundaries of LIS as both a practice and an academic enterprise have always been gerrymandered and porous. That’s not a weakness, but a strength. Circling the wagons right now will not help librarianship, and it won’t help library schools. What will keep us going is finding common cause and fresh horizons. If that means mergers, so be it. Merge on!
Mergers, boundaries, and image by Library Loon, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.