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Re-envisioning Management Education and Training for Information Professionals

RAJESH SINGH, and JAMES VORBACH

Abstract


The evolving demand for workforce skills has often been a topic of discussion at various professional library and information science (LIS) conferences and in the academic literature. Although LIS schools tend to highlight the goal of preparing future members of the LIS profession to be effective leaders, a management and leadership curriculum gap still exists worldwide. Most LIS schools are still falling short when it comes to offering advanced management courses on a regular basis as identified in international studies. Consequently, this lack of adequate management education and training in LIS schools tends to contribute to the development of “accidental managers.” A review of the online program and course descriptions of the 58 American Library Association (ALA) accredited graduate schools demonstrates the current landscape of LIS education in relation to the demand for leadership and management skills and the increasing significance of these competencies for information professionals. This research also shows how regular interaction and engagement with the LIS professional community resulted in the development of an online advanced certificate program in management for information professionals. Although this study primarily reviewed LIS schools in the U.S. and Canada, it has wider implications given the need for advanced management courses expressed in the literature worldwide. It is vitally important for LIS schools to bridge the existing gaps in LIS education in order to meet professional demands for leadership and management skills, and this paper demonstrates one way in which LIS schools can accomplish this.

Keywords


management, leadership, information professionals, LIS education, workforce skills, community engagement, LIS professional community

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