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Towards a Better Understanding of Opportunities for Performance Training within the MLS Curriculum: Issues for Enhancing Education of Children’s Librarians

Becca Worthington


Children’s librarians are often required to be performers. The purpose of the study reported in this paper was to determine the degree to which the Masters of Library Science (MLS) programs accredited by the American Library Association currently incorporate theatrical and performance-based training. A quantitative content analysis was conducted of 219 syllabi from 33 MLS programs to determine which courses included curriculum to support storytelling, puppetry, readers theatre, booktalking, read-alouds, and other performance elements. The results revealed that 93 of the courses currently incorporated one or more of these elements of performance or theatrical training. There was an overall limited degree of inclusion. All of the courses with the highest level of performance training were elective. Based on the results of this study, there may be room to consider whether the performance training offered by LIS Schools in North America is sufficient to equip children’s librarians as they enter a field requiring those skills.


Storytelling, theatre, content analysis, children’s librarianship, LIS Education, performance, young adult readers, LIS curriculum

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