[Tutor] newbie

Karl Fast karl.fast at pobox.com
Fri Nov 7 20:44:10 EST 2003

> OK, the studies were published (as a summary article of course)
> in HOOT(I think, maybe JOOP) back in the early 1990's

Thanks. I will look for them.

> Hmm, Librarians in the UK are university graduates, often with a
> masters degree in the subject. Are we talking about the same thing? 

Yes. It is a master's level program. You must have a previous
degree. Most of the students have backgrounds in humanities and
social sciences. Out of 100+ students each year we're lucky to get
more than five with a technical background: math, engineering,
sciences, computers, etc.

> They all get taught programming and computers as part of the degree
> course.

Not necessarily. It depends on the school.

Most places grant a masters in library and information science
(LIS). One of your standard essays in the first term is writing a
paper about the distinctions between library science and information
science (an old joke has it that information science is library
science as practiced by men; librarianship is dominated by women).

Some LIS schools are L-heavy, others are I-heavy. You have some that
are L-only, and others that are I-only. 

My university is much more L-focused. We produce professional
librarians. A handful of them enter with programming skills. None of
them leave. There is one introduction to programming class here
(VB). It's usually offered once a year. Perhaps 10 people take it.
Nobody leaves here capable of doing programming work as their main
job. Anybody who does could code before they started.

That's not the case everywhere. There are some schools (Berkeley,
for one) where it's critical. Other programs offer multiple streams,
like Michigan which has an HCI stream.

So the answer is, it depends. I wouldn't count on it unless the
student came from one of maybe ten schools (there are about 60
accredited schools in the US & Canada).


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