Faculty of Information and Media Studies
Tim Craven, Graduate Chair,
and Lynne McKechnie, Chair of the MLIS Program Committee,
held the exit focus group meeting with four MLIS students
at noon on Wednesday, April 14, 1999.
The following is a summary of the students' comments
in response to the various parts of the outcome objective
of the MLIS Program.
MLIS Exit Focus Group
a. demonstrate an awareness
of professional values and standards
- LIS 501, Perspectives on Library and Information Science,
gives an overview;
after that, one student relied on individual reading.
- Not enough is given in courses
to be able to present well in job interviews.
- The program did not add much
to one student's previous level of awareness.
- LIS 503, Information Sources and Services,
dealt somewhat with professional standards
as they relate to information presentation
and reference interviews.
- One student learned by putting professional values and standards
into practice in a co-op job.
b. respond to change in a spirit of intellectual inquiry,
forming sound opinions
based on critical analysis of valid and reliable data
- Responding to change and intellectual enquiry
are not dealt with much.
- LIS 504, Research Methods and Statistics,
deals with valid and reliable data.
c. identify, select, acquire, organize, describe,
and provide access to recorded information in a variety of formats
- The state of the Graduate Resource Centre
immediately after the move last year
did not provide a positive model.
In general, more items should be on site
rather than on three-day loan with the University Library System
or only in the RDL collection.
- LIS 593, Classification and Indexing,
helped a lot.
- LIS 645, Management of Special Libraries and Information Services,
touched on user needs and other related topics;
otherwise, one student learned more from a co-op position.
- One student by choice took no courses
that would help with collection development.
Perhaps collection development should be required?
- The job market has a strong demand for some archival education.
- The necessity of trading off between breadth and depth
is a disadvantage of the one-year program,
though it is attractive in other ways.
Might an optional additional term be a solution?
The cost structure for part-time students
is somewhat prohibitive of picking up courses after graduation.
- There is not enough focus on aspects of information science
outside of libraries;
not everyone in the program wants to be a librarian,
or needs library collection development.
More theory would be useful to some students.
- LIS 525, Managing Internet Information Services,
was the best for one student,
who came with considerable previous knowledge in this area.
- The textbook for LIS 558,
Database Management Systems and Programming,
this course has high potential for wedding theory and practice.
d. identify needs of particular user groups
and develop collections and services to meet these needs
- LIS 600, Library Planning,
and LIS 645, Management of Special Libraries and Information Services,
- One student chose courses that did not cover
user needs or collection and service development.
- Treatment of special demographic groups is insufficient.
e. employ appropriate technologies
in library and information applications
- Students are "coddled"
in some of the technology courses;
for example, offerings of
LIS 505, Information Systems and Technology,
LIS 558, Database Management Systems and Programming,
and LIS 559, Programming
(then a Special Topic).
Former offerings of LIS 525,
Managing Internet Information Services,
were an exception
and brought students up to a definite standard.
- Student presentations in LIS 505
were often inadequate.
- LIS 559 needs a compulsory lab component;
class activities in the past have not been especially useful.
- The "ethos of excellence"
found in LIS 545,
Descriptive Cataloguing Theory and Practice,
needs to be carried through to the technology courses.
- LIS 505 covers basic computer literacy,
which entering students are expected to possess already,
according to the calendar.
f. communicate and work cooperatively and effectively with others,
including users, colleagues, employers,
and members of the community
- First term was very helpful in teaching time management
and quick writing,
especially when writing two-page papers.
- Group work is frustrating,
but a student may be lucky and get a good group;
such variations are true of the work world.
- Group work and presentations
build useful skills,
but some students are still poor at presentations.
More differentiation in the marks assigned to presentations
is needed in some courses.
LIS 506 (then LIS 674), Management,
is good at teaching presentation skills,
with its use of videotape and specific criteria for feedback.
- The co-op program is good
for learning to work with others and about the community.
g. apply basic principles and techniques of research
in problem-solving in library and information fields
- LIS 518, Advanced Information Services,
is a good course.
- A lot is learned both in first term
and in LIS 591,
Information Sources and Services in Science and Technology.
- LIS 597, Legal Information Sources and Services,
is good as it is; the assignments should not be meddled with.
h. apply contemporary management principles
- LIS 506, Management, is good,
and LIS 672, Financial Management, is very good.
Is there anything else you can tell us
that would help us evaluate the success of the MLIS program
in achieving its objectives?
- The MLIS Program is a very valuable program
even for one student
for whom it was not exactly what had been wanted.
- The co-op program is generally really valuable;
it gave contacts that opened doors
to a full-time job for one student.
- Affording to take a co-op position
can be a problem,
given constraints on OSAP
and reduced pay rates from the federal government.
- Gloria Leckie's résumé workshops
and assistance to individuals
- The MLIS degree gets you a job
if you are willing to leave southern Ontario.
Last updated May 11, 1999.
This page maintained by
E-mail (text/plain only): firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario.
Canada, N6A 5B7