Yep, I’m almost finished with my second read through of this book (The NextGen Librarian’s Survival Guide). I have terrible reading comprehension skills, so I like to reread books a couple of times.
Anyway, the first time I read through the book and the second time I read through with a pencil and highlighter – yep I’ve defiled my book by writing all over it – but that’s good because I have notes I want to share with you all.
I already talked about the need for continuing education requirements for librarians – but what about requiring computer classes? I attended the open house for Drexel’s MLS program and the first session I attended talked about the classes we were required to take as well as the possible electives. The professor kept repeating that while programming classes were available they weren’t required – I’d have rather heard her say – they might come in handy if you’re inclined to learn more about computer programming.
On page 160 of the book there is a great line:
…a few over-40 survey respondents point out that they have been using computers for years, and that, in some cases, the fact that they learned to use technology when it was less “user-friendly” gives them a deeper ability to go under the hood and to understand how and why things work as they do.
I agree 100% and this is why I think it should be required to take some type of computer programming or science class to get your MLS – computers and databases are central to our work today – wouldn’t it be easier to search a database if you understood how it was set up? I think that a level of understanding of database programming is invaluable in a librarian working in today’s library.
Further down the page in a quote by a survey respondent:
…some of the people putting information technology to its best uses are older librarians who know libraries.
Yes! Which is why continuing education – in more than just library science – is a must for all librarians. A librarian who has been in the field for 15-30 years and knows how to set up a database and how to search it must be a huge commodity – I would think.
Lastly, from the same page:
Regardless of age or year of graduation, we all have the same need for ongoing professional development and current awareness.