Michael talks about what classes library schools should be teaching their students. Things like “Social Software for Librarians and Libraries,” “The New Library Web Site,” and others left in the comments look wonderful to me. I would sign up for those classes in a heartbeat, but I will go a step farther. I think they should be required. Required.
In my graduate school, The Internet for Library Science Majors was the only technology related class offered and it was not required. We learned how to search Google and build a basic web page using CSS and HTML. I had classmates who did not know how to use email, attach files, operate in CMS (course management software), use chat, and heck I doubt some of them had ever used a computer prior to grad school. I exaggerate, but not as much as one would think.
I think that not only do we need to start offering more technology based classes but we should require students to take them. One of my largest pet peeves (I am hopping onto soapbox) is that our profession seems to be in the business of catering to the least common denominator. We tend to cater to people at the non-technical side of the scale. I am talking about library professionals, not our patrons. Our illustrious and frequently embarrassing president is a perfect example of many of our nontechu collegues and how our profession is seen by others. How many of us spend days banging our heads into the wall, praying that our supervisors will one days see the light, and realize that blogs, wikis, and other technologies could be useful. To the librarians. To the users. To everyone.
(thinks better of it and hops back up)
If we are truly determined to have better libraries, that serve our patrons where and when they need the information they seek, we have to be tech savvy. We still have to understand the PnP version of libraries, but we must to be able to easily flow from paper to digital without blinking. (That is Pen and Paper,PnP, for those who are non D&D fans) If we want to have these skills then we need to require it of our graduates.
I think we should require it of current staff too.
–Jane, require is a big word that begets another big word, accountability