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Publisher Description

On May 12, 2008, Steven Bell, moderator of ACRLog and Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University, posted a survey on the blog seeking to determine what his readers believe are the most important topics in a course on academic librarianship. ACRLog, whose primary purpose, according to its mission statement, is "to discuss the issues of the day in the field of academic and research librarianship" (Association of College and Research Libraries, n.d.), seems an appropriate place for this survey. Bell, who teaches such a course, received over 100 responses. The survey asked readers to classify thirty subjects as essential, important, or marginal for inclusion in the course and to suggest additional subjects. About a month later, Bell posted a summary of the responses he received. Among the subjects most frequently cited as essential (see Table 1) were higher education, academic freedom/tenure, standards, public services, information literacy, collection management, and scholarly communication. Important topics included accreditation, organization, faculty status for librarians, technical services, the library as place, e-resources, faculty issues, and career advice. Topics considered marginal were leadership, management and budgeting (Bell, 2008, June 10). In his summary of the results, Bell asserted that, "We are all stakeholders in the LIS education of our future academic librarians" (Bell, 2008, June 10). Although Bell's survey appears to be the only study focusing specifically on the recommended content of academic librarianship courses, there have been numerous studies of the skills, proficiencies, and personal qualities considered necessary for successful academic librarians. To date, however, there has been no examination of the actual content of courses to determine how closely that content matches both Bell's list and the proficiencies identified in the literature. The study reported in this paper is a first attempt at such an examination.

Professional & Technical
January 1
Association for Library and Information Science Education
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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