Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Caribbean student's pre-assessment of the library school at Western University

As a library person trained in the only English-speaking library school in the Caribbean region, it is good for me to do my doctoral studies up north, where I can be exposed to another dimension of global librarianship.
My own library school at University of Western Ontario (now called Western University) is very interesting in how its organised and how it carries out the mandate of preparing the next generation of librarians and information professionals of the future.

First of all, the library school is shared with the school for journalism, media studies, popular music and culture, with the recent addition of a section for health information science. These are all included under what is dubbed the 'interdisciplinary' Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

Another interesting thing about the library school here at Western University is that the faculty tend to highly value the perspectives of political economy and critical studies. Analysis and the study of library issues by many faculty members tend to reflect Marxist, feminist and other postmodernist theoretical perspectives applied to analyzing the issues of library development. I personally come to the conclusion that the library school emphasizes that librarians must approach their work, the profession and their research with personal values and ideologies, while critiquing how the institutions of libraries and other information environments are being affected by neo-liberal agendas, ideologies and hegemony.

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