Distance learning students: Please consult your advisor regarding the Practicum.
Completing a field experience satisfactorily is a degree requirement for students concentrating in school libraries, and is highly recommended for students concentrating in special libraries. A Practicum is required for certification to work in school media centers. Other students may elect to take LSIS 5620 - Practicum if they wish to have this experience.
Any Practicum is arranged through the instructor who teaches the administration course in the student's area of concentration. For example, a Practicum in a special library would be arranged through Dr. Ballard and a Practicum in school media center would be arranged through Dr. Underwood. A Practicum will need to be arranged well in advance of the semester in which it is taken, under ordinary circumstances. It is the student's responsibility to initiate the process by contacting the faculty member who will advise the Practicum.
The student and the Practicum advisor will consult on the potential locations for the Practicum and the broad outline of what the Practicum will include. They will also develop a statement on the specific competencies and segments of knowledge that the student hopes to acquire. This statement will be communicated to the supervisor at the library or media center at which the Practicum will occur.
Experiences are designed and closely supervised to give each student the opportunity to demonstrate competence in working in a library/information system. This experience provides opportunities for the student to interpret principles and theory, apply and test principles and theory, and develop awareness and competence.
A Practicum can emphasize a survey of activities within a system or a type of activity within a system. In either case a broad orientation of the entire system must be included. For a type of activity, the purpose of the orientation is to enable the student to grasp the importance of the activity in relation to the systems overall mission and to know how the activity specifically connects with the rest of the system.
The student should spend 120 hours supervised by a professional with a master's degree in library/information sciences.
All students intending to concentrate in school media work need to obtain a copy of the document entitled Practicum for Library Speicalizations from the Office of the Dean, and should keep themselves abreast of all appropriate prerequisites, requirements and deadlines, as well as all necessary documentation.
Students who choose to have the Practicum experience outside of the Durham area must pay the current rate for the travel expenses of the supervising faculty advisor. These financial arrangements are to be made in advance.
Other details on the Practicum can be found in the "Guidelines for Practicums" printed below.
This experience provides opportunities for the student to (1) interpret principles and theory, (2) apply and test principles and theory, and (3) develop awareness and competence.
A Practicum can emphasize (1) a survey of activities within a type of library or (2) a type of activity within a library. In either case, a broad orientation of the entire system must be included.
For a type of library activity, the purpose of the orientation shall be to enable the student to (1) grasp the importance of the activity in relation to the overall mission of the library and (2) to know how the activity specifically connects with library activities other than those visible in the workplace.
The student should spend 120 hours at the library supervised by a professional librarian with a master's degree in library science.