Wednesday, January 06, 2016

ALISE16 : The Importance of Library Science History

Kristen Schuster brought to the fore the importance of teaching this history of libraries (as an institution) and library science.  It can make more intelligible what is going on currently in the profession.  It can also demonstrate that we've never all agreed on what libraries should be. If students understand the dissonance of the past, will they better understand the dissonance of the current day?  Will they have a richer and more dynamic sense of their profession's history?  For me, I wonder if students will be engaged by this history, if it is in a core class? Can it be made exciting and truly relevant for this?  I know that students want some of this history, but how much is enough?  How much is too much?
Someone in the audience talked about the history of technology in libraries, which is a way to get students to question their assumptions.

Could this history provide a context for the changes that are occurring in libraries now?

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