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Librarians at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio - two hundred miles from the state's only ALA-accredited Library and Information Science school at Kent State University - want to become actively engaged in promoting academic librarianship but have few local opportunities to do so. Dayton-area distance-learning students in the Kent State University program need practical experiences in academic libraries. The students' need for mentoring and hands-on experience and the librarians' desire to support their profession create the perfect environment for the establishment of a WSU Libraries' practicum program.

How It All Comes Together:

  • The KSU SLIS program encourages a practicum experience by making it an attractive capstone option
  • The WSU University Libraries on-site supervisors canvas the Reference, Instruction and Collection Development staffs each term to identify activities that can be offered to practicum students and that will also benefit those departments.
  • In the interview process and during the first weeks of the practicum, the practicum student and on-site supervisors construct an experience that is responsive to the needs of both the student and the librarians who are sponsoring each activity.

Benefits for WSU University Libraries:

  • Practicum students do some of our work: provide reference service via Information Desk and IM; work on collection management projects such as collection evaluation and weeding; assist with and even teach research classes.
  • Librarians acquire supervisory experience and a fresh perspective.
  • Librarians use the opportunity to influence, promote, and serve the profession.

Benefits for the profession:

  • Librarianship is marketed to the WSU student population.
  • Practicum students enter the workforce better prepared.

Benefits for the practicum students:

  • LIS students get one-on-one attention that may be lacking in their distance-learning experience.
  • LIS students have excellent and challenging opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge.

Challenges for the WSU University Libraries:

  • Training the students.
  • Finding time to mentor / supervise.
  • Collaborating with the students' advisors from a distance: this is an aspect of the practicum experience that the on-site supervisors expect to focus on this year.


This poster was presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on March 30, 2007.

ACRL_Poster_Baker_Jones_2007_Text.pdf (20 kB)
Description of project

Additional Files

ACRL_Poster_Baker_Jones_2007_Text.pdf (20 kB)
Description of project