Thanks to Laura Morlock for sending me the minutes from the meeting. The Executive Summary of the MLIS Program Presentation is on the department's homepage (in the list of links right in the center). Anyone interested in what the program has said about itself as we apply for ALA accreditation should read this summary.
MLIS Advisory Council
25 September 2008
I. Welcome and Introductions – Mary
II. Accreditation Update
a. Handout Program Presentation/Executive Summary -- Marilyn
b. External Review Panel Site Visit October 20 & 21, 2008 – Mary
III. MLIS Program Updates
a. University Status -- Mary
b. Faculty -- Mary
c. Curriculum -- Susan
Present: Marilyn Cathcart, Liz Cavert-Scheibel, Margaret Gillespie, Karen Harwood, Bob Horton, Peggy Johnson, Laura Morlock, Patricia Post, Susan Shoemaker, and Mary Wagner.
Laura Morlock took the minutes.
I. Welcome and Introductions
a. Welcome to Marilyn Cathcart and Susan Shoemaker who will serve as the MLIS Faculty Advisory Council members for 2008-09. Liz Cavert-Scheibel will continue to serve as a representative from the MLIS Student Governance Organization. Patricia Post attended via conference phone.
b. News from Advisory members included: Karen Harwood enjoyed an elder hostel in Farmington, New Mexico; Peggy Johnson just finished teaching a new, popular, four-week on-line technical services course with ambivalence toward the on-line format; Bob Horton mentioned the new Vatican Splendors exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society; Marilyn Cathcart shared that the there is a fabulous group of entering MLIS students who are very engaged and intelligent; Liz Cavert-Scheibel works part-time at the Legislative Reference Library and volunteered at the Guthrie Library this summer; Margaret Gillespie brought up the Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Library merger and the current intricacies of job hiring; Patricia Post shared that the St. Cloud Public Library had its ribbon cutting and grand opening. Circulation from the first five days exceeded the month of September from last year.
II. Accreditation Update
a. A Program Presentation was given to each Advisory Council member. Those who could not attend today’s meeting will be mailed a copy. Marilyn Cathcart, as author, walked through the Executive Summary handout (also sent to those who could not attend today). She outlined highlights from the executive summary which share the history of the program at St. Kate’s, future directions, strengths of the program and an encapsulation of each of the Standard chapters. The MLIS Mission, Guiding Principles, Goals, and Student Learning Objectives were attached at the end. We will find out about our Accreditation status in February from the Committee on Accreditation following the ALA conference.
b. The External Review Panel Site Visit takes place on October 19, 20, & 21, 2008. A detailed schedule will be posted on the MLIS website once it has been confirmed by the ERP Chair. Please mark those dates in your calendar especially with a tentative spot reserved on Sunday evening. The ERP may alternatively request Advisory Council email addresses and contact members in that fashion.
c. Questions and comments about Accreditation were addressed. Like Dominican University, St. Kate’s does see itself as preparing practitioners; the change in curriculum is so that St. Kate’s can create themes which reflect values that are different from DU. Positioning the MLIS Program in the national area for prospective students is a goal and future challenge. We will focus once again on what the hopes and dreams of the MLIS Program are. Some stories from Advisory Council members mentioned MLIS graduates as “rising star interns” within their organizations; that we have many people outside the program who are engaged in the program—as partnering institutions; that students also connect with the local library community through field trips from classes or student groups such as SLA.
III. MLIS Program Updates
a. The College of St. Catherine will become St. Catherine University as of June 1, 2009. Mary shared an advertisement from the Star Tribune announcing the new name. This change reflects what the college has become in the last 10-12 years. The MLIS Program/Information Management Department will reside in a School with the Social Work and Education Departments. That School name has yet to be decided. The INFM undergraduate program for which the IM Department is responsible will be phased out.
b. Faculty news includes the retirement of Helen Humeston as of the end of the winter 2008 semester. Two new faculty were hired. Sheri Ross comes from Florida State University. During the 2008-09 academic year she’ll teach the Organization of Knowledge, Information Policy, and Management of Libraries and Information Centers courses for MLIS as well as the Organization of Information Sources for the INFM Program. Sarah Park of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign will start in winter 2009 by teaching Library Materials for Young Adults and Internet Fundamentals & Design.
c. Susan Shoemaker conveyed that MLIS faculty have continued a Curriculum discussion during the whole Accreditation process. Following the scholar practitioner model the MLIS Program is working on incorporating five main threads into the future Curriculum: Ethics, Diversity, Leadership, Research/Critical Thinking and Technology. Brainstorming sessions, meetings of the MLIS faculty as a whole, and small group discussions have occurred; in particular there have been many small group meetings among the faculty who teach the core courses. Case studies have been a topic of interest. Introducing them into the core courses and revisiting them in subsequent advanced courses is a possibility. Other topics of interest have included offering one-credit courses on subjects that don’t seem to fit into the current curriculum but which merit value for students; one example could be a course on the role of libraries in an election year. These courses would be offered in a J-term. The Ethics, Diversity, Leadership, Research/Critical Thinking and Technology threads would be integrated into all courses. Assessment continues to be an ongoing discussion component. Faculty have contemplated a capstone course, a portfolio requirement, continuing education courses (such as brand new Leadership Certificate offered in conjunction with the MAOL Program). Summed up, the faculty are taking the Curriculum apart and putting it back together in a way that best supports the students and the library communities which they will serve.
Comments from Advisory Council members: Peggy Johnson shared that the U of M has offers a leadership workshop Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians From Traditionally Underrepresented Groups http://www.lib.umn.edu/sed/institute/Registration.html for the past ten years. It could serve as a possible template for a one-credit course. Bob Horton proposed offering 1-2 day workshops instead of one-credit courses. Topics for these courses included: grant writing (and evaluation) and advocacy.
Reminder: the next MLIS Advisory Council Meeting date is February 16, 2009 from 5-6pm in CdC 495 followed by an Accreditation announcement and celebration in Rauenhorst Hall (CdC third floor Ballroom ) from 6-8pm.