Libraries of all kinds are transforming communities. The next generation of librarians will need to equip with good community engagement skills as well as good understanding of trusting and learning from communities to develop programs and services that meet the needs of their communities.
In this poster, we will report outcomes of an IMLS-funded project on Integrating community-based learning with LIS education. While there are significant interests in training or education in developing community engagement skills, few formal LIS education programs or courses specialize on such training or education. With the support of IMLS, Drexel University established a certificate of community-based librarianship that had become a part of their LIS degree. The unique features of the Certificate include:
1. Bringing communities to the classroom 2. Developing programs and services through Design thinking activities 3. Engaging communities through capstone work
Results from a survey of the certificate students we conducted were encouraging. Overall, students were appreciated the opportunity to learn and develop skills on community-based librarianship. They were satisfied with what they learned in the program and wish to learn more. The two best outcomes of the program that the students identified include: • Students develop a good understanding of major concepts and processes of community information needs analysis. • Students learn to collaborate with others to identify and address community needs or problems.
The poster will present what we learn through the project and discuss what challenges remain to fully integrate community engagement and collaboration in the LIS education.