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Re: Serials courses taken in Library School Blackwell, Lisa 06 Nov 2007 20:57 UTC

Hello everyone,
I apologize for taking so long to summarize for this list. First, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to my question - I was really overwhelmed with the number of swift responses (over 100!) and how interested so many of us seem to be in the question itself.

This is a very general summary because some of the responses were mixed and I want to do some further investigation.

~75% of individuals who identify as Serials librarians responded that they were never offered a course devoted solely to serials during library school

~25% of individuals responded that there was a course offered by their program but mostly on an irregular schedule and most of them admitted that they did not take the course. At least 2 respondents noted that the available class was cancelled due to lack of enrollment.

Several individuals noted that serials were only covered as a small piece of a course in cataloging/acquisitions/technical services
Nearly all of the "yes" respondents reported that the course was taught by an adjunct instructor (someone working in the field as a Serials Librarian) and, in one case, by a retired instructor.

Also of interest: I don't believe that any of the responses came from individuals currently enrolled in library school (apologies if I've missed identifying someone who is currently a student!)

Frankly, I'm beginning to wonder why, given that we practice in one of the most dynamic, challenging and fascinating corners of librarianship (IMHO), there seems to be so little attention given to Serials Librarianship in our formal Library School training. This is a question that (without a doubt) has been asked before but which (apparently) remains to be definitively answered.


Lisa S. Blackwell, MLS
Serials/Research Librarian
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Medical Library ED244
700 Children's Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43205
ph: (614) 722-3206
fax: (614) 722-3205