Tags: Access and Affordability
, Building Partnerships with Outside Institutions
Professors Kristin Fontichiaro and Lionel Robert, School of Information, in collaboration public library leaders Josie Parker and Larry Neal, developed a set of practitioner-oriented courses to bring robust, effective management skills to public librarians. Understanding many public librarians enter the profession through avenues outside of formal education, the creators aim to provide a pathway for library professionals to expand their toolkit of management strategies and expand access to high-quality library science education to underserved areas in the United States and abroad. The learner-centered courses provide students with tools in identifying community needs; managing personnel in a diverse workplace; budgeting and strategic planning; marketing; grant-writing and more. Sharing a commitment to high quality learning at scale and curricular innovation, the faculty team partnered with Academic Innovation to leverage a job-embedded model to improve and personalize the digital education experience. Courses incorporate case studies and interviews with library leaders at state and national conferences to lend authenticity and provide motivated, curious library staff with a unique opportunity for job-embedded coursework relevant to their day-to-day functions.
These courses expand the portfolio of learning opportunities available to face-to-face students pursuing library science at U-M while expanding the size of their potential learning cohort. Library faculty also gain added insight into how library themes and concepts are adopted in the field and how job-embedded projects can enhance learning. In the future, course designers may explore specialized, niche courses such as Branch Management, Library Renovations, Opening New Buildings and more.