November 2017

Collaborations with the iSchool

The Library and the iSchool have had a number of conversations in the last several months about strengthening research relationships between the two organizations. In particular, it would be advantageous to more closely involve the iSchool Information Management (IM) students—who are not eligible for GA positions—in the research activities going on in the Library. We are proposing that the Library generate a list of practicum or independent study opportunities centered on a project and supervised by a Library faculty member, for which IM or LIS students can apply. The Library project supervisor will then select one or more iSchool students for the project work. The project activities will contribute to the student’s education and also advance the work in the Library. IM students also prepare an online portfolio documenting achievements and areas of expertise. This project work, whether it is done in a practicum or independent study situation or in a not-for-credit environment can be included in their portfolio, with a focus on how they coped with and resolved the technical challenges and setbacks along the way.

I know a number of us have practicum or independent study project ideas. We need to begin developing a candidate list and description of projects for presentation to the iSchool, where the students can apply in the matching process. There are some specific parameters around the practicum experience—100 hours of work, with a final grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. Independent study courses are typically a semester in length with a letter grade awarded at the conclusion. Another option would be to develop projects where the student gains valuable experience (for their portfolio) but no credit hours are earned.

The credit-bearing classes will need to be aligned with the academic calendar at the time of advance enrollment. So, ideally we would need to develop and present the project ideas in November 2017. We would then ask students to apply for consideration for one or more specific opportunities, with the site supervisor making the selection(s).

We are soliciting candidate project ideas from Library faculty. We would like to run a number of test practicums, independent studies, or projects in the Spring semester. Anyone who has a research project which could involve a participating iSchool student—who they are willing to supervise this Spring—should send the project description (in a few sentences) to the EC at We will collect the projects for presentation to the iSchool.

William Mischo
Acting Dean of Libraries and University Librarian