Proposed Master of Librarianship Program

The proposal reads in part:


Proposed Master of Librarianship Program

I. Background

The proposal to establish a Master's degree program in Librarianship at the University of South Carolina emerged from long discussions of the need for such a program on the part of professional librarians in the State and from the investigation by the Division of Advanced Studies and Research for the need for such a program. In 1970 the Division published a Study of Library Personnel Needs in South Carolina which projected a great need for librarians in the State. It is indicative that without publicity, recruitment efforts or a visible program the College of Librarianship has received more than 250 inquiries and more than 50 students have indicated a desire to enroll in the initial class.

II. Purpose

The purpose of the program leading to the degree of Master of Librarianship is to provide students with the basic values, attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for the practice of librarianship. Graduates of the program will practice in school, public, academic, and a variety of special types of libraries. In addition it is anticipated that many graduates will function as information specialists in social service organizations.

III. Admission Requirements:

Admission to the program is based upon the following factors:

(1) Evidence that the student meets the general requirements of the Graduate School for admission to the University;

(2) Results of a personal interview with at least three (3) members of the faculty or where this is not practical with professional librarians selected by the faculty;

(3) Evidence of a strong desire to enter the library profession or if the applicant is already in library work evidence of a strong desire to improve the quality of library service.

IV. Program of Study:

The curriculum will be presented in the form of a required 12-hour course called the Professional Seminar, followed by a minimum of 18 hours of elective courses. The philosophy underlying our choice of one professional seminar, required of all students and to occupy the full term, is to enable the faculty to present the incoming student with a totally integrated view of the range of possibilities in our profession. The Professional Seminar will provide a common introduction to the field so that the freedom of choice offered by the electives which follow will be guided by a better understanding of the possibilities and actualities of the information profession.

Our approach is also designed to avoid a basic problem in library schools, which is a tendency to separate an educational program into distinct curricula for separate areas. Information science and media studies are an integral part of the profession. From the very beginning, the unity of the information profession will be stressed, and the faculty and other participants will join together to demonstrate the value of such an integrated approach.

Patterns of information flow in society will be reflected in presentation of the content of the Professional Seminar. It will cover both individual and mass communication, the generating of information from printing to electronic reproduction, how information is acquired, processed and stored by institutions, and how people with information needs may best be served.

After completing the Professional Seminar, the students will plan their own areas of specialization and interest with the aid of a faculty advisor chosen by the student. A wide range of courses can be offered by the present faculty, with the possibility of studying outside of the College of Librarianship if a course in another department will further the students career goals. The elective courses are divided as much as possible into one-credit modules, so that a student will have a wide range of choices, and may structure his program to serve his specific needs and goals. After the initial year the professional seminar will be offered in summer sessions for students who want to pursue the program on a part time basis.


The document then goes on to course descriptions. The first two such descriptions are included as samples:

Course Descriptions

LIBR 701 Professional Seminar In Librarianship Presents an integrated view of the information profession, information flow in society, individual and mass communication, generation of information. Processes of information acquisition, processing and storage. Identification of information needs. (credits - 12)
LIBR 703 Ancient and Medieval Libraries. Preservation of literature from the earliest days of recorded civilization in Mesopotamia, through Pre-Hellenistic Greece, Alexandria, Pergamum, Rome and the Roman Empire, to the Renaissance. Consideration of availability of books and the way in which they are acquired. (1 credit)