Who Wants a PhD from GSLIS?!

I received my PhD from GSLIS at the University of Illinois and absolutely loved it. Check it out:

Fellowships Now Available for Doctoral Study: Information in Society

With grant support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science is recruiting a select group of doctoral students interested in pursuing the study of information in society, in its historical, political-economic, and/or policy dimensions.  Your interests may lie in any part of the emerging field of information studies, such as practices of information organization, library history, the political economy of information, or community information systems; your academic background may be in library and information science, history, law, communications or other fields–as long as you share our commitment to engaging deeply with the processes that structure information in society. Fellowship recipients should be seeking to prepare for careers as faculty members in schools of library and information science.

Apply by January 5, 2010 to begin study in Fall 2010

Contact: Professor and Associate Dean Linda C. Smith:
(217) 333-7742
Email: lcsmith@uiuc.edu

Visit the website at http://www.lis.illinois.edu/programs/phd/infosociety

USNews ranks Librarian Best Career in 2009!

Now, I try not to set too much store by US News and World Report rankings except of course, when they announce that the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois is ranked #1 in the entire country (which, of course, means in the entire universe). So who am I to argue that they recently announced that librarianship is one of the best careers of 2009? 🙂

Overview. Forget about that image of librarians as a mousy bookworms. More and more of today’s librarians must be clever interrogators, helping the patron to reframe their question more usefully. Librarians then become high-tech information sleuths, helping patrons plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records, often starting with a clever Google search but frequently going well beyond.

Read the rest of the article here. To be fair, the description is a little glamoratized (“Librarians may also go on shopping sprees, deciding which books and online resources to buy. They may even get to put on performances, like children’s puppet shows, and run other programs, like book discussion groups for elders.” — as if those are *easy* tasks?! We have whole courses devoted to collection development, online databases, children’s services, storytelling, and running book discussion groups!) 

Also, here’s proof that you can’t *really* trust US News and World Report rankings: they say being a professor is one of the most overrated careers 😦 

To get tenure, which takes seven years, one typically must, in addition to a carrying full teaching load and advising students, publish original research, serve on committees, and perform other university service. That means long hours and not even close to getting the summers off.

It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it. Might as well be someone who loves what they do enough to survive 5+ years of graduate school :o)

“Making Stuff Up”



I love PhDcomics! It often does amaze me that I can read a bunch of books, think about them, write about them, and then get a Ph.D., and not because the behavioral sciences and social sciences use “real data” whereas mine is “just based on children’s books” or because I’m “making stuff up,” but because I can do what I love and be valued and respected for it. Gerard is right- “humanities is the study of the human condition through literary analysis and criticism.” Literature reflects what we believe about the world, and they project the images and ideologies we want others to also believe. Children’s literature is a potent medium through which to spread particular ideologies, whether they be of heteronormativity or what constitutes a nuclear family or what types of jobs and behaviors and religions are valued and respected. People who think children’s literature is free from politics are fooling themselves; they only think so because they want children’s literature to reflect their politics, and feel threatened when other ideologies are presented. But the truth is, we need to see a diversity of experiences, viewpoints, perspectives, behaviors, in children’s literature so that we could learn to understand, respect, appreciate, and value all that the world has to offer. As I step off my soapbox, I leave you with a favorite quote:
You must not refuse to lend a book, even to an enemy, for the cause of learning will suffer” Rabbi Yehuda of Regensburg, Germany 1200 C.E.