Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Library by Any Other Name: taking the L out of Library Schools

Library Journal reports that Rutgers University's School of Communication, Information and Library Studies (SCILS) has decided to remove the word library from its title. The article quotes the Dean,
"Dean Jorge Reina Schement offered extensive arguments for the name change, including an increase in the school’s competitiveness..."

Aside from being a slap in the face to librarians, library studies and the English language, it really is difficult to understand how removing the word library from the school's name will increase competitiveness. Looking at the google map of accredited library schools in North America, I noticed that a few of them have already rid themselves of the dreaded L word. Most institutions that offer a Masters degree in librarianship (library studies) have the word library in the school or department name however.

One waggish librarian and Rutgers alum of my acquaintance emailed Dean Schement asking for her tuition back. Generally, New Jersey is SCILS land as far as librarians' credentials go. I'm relieved to say that I went to a library school in a District far far away which has not succombed to the idea that library is a dirty word and I hope it never does.

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