LIS 608 focused on researching in the field of library science. I think the Annoyed Librarian had a wonderful summary of the research and publication experience in our field. It can seem oddly simple. However, this course did cover the details of interviews, observations, surveys, etc. I actually conducted an observation of a circulation desk at a local academic library. I discovered I have better observation skills than I realized. Anyone who’s worked on a graduate degree has taken a research methods course (I even had one for my Lit MA), so I’m not going to bore you with the details.
The textbook for LIS 608 was The Practice of Social Research, by Babbie. It’s an awesome book. Considering it’s a book on research in the social sciences, that is a major compliment.
LIS 603 focused on Management techniques in libraries. I’ll be honest. I hated this course. I only scored a B in this course, mainly because I’d wait until the last possible minute to complete assignments (bad Melissa). I’m not fond of management theories. I’m specifically referring to the management theories found in the twentieth century, which is what 603 covered. I think they paint employees as mindless drones requiring constant manipulation and training (kind of like the training you might attempt on a really stupid dog). However, I did like the strategic planning segment of the course. It appealed to my control freak nature. You should see me plan vacations or moves. I’m always planning.
It’s important for libraries to plan, especially in hard economic times. It provides a framework and keeps everyone focused on the library’s mission. Yes, planning can get grating, but it’s less annoying than everyone running around like headless chickens later.
LIS 603 also had an interesting textbook. Library and Information Center Management, by Stueart and Moran, conveyed management theories in a practical and organized way. It wasn’t my favorite textbook ever (mainly because of the subject material), but it was well organized.