Document Type



Library and information studies (LIS) programs generally require that students complete a series of core courses. One of these common core courses required is library management, and for many students this may be the only opportunity to explore issues and concerns related to library management. Contrary to what they may think, most of these future librarians will have to make significant decisions related to management at some point in their careers. Almost every job in a library requires an awareness of the concepts of organizational behavior that typically underpin the library management course. Obviously this will be of greater importance for some than for others. Given the task of overseeing a small academic library shortly after graduating with my MLIS twelve years ago, I was especially sensitive to this need (I had originally planned to be an instruction librarian, not a library administrator). While it may be difficult to prepare library science students for every situation, we can provide them with some ways to improve their thinking when faced with problems and challenges. Active learning, specifically through the use of case studies, is one of the best ways to do just that. In an attempt to explore this further, preliminary research was conducted to investigate student perceptions of the value of case studies employed within a specific context. Additionally, practicing librarians were polled to determine whether or not the use of case studies in their MLIS program benefited them when making library administration decisions in their careers. The findings summarized in this paper illustrate both the benefits and shortcomings to the use of case studies in library education. Some implications for both library science students and practicing librarians are considered.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.