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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Review of Masters in Library and Information Course at Charles Sturt University : Progress report

I was very fortunate to be a member of the Course Advisory Committee of the Masters in Library and Information Course at Charles Sturt University (CSU) last year. I am delighted to advise that while the committee challenged CSU to not just have timely quality courses for students , but also to evolve course content very quickly, particularly to ensure that students were au fait with Web 2.0, CSU have responded to these challenges very positively.

Dr Philip Hider has recently advised the Course committee that:

"We did have a meeting last July to discuss the recommendations made in last year's report on the MASLIM course, but the inception of the School Review shortly afterwards meant that we had to defer the broader plan of action, as it was likely that the Review's outcomes would have overarching implications for the course. Whilst these outcomes have yet to be finalised, it does look as though this will indeed be the case.

Nevertheless, some of the more detailed recommendations provided in the report have been implemented. For instance, regarding 'information infrastructure' and IT elements, a thorough revision to the subject INF413, IT in Libraries, has been undertaken (it has also been moved online), and also a major revision of INF439, Online Information Environment, in which new IT elements have been introduced (such as Web 2.0 type software)."

In INF410, Information Seeking in Context, there is now greater emphasis on user-centred services and on use of virtual reference services. The treatment of user education more directly, however, is likely to be reserved for a dedicated Information Literacy subject, either in terms of a revised ETL412 or a new subject.

The management subjects underwent an extensive overhaul last year, with the three subjects INF415 (stage 1), INF514 (stage 2) and INF515 (stage 2), now covering the topics proposed both under 'contemporary workplace issues' and in the 'intensive business focussed' area.

The subject INF429, Introduction to Information Society, has also undergone a major revision, and been moved online. Addressing a specific recommendation, there is now a segment on user-generated content, the re-use of digital content and the idea of ‘free culture’ (i.e. more flexible usage around copyright).

I would like to congratulate CSU on both providing excellent graduates for the Canberra region and also for their great engagement with employers in many sectors including public, university, tafe and special, to ensure that their course meet our needs.

If anyone would like to discuss the course review with me please do not hesitate to contact me.

Roxanne Missingham
Parliamentarian Librarian

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