Thursday, August 28, 2008

Free money to good home

The MacArthur Foundation is offering grants up to $250,000 for projects in digital media that enhance participatory learning. Not only are libraries eligible, there's a separate Young Innovators competition for people 18-25 (like students).

Hat tip to Eszter Hargittai at Crooked Timber.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


There's a lengthy discussion at friendfeed - which kicked off another lengthy discussion at ACRLog - about if and when librarians should add "MLIS" or "MLS" after their names. No real consensus has emerged. Academic and special librarians seem to use the degree (and related titles) more often than public librarians. In general, there does seem to be a sense that it makes more sense to emphasize the credential when communicating with faculty, donors, or other outsiders, but that it's unnecessary with other librarians and downright divisive with paraprofessionals.

A number of people have said that librarians need to stand up for ourselves as a profession, and while I agree with the sentiment, I'm not sure this is the place to make the stand. After all, lawyers aren't hurting, but I'd look askance at any lawyer who signed off as John or Jane Doe, Esq. They're technically entitled to it, but it sure looks obnoxious.

I have a Ph.D. in political science, and I'm not sure how to deal with that, let alone the looming MLIS. I know that one big part of what I need to do in library school is acquire a whole new set of norms about professionalism. (Librarians, for the record, are waaay nicer than political scientists, so please excuse me while I exorcise the residual bitchiness inculcated in my doctoral program. Trust me, I'm much happier to be here.) Unfortunately for me, there doesn't seem to be a strong universal norm for me to follow, and that's made me uncomfortable so far.

Edited to add - Well, my personal experience has just confirmed StevenB's wisdom. I had added my PhD to my email sig file when I was corresponding with some folks at the Social Sciences Research Network, where I needed the credential and was directly leaning on the connections from my dissertation advisor. But when a classmate in the MLIS program addressed me as "Dr.", it's gotta go.
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Libri & Libertas: Books & Freedom in a Web 2.0 World by Laura H. Wimberley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.