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Moderator: Dr. R. David Lankes

Library and Information Science Education in North America: Bridging the Gulf Between Education and Practice

March 16, 2004

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View Webcast (1 hour, 57 minutes)

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There is an ongoing tension in the LIS field between the demands of preparing professionals and the forward-looking research mission of many of today's LIS programs. How can this seeming division between research and practice be bridged in curriculum, delivery modes (distance education), and accreditation? How are today's LIS programs serving the existing profession and helping shape the profession of tomorrow? This panel discussion will explore current thinking in the LIS academy and seek to highlight the sometime precarious balance of LIS education.

(above) Panelists at the Library of Congress prepare for the cybercast
(above) Panel participants at the Library of Congress



R. David Lankes, PhD, is Executive Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS) and an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. The IIS houses the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, the Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM), AskERIC and the Virtual Reference Desk (VRD). Lankes received his BFA (Multimedia Design), MS in Telecommunications and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

Lankes co-founded the award winning AskERIC project in 1992. AskERIC is an Internet service for educators that offers resources and personal assistant for thousands of teachers a week. Lankes founded the Virtual Reference Desk project that is building a national network of expertise for education. Lankes is also one of the architects of GEM. GEM is a standards-based system for describing and finding educational materials on the Internet.

Lankes research is in education information and digital reference services. He has authored, co-authored or edited eight books, and written numerous book chapters and journal articles on the Internet and digital reference. He was a visiting scholar to Harvard's Graduate School of Education and is currently a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada. He speaks and consults nationally on Internet issues in education, libraries and business. He has worked closely with the National Library of Education, Library of Congress, Microsoft, the American Library Association, AT&T, OCLC, NEA, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, MCI WorldCom and more.

Lankes serves on the boards of the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education. He is the chair of the ERIC Executive Committee and is a founding member and member of the executive committee of the National Education Network. He is also a member of the board for the Onondaga County Public Library.


Participating in the Panel from the Library of Congress:

  • Dr. Nicholas J. Belkin, Professor, Head, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies (SCILS), Rutgers University, NJ
  • Dr. Roberta I. Shaffer, Visiting Professor, College of Information Studies (CLIS), University of Maryland, MD
  • Dr. Elaine Yontz, Associate Professor, Department of Information Studies, Valdosta State University, GA

Participating in the Panel from the San Jose State University, San Jose, CA:

  • Dr. Michael Buckland, Professor, School of Information Management & Systems (SIMS), University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Dr. Ken Haycock, Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Dr. Linda Main, Professor, School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), San Jose State University, CA

The Library of Congress' Luminary Lectures program supports the ALA's @ your library™ Program

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