Teaching social work concepts to LIS students


  • Sarah C. Johnson University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign




interdisciplinary education, LIS curricula, LIS education, social work


While there has been tremendous growth in the number of partnerships between social work and public libraries in the last fifteen years, an educational gap exists in teaching students about social work concepts within library and information science (LIS) graduate curricula. Recent scholarship does speak to the importance of integrating social work skills and knowledge into LIS coursework, yet little has been written about what this instruction looks like in practice. This thought piece demonstrates an originality of ideas by describing the content, structure, and goals of a cross-disciplinary graduate course entitled Library Social Work. In doing so, the author aims to illustrate the significance of incorporating concepts and themes into LIS curricula to better prepare students for the field of public librarianship and ultimately to benefit library patrons and librarians themselves.


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