Preliminary Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Preliminary Papers 7: LIS and Information Services
Friday, 24/Mar/2017:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Marianne Martens, Kent State University
Location: Hanyang Hall
Location: Third Floor Capacity: 60 Size: 73㎡

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Information Studies in Two Cultures: A Review of iSchool Curricula in China and US

Stacy T Kowalczyk, Yijun Gao

Dominican University, United States of America

This study compares the curricula of 10 iSchools in the US and 10 iSchools in China by categorizing and analyzing the text of 667 course titles harvested from publicly available websites. The results show that the US offers more courses per school and a wider range of courses. While the schools share a number of similar topics, there are significant differences between the curricula in US and Chinese iSchools in the areas of technology, management, human factors, analytics, and general information studies.

The Role of Thesis in Building Information Professionals: comparing among iSchools

Sherry L. Xie1, Wenhong Zhou2, Guanyan Fan1

1Renmin University of China, China, People's Republic of; 2University of Sichuan

Motivated by the questions of what role thesis plays in developing master level information professionals and why contrasting program requirements exist among iSchool master programs, the present study examined primarily the information/library science oriented master programs of the iSchool tier 1 members. As the first stage of a multi-phase study, the examination relied on three types of indicators: thesis as a requirement of the program, the nature of the requirement in terms of being mandatory or optional, and specifics of the thesis requirements. This “early work” paper reports on the background information that inspired the study, the methodological design that serves the research questions, and the findings of the study’s first stage in both the forms of statistic observations and narratives.

“If You Can’t See Go and Start the Weekend”: Towards the Provision of Information Resources to Students with Visual Impairments in Tanzanian Academic Libraries

Rebecca Mgunda Majinge

University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

This article reports on an empirical study which examined information resources provision to people with visual impairments in five Tanzanian academic libraries. A pragmatism paradigm and Oliver’s social model of disability were employed as well as the International Classification of Functioning model. Quantitative and qualitative methods, including questionnaires, interview schedules and an observation checklist were used to collect data. The study population of 196 respondents comprised library directors, other professional library staff, disability unit staff, students with visual impairments and staff from the Ministry of Education’s Special Needs Unit. The study found that there were no alternative materials for this group in Tanzanian academic libraries, hence they used normal print information resources with the aid of volunteer readers. Information resources in Braille and large print, as well as other assistive technologies are required for people with visual impairments. The complexity of service to diverse and dispersed target audiences of people with visual impairments suggests the importance of using the data gathered to collaborate with regional lobby groups to address the immense gaps in service.

The experience of the learning atmosphere in the learning commons

Andrew M. Cox

The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Even within highly planned environments such as university libraries and information commons, we should take seriously the need to understand how space is experienced and how this shapes learning as an embodied process. This preliminary results paper explores students’ experience of informal learning spaces, through the lens of sensory studies. It is based on data from walk with interviews and focus groups, in a British University. The results of the initial round of data collection and analysis show how study atmospheres are experienced in sensory and emotional terms, especially how particular qualities of light, visibility and sound are felt in the course of different types of informal learning. The next stage of the research will develop a better understanding of how different learning atmospheres are socially constructed based on observation and further walk with interviews.

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