Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NEW VENUE for Town Hall Meeting

Dear First Year MI Students,

I have heard a rumour that second year students would like also to have a chance to attend tomorrow's meeting between 5-6pm. Given their interest I wanted to write to the Student Council President to offer her the opportunity to invite them to attend. Because I do not know how many students will wish to attend from either the first or second year and fire regulations would only have allowed around 250 students to come into the room my colleagues had booked we have found another room with a higher capacity.

So the Faculty of Information town meeting will now be held at

Mechanical Engineering Bldg

5 King's College Road

Room 102 (MC 102)

In case those of you who will be speaking want to get an appreciation of the space, something that I have always found helpful, I include a link to a picture of the room (http://www.osm.utoronto.ca/room_pics/MC-102.html ).

For those of you trying to find the meeting room you can find a map at (http://rrs.osm.utoronto.ca/map/f?p=110:1:5760345334091742552)

So I look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it tomorrow, 28 October, at 5 pm.


Seamus Ross


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new program was designed by the previous dean, et al. The previous dean had this grand idea of what he wanted the Faculty to be, but he left at the right time (for him) So, in a way the current dean inherited this mess... As long as criticism is constructive, everyone wins... we can all help in making the faculty and the program great... A big concern, though, is that a number of new faculty don't really care for the LIS path ... students come to this program because in some cases they have already done another Masters and have not found a job... so this degree is supposed to give students the skills they need to succeed in the working world.

10:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted this comment to your Sunday blog, but I am reposting this to your newer one, because I am not the only student who is concerned with the Internet presence of this situation:

"Perhaps a blog, (or the Facebook group) is not the place to be voicing all these problems. You've put this online, no one from the faculty is spying by looking at this, and possibly identifying professors by name could constitute defamation of character. We all have to graduate from this program & I do not want my degree to be rendered useless, or lose value because of people want to announce "Look at me, look at what I can do!" I don't mean to be a jerk, but we all have to very careful of the media tactics we use. Responsible journalists do not write opinion pieces in situ like you did Derek; they allow time for reflection. After all we are future information professionals & yet we are ignoring the the potential damaging ramifications of telling the world the problems with the program (and our problems are by no way unique to our faculty). I don't want to passed over for a future job because my program is a laughing stock. Believe me, I have been in committees reviewing applications & you can bet we very thoroughly researched final candidates. Whether that is ethically right, it is occurring. I'm not saying some or maybe many of our complaints aren't valid (though there are a good deal that are not) but we should keep them inside the school like in today's planned Town Hall meeting. I ask everyone to carefully consider & review everything you put out on the Internet."

1:15 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the above poster, in regards to the outside perceptions of this program, the sad truth is they already exist. Whether for good or bad, most professionals in the traditional library field several of us have spoken to seem to have an opinion on the shift in curriculum and shift in focus from what this faculty has been about for almost 80 years. The very sad truth is, I have been faced with a chuckle and "Oh, you go to the ischool" more than once.

9:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the people who have co-opted my bagofwtf statement:

You are missing the point. I have a MA in bagofwtf - my entire thesis was based on critical theory/cultural studies.

My point was, it is upsetting that second year classes like advanced cataloguing are cancelled to accommodate new theory classes. There should be a balance, a balance that is well carefully and strategically planned.

The implementation of these classes was an exercise in poor management and planning. The classes could definitely use revision, and a way to make them more relevant to information studies.

It was not to say that ALL of those types of courses are bagsofwtf. It was meant to say SOME of those courses ARE bagsofwtf hence the slash. I will stand by that, some of them are...dreadful.

If they can make room for all of kinds of courses, and give students the freedom to choose - I say fill your boots!

Sometimes it just feels that the practical and library based theoretical classes are considered passé and that's not true once you leave the walls of the iSchool.

10:15 p.m.  
Anonymous disgruntled part-timer said...

It's been an interesting discussion about the 5 year plan at the Faculty. The students who said that it was the previous Dean's brain child are absolutely correct. The way it was presented to the students and faculty members in December 2008 sounded like a car crash waiting to happen in a blinding fog on the 401.

There have been many valid points made in the posts on this blog. The bottom line for the faculty is that the $ is the driving force behind many of the decisions that are being made. It isn't about the student or the student's needs, but the grant and research funding that the faculty receives. More students = more $. Plain and simple.

It should also be noted that the Career Liason position was axed in 2003, then discussed by the 2007/2008 Student Council, with the promise that said position would be available in 2 years. It's now 2009/2010, and this position has yet to materialize. It would appear that the Administration is not interested in making this a priority. Why is it that the MISSC is constantly providing opportunities for students, like the Job Fair day, Career Resume building and Interview Preparedness? Would this not be part of the job of the Career Liason Officer? It would appear to me that the students recognize what their needs are, and are getting it themselves because the Faculty will not, and the students don't want to wait.

Also, fwiw, the co-op has been discussed since 2002. Just so's you know.

My advice? Look at the job postings located here: http://joomla.ischool.utoronto.ca/component/option,com_jobline/. This is the real world, and the one where your degree will make the most sense. Pick courses that seem to fit many of the jobs that are being available. But what about relevance, you may ask. Trust me - these jobs that ask for Health Librarians, Outreach Librarians, and Legal librarians will still be around when you graduate. Take the courses offered in these subjects. Take the online searching class so you get an introduction to many of the subscription databases that are available. Take all the courses you can with Mike McCaffrey. He's amazing, and he knows his stuff. Take Max Dionisio's advanced cataloging class if you want to be a cataloguer (Max is thorough and enjoys cataloguing). Take the collection development classes - both the regular and the YP one. Take the Reader's Advisory. These are courses that are going to help you in the job future. Avoid the pure theoretical unless required. Take the children's courses. Take Wendy Newman's Advocacy class.

After you've picked out your courses based on looking at the current job listing, go back to : http://joomla.ischool.utoronto.ca/component/option,com_jobline/ and a library job. Get it now. Go to the U of T library page and get a job as a GALT. Get it and stick with it no matter what. Why? Your 2 years of experience through grad school will put you ahead of those who don't or can't get library experience. Finish your degree and get the hell out of dodge.

I hate to sound defeatist, but the Faculty isn't changing its program, not unless the student body is going to advocate long and hard. While it's possible, the likelihood of it happening isn't (look at how long people have wanted things for). Unless you propose a serious advocacy movement, like the Children's and Youth Advocacy, what the students are asking for will not be granted. The Faculty will not save you - you have to save yourself. Or transfer to another university that offers the program and has less theoretic courses.

8:04 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home