Preparing Future Librarians to Serve Our Diverse Communities

iStudent Blog npurviance

Our nation’s libraries serve increasingly diverse communities. Often, librarians need to offer resources in multiple languages and create programs and services to meet the lifelong learning needs of patrons from a variety of cultural and linguistic groups. Future librarians enrolled in the fully online and ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) have a unique opportunity to study cultures and languages as they prepare to serve diverse communities.

In partnership with the Department of World Languages and Literatures at San José State University (SJSU), SLIS is launching a new, fully online Chinese language and culture course in Fall 2012. The Chinese course builds upon a pilot project launched last year, when the two SJSU departments partnered to introduce interdisciplinary, online courses in Spanish and French for SLIS students.

“We are delighted to offer these courses, which help students understand how to communicate cross-culturally, how to develop a collection of library resources to serve non-English speaking patrons, and how to develop library services that meet local needs,” said Dr. Linda Main, SLIS associate director.

SLIS students who have completed their core classes (LIBR 200, 202, 203, 204) may enroll in the language and culture classes. The classes are upper division, and they count toward the 43-unit MLIS degree. Each class is 3 units. For more information, click here.

The School will continue offering other elective courses aimed at learning to serve diverse communities, including a new intercultural communication course, as well as scholarship programs for individuals from traditionally underserved communities.