Deep Dive into german speaking library training institutions and programs

From March to April of 2023 Candice Dahl set out to take a look at library schools in Germany and Switzerland to discover how internships in undergraduate library training programs are structured and managed. For BII she reports her findings and conclusions

„The goal of my 2023 sabbatical project was to learn more about how practicums/internships in undergraduate library training programs are structured and managed. In Canada we offer library and information studies programs at the master’s level only. However, at the University of Saskatchewan I teach a class for undergraduate students who are considering librarianship as a career but are not yet in a master’s program.
In order to investigate undergraduate programs specifically, I traveled outside of Canada. In 2022 I contacted several institutions in Germany and Switzerland, and visits were arranged at those that responded with interest. My tour included stops at Technische Hochschule Köln, UAS Potsdam, IBI Berlin, and HTWK Leipzig in Germany, as well as HEG Geneva in Switzerland. The meetings were held between March 20th and April 25th.
There is a significant difference in purpose between the academic internship that I offer for undergraduate students not yet in a library program, and those offered at the institutions I visited. While I seek to introduce students to academic librarianship broadly, I learned that in library science BA programs in Germany students already have valuable knowledge and experience in libraries, and internships are intended to orient them to a more specific, preferred field within the profession. While I don’t think it is appropriate to revise my purpose, I can certainly see the advantage of having this kind of specificity.

The whole report is available to be read in its entirety here.

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