Toni Samek reviews R. J. Cox’s The Demise of the Library School

Toni Samek (winner of Library Journal‘s first annual teaching award in 2007) has a review of R. J. Cox’s The Demise of the Library School: Personal Reflections on Professional Education in the Modern Corporate University in the new issue of the CAUT Bulletin (Canadian Association of University Teachers).

Her review begins:

Library and information education has had an evolving relationship with the university for more than a century. The Demise of the Library School by Professor Richard J. Cox, lead educator in the University of Pittsburgh school of information sciences’ archives, preservation, and records management specialization, is a well-written volume of personal and professional thoughts on the state of professional graduate library and archives programs in higher education today.

While there is an abundance of published commentary about the traditional library school’s transition to the information school or iSchool of the 21st century, Cox’s work is fresh because he anchors it in the changing tides of higher education and provides a sophisticated context for the variation. Much of his treatment is rooted in economic explorations such as decision making based on corporatist efficiencies. While the book is billed as “personal reflections,” those contemplations are based on years of experience in the academic trenches and so the content is more universal than the book’s label suggests.


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