Innovation in Library Education: Historical X-Files on Technology, People, and Change

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James V. Carmichael, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: In spite of the random accolade occasionally tossed to the unusually prominent professor, most practitioners regard library educators with distrust, disdain, or at best, strained tolerance. Academicians generally are viewed as self-serving, indulgent, and effete due to the supposed flexibility of their schedules and their philosophical flirtations with irrelevant and perhaps erroneous theory from other fields. It is assumed that they are somehow intellectual, meaning removed from the day-to-day concerns of real librarians and their customers. Some state legislatures have promoted the idea that the entire professorate represents a high-paid welfare class, and several have abolished tenure. In North Carolina, the legislature has called for proof that professors should be compensated for time beyond their actual 6-to-9 contact hours with students per week. Practicing librarians may feel that library educators are "out of touch" with marketplace developments, particularly technological ones, and with good reason, since no one seems to stay abreast any more. Some librarians may fear that their job performance is being mocked by supercilious professors in the classroom for the sake of a laugh. Yet all of these fears, justified or not, underscore the fundamental misunderstandings about the role of higher education generally and library education in particular, many of which are firmly rooted in professional history, millennial hype about innovation notwithstanding.

Additional Information

North Carolina Libraries 56: 28-35.
Language: English
Date: 1998
Academics, Higher education, Professors, Library education

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