Calls for a reexamination of ALA's decision in 1951 to make the MLS the primary degree for entry into the profession. Swigger...examines why the decision was made and whether or not it is a currently valid model for today's students. He suggests some new approaches.
This eye-opening assessment quotes librarians’ discontent with status and image in the early 1950s—disconcertingly similar to the mood today. With well-researched history and data, Swigger (Sch. of Library & Information Studies, Texas Woman’s Univ.) assesses the ALA-spearheaded 1951 increase of education requirements for professional librarians (from a stipulated bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree), implemented as a means to the dual end of more professional respect and compensation for librarians. Did these “MLS project” changes enacted in library education solve the professionalism issues for librarians? Not as much as was hoped! This reviewer has been as guilty as many in averring, largely without examining the issues, that librarianship is a profession. Swigger has examined a range of careers and definitions. The results? It seems likely librarianship is still not a full-blown profession. This important book makes the notion of librarianship as a trade more palatable. Swigger believes “librarianship has suffered at the hands of its celebrators.” It still does. What’s next? Multiple models for library education. ... VERDICT An essential read for librarians and a must-have for librarianship collections.