A new partnership between the University of South Carolina and the Charleston County Public Library system will create learning opportunities for librarians in South Carolina and beyond.
The Information Institute of the South is the working title for the effort. Organizers hope to develop an integrated clinical teaching environment for current and future library staff.
Libraries hold the responsibility of helping communities make better decisions and helping people find meaning in their lives, yet how that happens is changing.
“Doctors train by working in hospitals as students, so why can’t we do that?” says former School of Information Science Director David Lankes. “The idea is that students would gain experience in libraries and at the same time would be sharing new ideas and thoughts with the librarians who are already there.”
Lankes hopes the institute will provide more opportunities for hands-on experience, helping graduates stand out in the job market. Joining scholarship with practice will also allow for the advancement of current librarians and library staff who can benefit from continuous education as the world around them changes.
This partnership will also raise the profile of Charleston’s libraries internationally.
“This is in direct alignment with our strategic visioning process,” says Angela Craig, executive director at CCPL. “We want to reach out to universities to help further that education for our staff, which also then cascades out to the public because if we have a well-educated, well-resourced staff and that becomes a resource feature as well. And we have just really benefited from being able to connect with USC ... and I’m just very excited about these next steps that we’re taking.”