Educating Urban Librarians Summit
Nearly 100 information professionals representing all types of libraries from across the region attended the “Educating Urban Librarians Summit” held on Sept. 5, 2008 at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on the campus of Wayne State University in midtown Detroit. Hosted by the faculty of the School of Library and Information Science, the primary goal of the summit was to determine what should comprise a meaningful academic program centered on urban librarianship.
Martin Gomez, president of the Urban Libraries Council, delivered the keynote address, which prepared participants for examining the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to deliver high-quality, cutting-edge library services in an urban environment. Luncheon speaker Juliet Machie, Deputy Director of the Detroit Public Library, discussed the challenges faced in recruiting a diverse work force.
SLIS faculty and staff led interactive breakout session discussions focused on gathering input from the attending practitioners on the topics of curriculum and practical experience for future urban librarians and gathered advice about how to best help SLIS students develop the corresponding skill sets necessary to succeed in an urban library setting. The outcomes of the summit will be used to craft a new specialization in urban librarianship that will be implemented by the SLIS in the fall 2009 semester.