The Future of the Profession:
Student Professional Development at the iSchool
We launched this
October of 2008
to answer two
1. What professional activities
students had undertaken in the
their first and
second year of
their Master of
2. What professional development opportunities do they
desire from the
Bruce Harpham is a recent
graduate of the Master of
Information Studies program
at the University of Toronto’s
Faculty of Information. You
can contact him via his website, www.bruceharpham.ca
Meghan Ecclestone is a
Librarian at York University’s
Bronfman Business Library.
You can contact her via her
There was little change between students’ career
choices before and after the summer.
Academic libraries and public libraries are doing well:
Students wanting to enter these fields are gaining positions in these types of libraries, although the nature
of their work is generally not as challenging or meaningful as they would like.
Government libraries and special libraries needs to
do better: Students interested in government work
are not finding their way there.
However it is encouraging that there was generally
very little change among students’ preferences before
and after their summer work experiences implying a
high degree of satisfaction in their choice of field.
Though many students reported hourly wages over
$20 per hour, a significant minority reported lower
Students desire greater opportunities for professional
development during their degree.
A majority of students found well-paying work in fields of interests, and
had high levels of job satisfaction.
This suggests that information organizations are doing well at matching
students with their desired areas of work.
Nonetheless there is potential for more challenging, meaningful work for
There is a need from the Faculty of Information to provide greater
professional development opportunities during the school year.
Duff, W. M., Cherry, J.M., and Singh, N. (2006). “Perceptions of the
Information Professions: A Study of Students in the Master of
Information Studies Program at a Canadian University.” Archival
Eso E., and Keirstead R.G. (1989–1990). “A Survey of Students of the
of Archival Studies Programme at the University of British Columbia 1981–
88.” Archivaria 29:104-127.
Ard. A. et al. (2006). “Why Library and Information Sciences?” Reference &
User Services Quarterly 45(3): 236-248.