Academic Librarianship: Anchoring the Profession in Contribution, Scholarship, and Service

Rowman & Littlefield. (Beta Phi Mu Scholars). Jul. 2021. 116p. ISBN 9781538136201. $65. PRO MEDIA
Simons (organizational development librarian, Univ. of Notre Dame; Academic Library Metamorphosis and Regeneration) packs this slim volume on academic librarianship with probing questions and a great deal of information. As the title implies, the book is meant to advance the profession get to a place where it is more firmly anchored and can move forward. To lay this groundwork, Simons provides context for the big questions that have faced academic librarianship, starting with the most foundational of these: Does academic librarianship qualify as its own profession? She follows with deep dives into tenure and faculty status, research and scholarship, service contributions (e.g., committee work; membership in professional organizations), and educational qualifications. Simons also raises questions: Should librarianship require a certification process? Should the MLS continue to be the terminal degree? If yes, how should those degree programs be transformed to adequately prepare academic librarians for the current requirements of the profession?
VERDICT Informative and thought-provoking. Simons doesn’t provide answers but rather a framework to promote further discussion. Will appeal to academic librarians, library administrators, and those involved in developing curricula for library and information science programs.
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