Department of Library and Information Studies Practicum Experience
For the general MLIS degree, a practicum is usually an unpaid experience in an information organization done for credit through LIS 691. All practicum experiences must be 120 hours in duration to earn 3 credits. Only one practicum can be completed for credit. LIS 691 requires payment of tuition. Practicum experiences must be arranged through and approved by the supervising faculty member for that semester.
Please check out our practicum partners for some of the available opportunities or ask your advisor about other institutions in your area.
Prerequisites: LIS 600, LIS 620, LIS 640, LIS 650, a technology course and permission of the practicum coordinator.
The student will:
- Contact the practicum coordinator in the semester prior to that in which the practicum will be conducted to design and develop a field experience appropriate to the student’s needs.
- Develop specific goals and objectives for the practicum experience.
- Follow the program and schedule that are developed to meet the goals and objectives.
- Maintain regular communications with the LIS 691 professor and the site supervisor.
- Complete required paperwork of the practicum experience.
- Schedule an exit interview with the site supervisor at the end of the practicum. If warranted, include the faculty advisor in this meeting.
- Be aware of and adhere to any university and departmental policies regarding practicum work.
The site supervisor will:
- Have at least three years of professional work experience.
- Work with the practicum coordinator in developing a program and schedule for the individual student.
- Orient the student to the general functions and goals of the library/information agency and policies and procedures that govern the program and its employees.
- Orient the student to the characteristics of the community and its users.
- Orient the student to the profession and provide opportunities for participation in professional activities.
- Provide the student with adequate workspace and a place to store personal items.
- Develop an overall plan to direct and guide the activities of the student with relationship to the library program and the student’s goals and objectives.
- Confer with the student and the LIS 691 professor.
- Complete supervisor’s evaluation form and give to the student at an exit interview.
The LIS 691 professor will:
- Communicate to the student and site supervisor the expectations of a practicum experience.
- Communicate with the site supervisor and make site visits as warranted.
- Promote a satisfactory working relationship among the student, practicum site, and the LIS program.
- Discuss the evaluation of the practicum with the student and the site supervisor.
The LIS Practicum Coordinator for General Practicums will:
- Act as a liaison in acquainting the site supervisor and other personnel with the purpose and nature of the student’s practicum.
- Work with the student in designing a practicum experience appropriate to the student’s needs.
- Assist in selecting the practicum site for the experience. Help negotiate placement as needed.
- Keep a record of placements and report practicum sites each semester to the department director of graduate studies for reporting purposes.
- LIS 691 Practicum Proposal
- Example syllabus
- Liability Insurance Information for Off-Campus Practicums