Practicum

Practicum

The LIS program requires each student to graduate with practical experience in a library or information setting. The practicum is intended to provide connections and experience, depth and breadth, and additional insight that complement classroom learning, helping students to master LIS Student Learning Outcomes in the context of professional work. Students are invited to tailor their practicum experience to their own needs and circumstances. For students seeking school library media certification, you will need to take a practicum in a school library setting.

The guide for 7381 Practicum in Information Agencies is available here: https://missouri.app.box.com/s/cu2goxffuhumzui8x0cjt21wd7jlniox.

The guide for 7380 School Library Practicum is available here: https://missouri.box.com/v/SLM-Practicum-Guide.

The practicum guides provide information germane to both practicum students and their supervisors.

Placement

Students are responsible for finding up to three practicum sites, as one or more selections may not be available. The requirement for practicum sites is that they be supervised by an MLIS-degreed librarian and that the supervisor turns in required paperwork. In this way, a number of paid and unpaid opportunities (e.g., internships, etc.) can serve as a practicum experience, as long as the student works with an iSchool practicum advisor, has a supervisor willing to submit the required paperwork, carries out the work and reflects on it as required, etc. Work generally occurs on-site, but individual projects, completed under the supervision of a librarian, may be considered for credit in some cases.

Duration and Scheduling

The practicum may be taken for 2 or 3 credit hours; each student can take up to two practica. We recognize that a practicum experience may not fit conveniently into students’ schedules along with work and family responsibilities. With the approval of students’ on-site library supervisors and iSchool practicum advisors, the practicum experience may be extended over two semesters, completed during intersession, or be completed on evenings or weekends.

Who is required to do a practicum?

MLIS students who have less than six months work experience in an information organization are required to complete either a two or three credit-hour practicum or internship, which may be paid or unpaid. Students not required to do a practicum are still strongly encouraged to do up to two practica as electives.

Practicum Waivers

MLIS students pursuing 7381 Practicum in Information Agencies who have less than six months work experience in an information organization are required to complete either a two or three credit-hour paid or unpaid practicum or internship. Students with information agency work experience may request a practicum waiver from their academic advisors.
The request should contain the following information:

  • A cover letter explaining how the student’s work experience has enhanced the student’s understanding of the LIS program student learning objectives.
  • A current copy of the student’s resume or curriculum vitae, in support of the letter
  • Evidence of professional participation in library meetings, associations, and/or conferences, and/or evidence of decision-making, human resources, or budgetary responsibilities.

MLIS students who are pursuing school library media certification must address questions regarding practicum waivers for certification to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), P. O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO, 65102. If DESE waives the practicum requirement for certification, the student must submit documentation to that effect with the practicum waiver form.

Students for Whom Practicum is Not Allowed

The State of Massachusetts forbids Massachusetts students in an online program from taking unpaid internship-type courses. In cases where a student is not allowed to take an internship or practicum course, the LIS program will review the student’s qualifications and determine a feasible method for obtaining practical experience if he or she has no volunteer or work experience in an information setting. This might include completing an individual study or project or completing a project within a class that has substantial practical applications.

Regardless of practicum credit hours taken, all students must complete 39 hours of coursework.

Practicum Forms Go to top of page. Top

Academic, Public, and Special Libraries or Other Information Agencies

School Libraries

Library and Archival Practicum Opportunities Go to top of page. Top

This is a starter list of placement opportunities if you need ideas, but the world is open to you. Practicum coordinators, Karen Robinson (Eastern Missouri & Illinois), Beth Brendler (Columbia), Jason Alston (Western Missouri & Kansas) and Laura England-Biggs (Nebraska & Iowa) can discuss further opportunities and will serve as the SISLT-side coordinators for your experience. Please see the LIS web page guiding you through the application process.

Columbia—Jefferson City Area

Greater Kansas City Area

St. Louis and Illinois

Nebraska Area

Columbia—Jefferson City Area Go to top of page. Top

Public

  • Daniel Boone Regional Library
    The Daniel Boone Regional Library has three locations: Callaway County Public Library, Columbia Public Library and Southern Boone County Public Library. Practicum opportunities depend on availability of professional staff.
  • Missouri River Regional Library
    Includes Osage County Library and Bookmobile.

Academic Go to top of page. Top

Special Go to top of page. Top

Greater Kansas City Area Go to top of page. Top

Public

  • Johnson County Public Library
    This public library also has an ongoing digitization project for the local history of the area. It also has a fabulous makerspace offering 3D printers, laser cutters, tools, and a music sound studio. JCPL has a strong youth services staff always with things going on that would make great practicum experience as well. Fourteen locations.
  • Kansas City Public Library
    The KC Public Library has 10 branches including a digital branch.
    The library is willing to customize a practicum that would give the student experiences in many aspects of Public Libraries — Collection Development, Youth Services, Special Collections, Digital Services, Outreach, ILS management and Programming/Marketing. Kansas City Public has a strong emphasis on programming and digital exhibits/projects. Named a 5-Star Library by Library Journal.
  • Mid-Continent Public Library
    Mid-Continent’s 29 branch libraries offer many practicum opportunities in locations around Clay, Platte and Jackson counties.
  • Mid-Continent Public Library — Woodneath Library Center
    The emphasis here is on story-telling and self-publishing.
  • Midwest Genealogy Center, Independence, MO (a branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library)
    Good for those seeking exposure to archival and genealogy work. Opportunities for instruction, cataloging, digitization.
    Archives
    Student would work with a physical archival collection. This would involve processing, arranging, and describing the collection. Final result would be a PDF finding aid on MGC’s website. OR Student would work with a digital archival collection. This would involve digitizing the original material, editing the digital content, and helping MGC staff to create a digital archival exhibit for MGC’s website.
    Oral History Program
    Student would have the opportunity to work with MCPL customers who come in to record their family history with the Tell Me A Story program. With MGC staff, student would use recording equipment to record session, edit the recording, burn to a copy to a CD, and send to customer. OR Student would help MGC staff to process a Tell Me A Story kit. This would involve editing the recording, burning to a copy to a CD, and sending to customer.
    Indexing
    Student would work on indexing various items found within MGC’s collection. Items include books, newspapers on microfilm, and archival materials.
    Map Encapsulation
    Student would work with Technical Services staff to learn the encapsulation process and help them to work through the maps in MGC’s collection.
    Cataloging
  • Rolling Hills Consolidated Library, St Joseph, MO

Academic Libraries Go to top of page. Top

  • Avila University — Hooley Bundschu Library
    The Hooley Bundschu Library houses a number of unique collections including Women Religious Special Collections (focused on the experience of Catholic sisters and nuns), the CSJ Heritage Center Archives (focused on the U. S. Federation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph), and the Avila University Archives.
  • Kansas City Art Institute — Jannes Library
    This library has a special emphasis on art, supporting the arts curriculum. There are potential digitization projects in the archives and in special collections. Special collections that have not been digitized include the Ekker Collection of Fabric Designs on Paper (6000+ items, so this would be designing the project workflow and getting it started), and our collection of Artists’ Books cries out for improved imaging and documentation.
  • Metropolitan Community College
    MCC participates in the Common Read (similar to the One Read at other libraries). Depending on time of year, this could be a special project.
  • Rockhurst University — Greenlease Librarian
    This library offers an experience at an academic library and offers a range of electronic resources.
  • UMKC — Miller Nichols Library
    This library houses the Labudde Special Collections and the Marr Sound Archives, along with a leading music library. Opportunities in public services, instruction, collections and special collections. Opportunities may vary depending on professional staff availability.
  • University of St. Mary, Leavenworth, KS (40 minutes from downtown KC)
    The library has a special collection devoted to Abraham Lincoln and may have digitization projects. Practicum students can also gain experience in instruction and creating online tutorials, developing tutorials for makerspace/technology tools, developing a marketing plan, development of a vendor management system, working on active learning initiatives, developing assessment tools as well as traditional library work.
  • William Jewell College — Curry Library
    This library houses the Jewell College Archives and offers a range of electronic resources.
    Beyond the traditional library work, this library offers collections for Missouri Baptist historical documents and institutional special collections. If a student would like experience with digitization, creating finding aids, or would like to design their own practicum experience, they are more than welcome to come to the William Jewell archives.

Special Libraries Go to top of page. Top

St. Louis and Illinois Go to top of page. Top

Public

Academic Go to top of page. Top

Special Go to top of page. Top

Nebraska Area Go to top of page. Top

Public

Academic Go to top of page. Top

Special Go to top of page. Top