EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (CVTC) -- People with an interest or a current position working in libraries will be able to turn to Chippewa Valley Technical College for training starting in August 2017.
The creation of a Library and Information Services associate degree program at CVTC fills a void in higher education in Wisconsin, as there are currently no undergraduate programs in library science in the state. The program, delivered entirely online, will prepare people to work in public, academic, school, and corporate libraries for government, non-profits and private businesses.
The program will provide opportunities for professional development for current library paraprofessionals, and prepare new people desiring a career in the library and information services field, according to Jennifer Anderegg, dean of academic development and services at CVTC.
“Library directors have to meet continuing education requirements, just as teachers need to meet professional growth requirements to maintain their license,” Anderegg said. “This will give them an avenue to meet that requirement. Also, the program will help library paraprofessionals who need to continuously upgrade their technology skills to best meet the needs of their patrons.”
“Libraries would benefit from staff educated in the guiding principles of library service who have developed essential skills for an increasingly technology-driven, service-oriented profession,” said John Thompson, director of the Indianhead Federated Library System, a consortium of libraries in western Wisconsin.
Library and Information Services is a full two-year program leading to an associate degree. However, Anderegg explained that people who already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in another subject can become certified as library directors by completing a core of four courses in basic and advanced administration, managing collections and community outreach.
CVTC Manager of Library Services Vince Mussehl said people in the libraries profession recognized the need for such a program after universities in Wisconsin cut the minors they offered in Library Sciences due to recent budget cuts. That left only two master’s degree programs in the state.
Anderegg said the need and the online delivery method should draw students from across the state. “CVTC’s program is addressing a phenomenon that is very recent, which allows us to take the lead in the state,” she said.
“We envision this new program strengthening libraries and their respective communities through advocacy, training, and skills development,” Mussehl said.