Abstract

Library and information science (LIS) education in Pakistan requires students to undergo in-depth supervised practicum placement as part of the course requirements. The purpose of this study was to explore the supervision styles of LIS practicum supervisors, and to examine how these supervision styles are perceived by the practicum students. Forty-three semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with practising librarians (n = 21) who supervise practicums in their respective libraries, and LIS students (n = 22) who had completed their practicums. Data were collected across 13 higher education LIS institutions in Pakistan. Constructivist Grounded theory was used as a method of data collection and analysis. Findings revealed four distinct styles of practicum supervision: (1) directed, (2) developmental, (3) independent, and (4) reflective. While LIS practicum supervisors practise a combination of these supervision styles, one style was found dominant among others. Also discovered was a mismatch of supervision style preferences between supervisors and students, which can negatively impact the promotion of learning and consequent development of professionally competent graduate librarians. Findings of this study warrant the need for more research to explore impacts of supervision on professional practice.

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