Do today's students of librarianship and information studies need to know about publishing and distribution?

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Formal study of publishing and the 'book trade' has tended to disappear from course of study preparing students for careers in libraries and information centres. A strong desire to shed the bookish image traditionally associated with librarians is part of the reason for this. It probably has even more to do with the pressing need to make curricula relevant to a changing environment in which information workers are required to be proactive managers of demanding electronic information resources, and in many cases effective educators of their clients in the most effective use of such resources. While understandable, this approach is misguided. There needs to be a place in the curriculum for exploration of how resources, print and electronic, are created and distributed. Without this, future practitioners will be disadvantaged in understanding and optimally managing the resources they will present to their clients. They will also be ill prepared for the near certainty that their careers will require them to act as publishers and disseminators of information resources themselves. Drawing on published considerations of curricula and on nearly ten years' experience of teaching 'publishing and distribution' subjects to library and information studies students, this paper will consider what such students need to learn and the ways in which their learning can be facilitated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of the Book
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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