Educating Librarians: Applying the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Apprenticeship Model to the Education of Librarians

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Librarian education, Professional education, Carnegie Foundation, Librarian knowledge, Librarian skills, Librarian identity

Organizational Units

University Libraries


Purpose – This chapter will utilize the apprenticeship model developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in their Preparation for the Professions series to study how American Library Association (ALA)-accredited Master of Library Science (MLS) programs could be reformed to better integrate the interests of educators with those of the practicing profession and the public they serve.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The Carnegie model uses three “apprenticeships” to distinguish the three areas professional education must address, labeled in this chapter as knowledge, practice, and identity. Each of these three areas is explored as it relates to the education of librarians, with an emphasis on what constitutes the general knowledge, skills, and identity of librarianship. Examples of how these three components could be integrated into an MLS program are given.

Findings – Current ALA-accredited MLS programs differ widely on the number and content of required courses. Applying the model developed in the other Carnegie studies to the field of library education yields a clearer vision for the professional education of librarians and to a reorienting of the educational experience students encounter in their MLS studies.

Originality/Value – Using examples from other professional education programs allows library educators to see the means by which a holistic education is achieved in other professions. The novelty of this approach is in the breakdown of the various components of a professional education program. The tripartite approach to professional education also provides a useful framework around which to build an MLS program.

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