Guidelines for Residency Practices and Principles

In ARL Spec Kit 188 there is a small document prepared by the Association for Library and Information Science Eduction (ALISE) called “Guidelines for Practices and Principles in the Design, Operation, and Evaluation of Post-Master’s Residency Programs” (see images 79-82). The document defines “Internship”, “Residency”, and “Mid-career Fellowship”. It also lists rationale, resident and organizational benefits, features of programs, roles and responsibilities of employing institutions, roles and responsibilities of residents, and tips on recruitment and evaluation. In the paper I wrote on post-MLS residency programs, I recommended programs adjust their name and/or title to conform with the definitions adopted by ALISE.  The rationale behind this recommendation is that variable terminology creates confusion for potential residents, career advisors, and future employers.

The use of standardized terminology will reduce this confusion and make it easier for potential candidates to distinguish post-graduate training opportunities for new graduates from advanced skills development opportunities for librarians with some professional experience. It will help career advisors distribute vacancy announcements more efficiently, and it will help future employers understand more precisely the substance and quality of residency program work experience.  (Perez, 48)

The ALISE definitions are as follows:

  • Internship and Field Experience: The structured pre-professional work experience which takes place during graduate course work or after course work but preceding the degree, usually for a short amount of time.
  • Residency: The post-degree work experience designed as an entry level program for professionals who have recently received the MLS degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association.
  • Mid-career Fellowship: The experience often referred to as a middle management internship, designed to assist librarians, who already have some professional experience, to develop a specialty or to improve management skills.

One thought on “Guidelines for Residency Practices and Principles

  1. Julie Brewer says:

    The Association for Library and Information Science Eduction (ALISE) “Guidelines for Practices and Principles in the Design, Operation, and Evaluation of Post-Master’s Residency Programs” was also published in Library Personnel News, volume 10 (May/June 1996), pages 1-3. Library Personnel News is no longer published. However, it should be available through ILL services. It was an ALA publication from what is know known as the Human Resources Development and Recruitment Office.

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