SCHOOL OF INFORMATION AND LIBRARY SCIENCE
LIS 698, Seminar and Practicum
Dr. Tula Giannini,
144 West 14th Street 6th Floor
New York, NY 10011-7301
Phone: 212-647-7682 Fax: 212-367-2492
Four Tuesday meetings as follows:
4:00 to 6:15 pm
1. September 10
experience - relating theory to practice.
methodology; discussion of proposed project topics.
3. November 12
Students present topics - class discussion
3. December 10
Office Hours: By
appointment during normal business hours or after class
Students undertake 100 hours of work and observation in settings that
meet individual career goals. The school approves
sites. Faculty members oversee the practicum and conduct
regular seminars for participants. Academic assignments
accompany the work.
LIS 698, Seminar and Practicum provides hands-on
learning and professional experience relating theory to practice for
SILS students in need of experience working in a library or
information organization, as well as experience for students who wish
their experience working in a new setting.
- the practicum includes a total of 125 hours which includes:
The Seminar is:
- 100 hours of supervised observation and practice in a
library or other information setting approved by the instructor.
- 10 hours of seminar classes (4 sessions).
- 15 hours of project research and writing.
- designed as an interactive
session based on full participation of students.
- moderated by the instructor.
- a forum in which students raise issues related to
their work experience..
- provides a setting in which students can share
ideas and experiences and discuss issues relevant to their career goals
and work experience.
- a place to discuss and synthesize work experience
relating it to students' course work
- where students learn to apply research,
assessment and evaluation methods to their practicum experience
- where students can compare problems and common
elements across various settings through class discussion.
- a forum to share student experience and projects and to
gain insight into a rich variety of settings.
- Journal of Practicum Work: create an
entry for each day you work on site. Record the date and
number of hours worked - include a discussion of what you did, your
observations and thoughts.
- Completion of a project based on the
practicum experience approved by the instructor.
Conducts four seminars: 1. Introduction; 2. Discussion of individual
projects; 3 & 4 project presentations.
The instructor’s role is to advise the student as necessary,
and to oversee and evaluate the quality of the student’s
practicum experience as evidenced by journal entries and course project
and the evaluation by the site supervisor.
The goals of the course are to provide an experience that will prepare
students to work effectively in professional positions, and to bridge
the learning gained in course work with the world of practice they will
encounter after graduation.
Practicum and seminar learning outcomes for students include the
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills learned in the
Pratt-SILS program and apply them to a library or other
information-providing work setting
- Understand and evaluate information needs of users
- Understand and evaluate roles and activities of
supervisor and other employees
- Identify and analyze information activities in
relation to the mission of the parent organization
- Design, manage, and carry out a project of value to
both student and host site
- Explore and understand professional opportunities
- Demonstrate and reflect on one’s growth in
competence in carrying out professional duties
- Reflect on personal aptitude for the type of work
out during the practicum
- Analyze relevant literature and evaluate in relation
to the practicum experience
The student and site supervisor work together to determine the
practicum work schedule. Each student is required to complete
a minimum of 100 hours of work fitted into the time-related work
structure of the cooperating organization. To maximize
continuity, the student is strongly encouraged to schedule more than a
single day per week for the practicum, i.e., it is
better to work two half days per week than one full day per week.
Students rarely have problems with their placements but, should this
occur, please contact the instructor early in the term to address the
or arrange an alternative placement.
of practice] includes verification of site work
– hand-in with final
project at the end of the semester
by 3rd class meeting
Project itself due at last (4rd or 5th) class meeting. Presentations
place during the 3rd and 4th meetings.
required at each of the four class meetings.
supervisor evaluation based on evaluation form
Evaluation Form For Site Supervisors
upon completion of the 100 hours
Attendance at seminars is required. Exceptions
for good reason must be arranged with the instructor in
advance. Participation in class discussion contributes to the
final grade, and students need to be present to
participate. Please be on time. Unexcused absences
and frequent lateness will affect the final grade.
of the major benefits of doing a practicum is the opportunity to
observe a workplace, participate in its activities, and reflect on the
experience. The journal is a systematic record of these
observations and reflections about the practicum experience.
A journal entry should be made for each time the student
works at the site.
Each entry should note the number of hours worked that
time, and a running count of the total hours accumulated thus far.
We will discuss work experiences in seminar sessions.
Topics for journal observation:
The journal is a record of what is being learned, and should encompass
the total practicum experience, including interpersonal and
organizational issues as well as tasks performed.
Journals will be evaluated on the basis of how well they describe and
reflect upon such matters as the following:
How student was introduced into the
organization and what type of orientation.
- What happens - What takes place, including day-to-day
routines and critical incidents
- Tasks - Major tasks and accomplishments that day
- Issues - Issues or problems that arise for the
in the organization and how they get resolved
- Staffing - Staffing patterns or levels of staffing,
and their effects on how work is done
- Physical environment - How physical layout,
furniture, noise, temperature, light, etc. affect service or
ability to carry out responsibilities
- Resources – Perceived adequacy of funding, its
on collections, services, ability to carry out projects and duties
- Social climate - Interactions among workers; overall
social climate (friendly, distant, etc.)
- Users - Types of users served; typical needs of
- Staff/user interactions – Nature of
contacts; frequency; content covered; pace or pressure
- Service philosophy – Perceived standards or
orientation toward service
- Challenges - Particular challenges for this
organization and how they are being met
- Management style - The management style practiced by
mentors and others
- Quality of supervision received –
Direction, training, feedback, access, and mentoring
- Meetings - What takes place at meetings the student
is invited to attend
- Developmental progress - Development of skill and
confidence in carrying out duties
- Explanations and hypotheses - Generally, why things
seem to be the way they are
- Critical perspective - How things might be done
differently or more effectively
- Self-evaluation – Strengths and weaknesses;
how one might
have made different choices if one were doing it over
- Reflection – Making sense of the experience
and at the end of the term
Selecting a project topic/ subject: Identify a
on your practicum work. Bring focus to a specific aspect that has
emerged as significant drawing upon you experiences and interactions at
your site through work, observation, conversation, etc. The
literature review will allow you to gain broader and more general
perspectives on your topic and to contextualize it within professional
Here you will find helpful project information
PROJECT ELEMENTS: the project should
Project Identification Sheet: each student
must submit a project identification sheet which includes the
- student name, course
- site location name
- site supervisor's name
- project title
- one paragraph project
- an illustration (photo,
drawing, etc.) related to your site.
- 2. Literature review - this should consist
of several current articles related to your topic. For each
article include full citation and one paragraph on article
perspectives specific to your topic - thus, not an abstract
of the whole article - not the published abstract.
- 3. A Sampling of your
practicum work on site including a page of discussion on the nature of
the work, etc.
- 4. Digital Observations
and Perspectives - Discuss how are digital technology and
tools are being used (or not) in your work and across your
institution; how are these related. About one page.
- 5. Analysis and evaluation - write several
pages on your topic that includes elements of critical analysis and
research. This is in essence a research paper based on your site
work and lit. review.
Research - use observation,
interviews, discussion, anecdotal evidence, data collection
policies, other pertinent documents), comparison to other similar
that you have experienced and draw on your literature review.
analysis - this demonstrates your
analyze and think about what you are doing and thus go
descriptive to discussion that shows how you think about
have evaluated your work environment and experience.
5. Presentation of your
work and project: (about 10
minutes) The final two seminar sessions are devoted to student
presentations. Show and discuss the work that you have been doing on
site and discuss the focus of your project including issues that you
addressed. This can take a number of forms depending on the
nature of your work. Use Power point or
some other e-presentation format.
- Students must sign up for
a presentation time. Sign
up sheets will be available in the SILS
- Final Grade: In order to receive a
final grade, students must have submitted three things:
Journal, 2. Project, 3. Site-supervisor evaluation
Agreement : Enrollment in this course signifies that the
student agrees to abide
by and adhere to the policies and regulations specified above and held
Pratt Institute. It is understood that the instructor may
change this Syllabus and the assignments contained within it according
circumstances that may arise during the course of the class.