• Attitudes and Perceptions toward Design Thinking in Graduate-Level Library Education

      Clarke, Rachel Ivy; Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2021-07-30)
      This study aims to understand educators’—specifically those in positions of authority in graduate-level library education programs—perceptions of and attitudes toward design thinking and methods in graduate-level library curricula by investigating the following research questions: What is the current landscape for the integration of design into the LIS curriculum, from the program director’s perspective? What do these directors think about the competencies required for future librarians, and where does design fit into those competencies? What are the possibilities for a future degree focused on reconceptualizing the field from a design perspective rather than the traditional library science? Thirteen MLIS program directors and people in equivalent positions at ALA-accredited programs in the United States and Canada were interviewed to investigate these queries. The conversations suggest there is a growing openness to design education that may contribute to the diversification of the curriculum so that graduates’ competencies more closely reflect recommendations in the literature and address the needs of employers. They also reveal dichotomies in how LIS program directors define and integrate design education into LIS curricula, such as barriers of bureaucratic concerns versus interest in experimenting with design courses available elsewhere in their universities, or even the potential for a dual library science/library design degree option. The article concludes with recommendations for next steps in advancing design in library education so as to prepare graduates for the growing number of user experience, public programming, or even more traditional teaching librarian positions where a design thinking approach leads to effective practice.