One of the most important experiences of graduate education at the Harrington School of Communication and Media is the opportunity to explore the relationship between theory and practice through real-world field experiences.
In the GSLIS program, the Professional Field Experience (LSC595) gives students hands-on opportunities to understand the challenges and delights of professional librarianship in public, academic, and school libraries and other non-profit organizations, museums or other cultural institutions. For a full description of the PFE click here.
For Current Students:
Click here to learn more about the responsibilities of being a site supervisor. If you are willing to host a current GSLIS student, click here to describe the opportunities that may be available at your library, museum, non-profit organization, or cultural institution.
New PFE Database has finally arrived!
Looking for a PFE? Click here to search our new and improved PFE database!
If you see an opportunity you might be interested in, feel free to contact the site supervisor that is listed to set up an interview, or contact your PFE faculty supervisor to assist you. Also keep your eyes out for our PFE Open House events that are held in the fall and spring semesters. Many PFE supervisors will be attending the Open Houses and this is your chance to meet them first-hand and make a lasting impression.
LSC595 Professional Field Experience (1-6):
Directed field experience applying theory to practice in libraries, information centers, and related organizations. Jointly supervised by a member of the faculty and a professional in the cooperating institution. (Practicum) Pre: 18 hours of library science with a B average, 45 hours per credit. 593 and 595 may be repeated for a combined total of 6 credits. Required for students not in SLM program.
The Professional Field Experience (PFE) allows students to gain their initial library experience or to diversify their previous experience within the program. It encourages reflective practice, based on professional values and core competences listed in the GSLIS Educational Outcomes. Students will identify the outcomes they wish to emphasize and negotiate their PFE objectives individually with faculty and field supervisors. Achievement of objectives will be documented in student journals, poster sessions, and portfolios, and in evaluations by site supervisors.
The PFE is pursued for academic credit, and is distinct from paid internship programs. However, students who participate in paid internship programs may register for LSC 595 and receive academic credit if all requirements of the PFE are met by the internship experience.
Prerequisite for LSC 595 is the completion of at least 18 hours of GSLIS course work with a B average. Courses taken prior to the PFE should include LSC 502 (Management of Library and Information Services), LSC 503 (Collection Management), LSC 504 (Reference and Information Services), LSC 505 (Organization of Information), LSC 508 (Introduction to Information Science and Technology), and at least one additional course. Host sites may require or prefer relevant electives. Students will not ordinarily be permitted to pursue a PFE in the library or institution in which they are employed.
Credit by Examination:
Students entering GSLIS with significant professional experience may apply for three credits by examination for this course, as described in the Graduate School Manual, Section 7.30. To qualify, the student’s experience must be professional rather than paraprofessional or clerical in nature. The examination will consist of a portfolio reflecting on the student’s professional experience and achievements in the context of the GSLIS Educational Outcomes. Click here to read more information.
The site supervisor must hold an ALA-accredited master's degree or comparable qualifications, and must be willing and able to mentor a student.