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Richard Walser
Capstone Portfolio
Information and Library Science

Southern Connecticut State University

Master of Library Science (MLS)

Narrative Overview

Courses taken

Core Competencies



Core Competencies

(from the Final Draft Core Competences Statement - August 2008 developed through American Library Association)

Foundations of the Profession

1A. The ethics, values, and foundational principles of the library and information

1F.  National and international social, public, information, economic, and cultural
policies and trends of significance to the library and information profession.

1H. The importance of effective advocacy for libraries, librarians, other library
workers, and library services.

Relevant courses: ILS 503, ILS 680, ILS 619

ILS 503 covered many aspects of the ethics and values of the library profession and in particular those values expressed in the Library Bill of Rights.  I've come to embrace those values very closely which has led me in part to my interest in Scholarly Communications and the Open Access Movement, of which I wrote in my research project for ILS 680.

In my Medical Bibliography, ILS 619, I researched and wrote about a collaborative project between the New Haven Free Public Library and the Yale Cushing/Whitney Medical Library on the Consumer Health Information Network as a means of promoting public health through libraries.
Islam and the Pope

Five Banned Books

Information Resources

2A. Concepts and issues related to the lifecycle of recorded knowledge andinformation, from creation through various stages of use to disposition.

2B. Concepts, issues, and methods related to the acquisition and disposition of resources, including evaluation, selection, purchasing, processing, storing, and deselection.

2C. Concepts, issues, and methods related to the management of various collections.

2D. Concepts, issues, and methods related to the maintenance of collections,including preservation and conservation.

My research project for ILS 680 studied skills requirements for Institutional Repositories.  Lynch defines Institutional repositories as "a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members.  It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.  A key part of the services that comprise an institutional repository is the management of technological changes, and the migration of digital content from one set of technologies to the next."   Also know as Digital Repositories (Lynch, 2003).

Lynch, C. A. (2003). Institutional repositories: Essential infrastructure for scholarship in the digital age. ARL, (226), 1-7. Retrieved from http://www.arl.org/resources/pubs/br/br226/br226ir.shtml

Likewise, ILS 642 was specifically on the Management of Electronic resources in librariess

Relevant courses: ILS 642, ILS 680

ILS 680 Research Project

Electronic Resources License Analysis

Organization of Recorded Knowledge and Information

3A. The principles involved in the organization and representation of recordedknowledge and information.
3B. The developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed to organize recorded knowledge and information resources.
3C. The systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification. 

I learned the basics of cataloging and indexing in  ILS 506 and ILS 531 respectively.  I used the skills learned in ILS 506 to catalog a private collection of books in a person's home and to then index that collection for the homeowner in a binded index by author, title and subject (see example below).  I recently created a web based index of web based resources using Google Docs for the subject area I am most interested in which is Open Access scholarly communications.

Relevant courses: ILS 506, ILS 531

Private Collection Catalog

Index of web-based resources

Technological Knowledge and Skills

4A. Information, communication, assistive, and related technologies as they affect the resources, service delivery, and uses of libraries and other information agencies.

4B. The application of information, communication, assistive, and related technology and tools consistent with professional ethics and prevailing service norms and applications.

4C. The methods of assessing and evaluating the specifications, efficacy, and cost efficiency of technology-based products and services.

4D. The principles and techniques necessary to identify and analyze emerging technologies and innovations in order to recognize and implement relevant technological improvements.

Relevant courses: ILS 501, ILS 532, ILS 655

I have been in a direct technology support role for over ten years, first at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and now at Yale University's ITS department, where I have been since November, 2000.  In that role, I cover all of the competencies stated above.  I also received a general introduction to technology and its trends in ILS 501.  I consider technological knowledge to be a very important and growing sphere of library science and it is my hope that I will have the opportunity to introduce some of the exciting new open access technologies that I have learned about to Yale's YUL system in the coming months and years.  In addition, I learned how to construct a digital library using Greenstone in ILS 655.  I served as the webmaster for the SCSU student chapter of the SLA, and did some database work with MS Access in ILS 532.


Software In Libraries

Reference and User Services

5A. The concepts, principles, and techniques of reference and user services that provide access to relevant and accurate recorded knowledge and information to individuals of all ages and groups.

5B. Techniques used to retrieve, evaluate, and synthesize information from diverse sources for use by individuals of all ages and groups.

5C. The methods used to interact successfully with individuals of all ages and groups to provide consultation, mediation, and guidance in their use of recorded knowledge and information.

5D. Information literacy/information competence techniques and methods, numerical literacy, and statistical literacy.

5E. The principles and methods of advocacy used to reach specific audiences to promote and explain concepts and services.

5F. The principles of assessment and response to diversity in user needs, user communities, and user preferences.

5G. The principles and methods used to assess the impact of current and emerging situations or circumstances on the design and implementation of appropriate services or resource development.

Relevant courses: ILS 504, ILS 619

In addition to ILS 504, Reference and Information Resources and Services, and ILS 619 Medical Bibliography/Libraries, I also have extensive relevant work experience which covers all of the competencies listed above.  As a member of the ITS Service Desk, much of my work involves providing technical information to callers and researching solutions to caller needs.  At the service desk, we support faculty, students, and staff, some at work and some working remotely, either at home or anywhere else.  Some of our client's are are highly educated professors, doctors and scientist, while others are much less educated maintenance personnel.  In addition, assessing the impact of any given situation will impact whether a call requires the immediated escalation and dispatch of the call to other ITS units, or whether I can stay on the call and resolve it myself, which I do over ninety percent of the time.  All of these skills are relevant to reference work.

Access to Electronic and Internet Resources

Online Discussion of MESH Subject Headings


6A. The fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
6B. The central research findings and research literature of the field.
6C. The principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.

Relevant courses: ILS 680

Introduction to ILS 680 Study

The purpose of this study was to determine whether students in Information and Library Science (ILS) programs are acquiring the skills necessary for current and future academic librarianship as it relates to scholarly communications.  It specifically focuses on a set of skills necessary for building and maintaining ‘Institutional Repositories’, a technology which is growing in importance in the field of scholarly communications. 

The research design employed a quantitative, close-ended survey of current graduate students of the SCSU ILS program.  The objective of the survey was to discover the level of knowledge this group of students had, in aggregate, on a series of questions relating to open access concepts and institutional repositories so that generalizations could be made concerning their level of preparedness for entering the field of academic librarianship.  The three sections of the questionnaire were used to determine the participant’s level of instruction in: a) the core competencies of the MLS curriculum, b) ‘Open Access’ concepts, and c) the key technologies needed for institutional repositories.

Institutional repositories have become important tools to those people and institutions who seek to lower the barriers to scholarly communications in what has become known as the “Open Access” movement.  Essentially, proponents of this movement believe that computer technology can be and should be used to make new scholarship freely available to the world.  Library Science is central to this process because of the role that long-term archiving has in making these systems possible. 

The principles of the Open Access movement are supported by the country’s leading academic library associations including the Association of Research Libraries and its offshoot, ‘SPARC’, the Scholarly Publishing and Research Coalition.  Several institutions of higher education have mandated that their faculty deposit new scholarship into their institutional repositories.  Among them are Harvard, MIT, and the Stanford University School of Education.

Schools of Library and Information Science will benefit from this research by ensuring that their students are fully versed in this important and growing area of library science.  

New Competencies in Academic Librarianship

Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning

7A. The necessity of continuing professional development of practitioners in libraries and other information agencies.
7B. The role of the library in the lifelong learning of patrons, including an understanding of lifelong learning in the provision of quality service and the use of lifelong learning in the promotion of library services.
7C. Learning theories, instructional methods, and achievement measures; and their application in libraries and other information agencies.
7D. The principles related to the teaching and learning of concepts, processes and skills used in seeking, evaluating, and using recorded knowledge and information.

Relevant courses:

EDF 520 GR Child in the American Culture  Spring 1993

SED 482 GR Tchng Excep Student:Secondary Spring 1993

EDU 494 GR Social Science (Secondary) Summer 1993

EDU 452 GR Secondary School Student Tchng Spring 1994

EDU 453 GR Student Teaching Seminar Spring 1994

Having received my Initial Educator Certificate in 1994 (see above course list) and subsequently working in Information Technology, the need for continuous learning has been a simple fact of life for me for as long as I have been working.  Working in IT requires constant learning, and as library services become ever more automated, the need for continuous education is likewise a fact of professional life. Below is a section from my ILS 680 research project that speaks to this very issue:

Some of the newer services that academic libraries are offering are making demands on librarians to be ‘continuous’ learners of new technology skills.  For instance, Huwe (2004) makes the case that librarians today must be able to create web content using languages such as HTML, CSS, and XML as library services move into portal management, preprint and post-print collections, and the archiving of administrative data.  Huwe goes on to say that librarians today need to be taking classes, reading up on trends, and taking time to keep up with change on a continuous basis as part of their job (Huwe, 2004). 

Administration and Management

8A. The principles of planning and budgeting in libraries and other information
8B. The principles of effective personnel practices and human resource development.
8C. The concepts behind, and methods for, assessment and evaluation of library
services and their outcomes.
8D. The concepts behind, and methods for, developing partnerships, collaborations,
networks, and other structures with all stakeholders and within communities served.
8E. The concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for, principled,
transformational leadership.

Relevant courses: ILS 642

Collection Developement 


    Submitted: May 2009