INF 7960: Practicum: Information Science

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): The completion of INF 6010, 6080, 6120, 6210 and 7040 plus nine hours of relevant electives.

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

The major objective of the practicum is to enable a student to work in a library or information center under the direction and guidance of a librarian/information professional. This experience offers an opportunity to test professional skills and to re-examine concepts and theories within an actual library or information center.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Contrast theory and experience.
  2. Participate in those activities appropriate to the type of placement such as:
    1. Perform reference searches
    2. Select and acquire materials
    3. Create bibliographies and reading lists
    4. Develop training/instructional programs
    5. Catalog library materials
    6. Increase experience with the library technology
  3. Evaluate services, policies, and collections


  1. A minimum of 135 hours on site during one academic semester
  2. Hours may be scheduled throughout the semester to be clustered in a shorter time span. No scheduled work period should be less than three consecutive hours.
  3. The School recommends no particular practicum structure since libraries vary widely in their hours, clientele, resources, and facilities.
  4. Student duties will be professional as enumerated in the ALA’s policy statement “Library Education and personnel utilization.” Tasks that might be routinely assigned to clerical and technical staff may be included only to the extent that they contribute to an understanding of the interdependence of library/information center functions.
  5. All operational units of the library should be included in the practicum experience.

Course methodology

  1. Practicum placement is determined by information included on the practicum application and communication with the practicum supervisor and as appropriate with the student’s advisor.
  2. The practicum supervisor will contact practicum sites for updates.
  3. The student will directly contact the practicum supervisor regarding any issues or concerns related to the placement.

Bases for evaluation of student performance

The supervising librarian/information professional at the placement site will do an evaluation of the student’s performance. The student will participate in three mandatory webinars during the semester, maintain a blog, provide examples of projects, and complete a critical analysis of the practicum experience.

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 2/24