Creating Praxis – Course and Field Work

Librarians working as youth advocates will encounter numerous situations that are not always presented in LIS course work.  In order to build a foundation that combines theory (coursework) and practice (long-term community work), Mix IT Up! will develop a new course sequence that integrates field and coursework and focuses on issues of youth advocacy.  This course sequence will engage GSLIS students and participating community youth at every level of decision making – including determining information related goals of partnering organizations, evaluation of the projects, and communication related to the grant.  This builds of off work previously undertaken by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science through Youth Community Informatics, and provides skill building opportunities for students and for youth.

While most LIS programs encourage engagement work with youth, the options are usually of short duration.  Youth services curricula will benefit from the incorporation of community informatics strategies and theories, which, up to now, have occurred only informally and infrequently at GSLIS.  Through Mix IT Up!, GSLIS will present a model for LIS programs interested in incorporating community informatics into youth services curricula through long-term, multiple-technology projects in which youth play a major role.  GSLIS students will gain hands on experience in creating effective community partnerships, completing projects that are meaningful to community members, and working with youth to meet their stated goals.

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