Transforming Library and Information Science Education by Design

Eileen G. Abels, Lynne C. Howarth, Linda C. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Purpose – In January 2015, a diverse group of stakeholders engaged in a planning forum on “Envisioning our Information Future and How to Educate for It.” Focused on shaping a future by design, not by default, information educators, professionals, technologists, futurists, and others proposed proofs of concepts for larger-scale implementations. This chapter reports on four pilot projects using steps in the design-thinking process to frame the discussion. Design/Methodology/Approach – The stages of (1) empathize, (2) define, (3) ideate, (4) prototype, and (5) test in the design-thinking process facilitate moving beyond what is and breaking fixedness to build a representation of what might be. Applied to library and information science (LIS) education, design thinking can lead to transformative change. Findings – Creative collaborations yielded actionable outcomes from projects that identified the following: (1) the knowledge, skills, and abilities that employers seek in graduates of LIS programs, (2) curriculum options for developing and launching artist-in-residence programs, (3) how a Library Test Kitchen course enables students to apply design thinking, and (4) how a short-term faculty residency in a particular institution connects LIS educators with trends in the field and informs curriculum design. Originality/Value – The value of tangible outcomes from pilot projects informing future innovation in LIS education is augmented by the originality of their framing within design-thinking processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRe-envisioning the MLS
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education
EditorsJohnna Percell, Lindsay C Sarin, Paul T Jaeger, John Carlo Bertot
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Mar 27 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Librarianship
ISSN (Print)0065-2830


  • Artist-in-residence programs
  • Design thinking
  • Faculty residencies
  • Innovative curriculum design
  • Library Test Kitchen
  • Transforming LIS education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Transforming Library and Information Science Education by Design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this