University of South Florida, School of Library and Information
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The Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities

National Service Learning Clearinghouse

Fieldwork as an Opportunity for Engaged Reflection

"Supervised Fieldwork" at the School of Library and Information Science requires 120 hours on-site under the guidance of a supervisor who is a recognized information professional. It is a 3 credit graduate course. The "Guidelines" delineate procedures to be followed.

Supervised fieldwork provides an opportunity for students to integrate theory and practice from courses to an organization context. This opportunity to observe, participate, and perform independently in a supportive environment is especially useful for students without previous experience in the field. It also benefits those who desire to make a change to a new area of specialization.

Engaged reflection on the experience is an important part of the supervised fieldwork.  In the spirit of service learning the fieldwork is intended to help the student gain (1) further understanding of the profession as practiced; (2) an expanded appreciation of the contextual and social significance of librarianship; (3) an enhanced sense of civic responsibility that demonstrates an understanding of the institution and its constituency.

Articles by Kathleen de la Peña McCook on Service Learning:

“Service Learning and LIS Education.” (with Elaine Yontz) Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 44 (Winter 2003): 58-68.

 “Social Justice, Personalism, and the Practice of Librarianship.” Catholic Library World  72 (Winter 2001): 80-84.

 “Reconnecting Library Education and the Mission of Community.” Library Journal 125 (September 1, 2000): 164- 165.


Kathleen de la Peña McCook
Distinguished University Professor
School of Library and Information Science
University of South Florida
Telephone:  (813) 974-9182
Fax:  (813) 974-6840
Web Page: Kathleen McCook

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Last updated: October 14, 2005

School of Library and Information Science
University of South Florida
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