Information Context, Learning Context

Originally posted on hls:

Ashley’s previous post on ethnography got me thinking about a topic that has been buzzing around in my mind–the importance of context for information and for learning. While Ashley focused on learning the tools of a different discipline, anthropology, for direct use in librarianship (i.e., librarian as ethnographer), I wonder how much can be expected of librarians in terms of knowledge about the communities and knowledge contexts in which they work. After all, information and learning carry little meaning out of context, and librarians certainly deal with information in very concrete situations with discrete users, questions, and fields of knowledge.

More narrowly and less abstractly, this post is in part about whether a second master’s degree or some courses in a particular discipline outside of LIS should be required for librarians. How important is domain-specific knowledge for practicing librarians?

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