Is there a crisis in LIS education in the US/Canada today? This is the research question that Andrew Dillon and April Norris answer in a recent deposit Crying Wolf: An examination and reconsideration of the perception of crisis in LIS published in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 46 (4): pp. 280-298. Dillon and Norris looked for evidence in four areas: curriculum, research, gender, and program quality. They "conclude that the data do not support most of the popular criticisms made of this field. Instead, the notion of crisis is best understood as indicative of a moment of change and an opportunity to significantly affect the long-term future of the field." Whether or not you've been following the ALA/Gorman Forum on Education, Crying Wolf is a must read. It not only demystifies the crisis but points out the real need: careful attention must be paid to how a professional society such as the ALA frames public debate and understanding about information issues.
Andrew Dillon, known for his impeccable and iconoclastic research is Professor and Dean, Information School, University of Texas at Austin. In the Microsoft Cleartype project he and his team are investigating and measuring user responses to the new technology. His Designing Usable Electronic Text is now in its second edition and in December he completed 5 years of the Information Architecture column for the ASIST Bulletin. April Norris is a student in the same school and 2004-2005 President of the UT-Austin Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists.