First let me congratulate Dr. Shari Lee of our faculty for receiving in January the Norman Horrocks Leadership Award from the Association of Library and Information Science Educators (ALISE), the primary association of Library and Information Science faculty members. Each of our faculty members is remarkable in their own way. I am glad that Dr. Lee was recognized again in another way for her contributions. Several years ago, ALISE honored her for the outstanding doctoral dissertation in all of Library and Information Science.
At the beginning of each semester our students and faculty gather together to welcome the new students, receive updates on the program and meet students who will be in their online classes. At January’s meeting I discussed the expectations we have for them:
Self-Reliance and Proactivity
I stressed the importance of self-reliance and proactivity. In this information age we have the opportunity to provide more effective and meaningful service than ever before through combining the best of the past with the potential of the present and future. This requires professionals who are self-reliant and proactive. Also, organizations and individuals need to produce value for those who provide the resources for their payment and expenses and ensure that these people recognize the value.
Professional Development Planning
I encouraged them to create and refine continually a professional development plan to guide their decisions. I assured them the faculty and alumni are available to help them with these plans.
Professional Involvement and Networking
My hope is that our students and alumni will make a difference through their professional associations as well as their professional duties. I encouraged students
to learn from professionals and other students and continue learning from each other throughout their careers. We have had some outstanding examples of student involvement in professional associations—students elected to association boards and even offices.
St. John’s students have the most remarkable internship opportunities of students in any program in the United States. New York has so many outstanding libraries, archives and other information centers with exemplary professionals and our students are good. For example, this semester alone students have opened internships at the Yale School of Law Library, the NYU School of Law Library, the Fashion Institute of Technology and others. We enable it through permitting 0,1, 2 and 3 credit internships.
Professionals succeed through teams. Most of our courses require students to do group work, which is really team-work. One library director told me that she especially valued St. John’s students, because they graduate ready to work effectively with others. I encouraged students to maintain that tradition.
We have another outstanding group of students starting this semester and our early applications indicate that we will have another one in the fall. I am confident they will fulfill our mission of serving society well as our alumni continue to do so well.