the MLS….

Yesterday, I was thinking about the MLS. I don’t know much about the tradition of the degree, but I think there are some real issues. I am not sure that the MLS does what the MLS says it does. keep in mind, I am not a big advocate of certification in general, but I think the MLS is a certification. The issue is that it is a huge, 30-36 credit, that is 10-12 course program of study at most schools. I think that this causes some issues with what an MLS is. It on the one hand looks like a professional program of study, like an MBA or and MPA, but is in fact a certificate to be a librarian, or occasionally archivist, etc. This causes a great deal of tension. I think that the certificate part of the MLS needs to be stripped out and put into a certificate program. This program would be a 3 or 4 course program that could would be a graduate certificate. Then the ALA could provide a certificatory exam based on those 3-4 courses. The curriculum in those courses could be standardized, and then students would know that if you do those courses and pass the exam, you can be an ALA accredited librarian. Here is the caveat. You should not be able to take that exam without a Master’s degree. That master’s or higher degree could be an MLS or it might be in say Digital Humanities, information systems, art history, or anything really. So Master’s Degree + 12 credits + Test = Librarian . This would resolve, in my mind, the issues around whether a MLS can prepare someone to be a Systems Librarian. What are people’s thoughts? does this make sense?