Owing to the scope and pace of change, society has become increasingly knowledge-based so that higher learning and research now act as essential components of cultural, socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development of individuals, communities and nations. In this environment, it is essential that higher learning and knowledge creation involve effective partnerships among academic and non-academic learning institutions and communities to create and apply learning and knowledge with stakeholders that are managing and creating sustainable development initiatives. Growing concern regarding the importance of the contribution that higher education institutions make to society has aroused increasing debate about their relevance and credibility amid escalating social problems. An underlying premise of community engagement is the understanding that not all knowledge and expertise resides in the academy, and that both expertise and great learning opportunities in teaching and scholarship also reside in non-academic settings.
This conference will explore how LIS educators and researchers can develop curricula, programs, and research activities that enable active partnerships with communities and civil society to manage and create change. How can LIS programs increase opportunities for experiential, service oriented, and community engaged student learning? How can we develop further collaboration between LIS programs and their larger communities (local, regional/ state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity?
Examining the information interactions between public librarians and homeless library users, this study explores how public librarians create, navigate, and question their professional boundaries. Boundary work that examines issues in the professions has an enduring history in sociological theory. Boundary work is a social construct that has to do with constituting, negotiating, and breaking boundaries between abstract fields of knowledge. Gieryn (1983) came up with the term ‘boundary work’ when demarcating what constitutes science and non-science. In his 1983 article, Gieryn describes what science is, and what science is not. He uses descriptions of ‘science’ and ‘science as not-x or y’ to demonstrate the ways in which boundaries are created to delineate what a domain of knowledge is and is not. Gieryn (1983) further argues that threats to the professions are struggles over boundaries, which are often rooted in conflicting or evolving ideological issues.