School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Professional Socialization

University of Alberta

School of Library and Information Studies

1-Credit Course


Name:            Ken Haycock and Ernie Ingles

Position:         Director and Sessional Instructor




I.         Course number and title:


LIS 598 Special Topics

Professional Socialization and Trend spotting (1 Credit)

II.       Dates:

April 24-April 28, 2013


III.      Tuition Fees:

            Approximate: $260


IV. Course description:

The MLIS program encourages lifelong learning as a professional value. One means of engaging with colleagues and new developments is through association and conference participation. This course examines current trends and issues using an annual professional conference (Alberta Library Conference-- as the “laboratory”.


V. Application:

As the number of students possible in the course is limited, students interested must submit a letter of intention—no more than a single page--with a brief statement as to the benefit to be derived by participating in the course, to Lauren Romaniuk no later than December 5, 2012.  Students selected must commit to acquiring an appropriately prepared business card in their name.  For advice on the card see also Lauren Romaniuk.  Students chosen to participate in the course will be notified by mid-December.  In the event that too many students wish to participate in the course a final decision will be made by way of a lottery.

VI. Purpose of course and intended learning outcomes:


Judith Weedman (1998) has noted that:


Professional socialization is a complex and variable form of learning, highly collaborative in nature. It exemplifies the kind of knowledge which John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid have said must be "stolen," appropriated by the student rather than stimulated by the teacher.

She further states that:

Five sets of concerns have dominated the literature on socialization to the professions. The first grows out of the traditional sociological definition of professions and their unique characteristics. The second focuses on the professional life which students will be entering -- the nature of the work itself, the professions as social entities, the environments in which the work is carried out, and the community of practitioners. The third major area of focus within the literature is the nature of education for the professions -- the transmission of the knowledge base […] the fifth area of concern in the literature has been professional identity formation, the ways in which students come to define themselves as members of the profession.


The overarching purpose of this course is to expose students to a critical facet of professional life, conference attendance and participation, in a structured, facilitated manner. The course will provide education and training in identification of critical issues, trend analysis, measurement for evidence-based practice and related skills such as assessment of new products and services and professional networking.


Student learning objectives:

At the completion of this one credit course, each participant will be able to:


[a] explain the role of professional conferences in continuing professional education;

[b] tell the history and development of the provincial/national association;

[c] appraise the professional literature emanating from association members;

[d] network and interact with peers and association leaders and discuss current issues and trends in association leadership and the profession;

[e] assess industry trends in product development and utility for professional practice;

[f] analyze the research base for best practices as articulated by conference presenters;

[g] lead discussions with peers on critical observation of the library landscape;

[h] prepare a grant application.


VII.  Outline of course content:



  1. Students will complete a career plan (format provided) and submit to the instructor for review and comment.
  2. Students will prepare for the conference by understanding the relevant Alberta professional associations.  Be prepared to discuss each association at the pre-conference.  Ensure that at least one student has reviewed the history, development, contribution, services, continuing education opportunities and value of each of these related associations—Alberta Library Technicians’ Association; Alberta Library Trustees’ Association, Alberta School Library Council; Library Association of Alberta.  Each has its own website; this will be the primary source of information.
  3. Association leaders will provide overviews of the association, issues and conference organization, for which the students will have prepared to engage in discussion.
  4. Students will organize with the instructor to ensure that each student attends a minimum of five conference sessions; efforts will be made to avoid duplication. Students will be provided with a template for reporting on conference sessions, including a brief description of content, the research on which the presentation was based, possible implications for best practices, questions or concerns raised for further investigation.
  5. Students will work with the instructor to plan criteria for an assessment of the trade show and exhibits and the latest trends in products and services.
  6. Students will attend a session on professional networking.




  1. Students will attend pre-determined conference sessions.
  2. Each day the instructor and students will meet to discuss content, research bases, implications for best practice and issues. Be prepared to discuss critically the sessions attended, beginning with an overview of findings/conclusions, use of evidence, questions raised for further study.




  1. Students will post a five page research paper on an area requiring further investigation, incorporating one or more conference sessions and an assessment of their foundation for professional practice.
  2. Students will complete a reflective journal of their conference experience; guidelines will be provided.


This course supports most of the SLIS Learning Outcomes, but in particular:

Outcome #2:  evince complex and ethical awareness of major issues, research, trends and dilemmas in library and information studies.

Outcome #5:  communicate effectively and professionally.

Outcome #10:  be aware of the need for continuing professional education and develop and maintain collegial relationships with fellow professionals.


Required Readings:

Association websites (negotiated to ensure that all are covered by the class):







Rezac, D., Thomson, J. & Hallgren-Rezac, G. (2005). Work the pond! Use the power of positive networking to leap forward in work and life. Old Tappan, NJ: Prentice-Hall.   (Copies are available in the SLIS Office.)


Course Requirements--Edmonton:

There will be several meetings in January, 2013 to prepare the necessary documentation for a Green and Gold Grant Application.


Course Requirements—On Site in Jasper:






April 24

Travel to Jasper

Accommodation TBD

April 24


9:00 pm--

Class Mixer (Optional, please advise if you will  be attending.)

Viewpoint Cabin

April 25


9 am-12 pm

1:30-4 pm



Introduction to the Library Association of Alberta and Professional Networking





Past President/Past President, LAA;

President/Past President, ALTA;

Conference Organizing Committee Chair;

Library Leader—Public (TBD)

Library Leader—Academic (TBD)


Viewpoint Cabin




April 25


7:45-8:45 pm

Conference Orientation

Sponsor:  First Timers Orientation

See Conference Program





April 25

9:00–11:00 pm

Reception and Networking Event

Sponsor:  University of Alberta

Assignment:  Networking with Attendees

Main Lodge Lobby



April 26 Friday 7:00—8:15 am

Leader:  Dr. Ken Haycock/E. Ingles

Conference Seminar

Beauvert Dining Room


Conference program sessions to be attended are yet to be determined.  These will be discussed and determined during the Thursday sessions and will be tailored to individual student interests.

See Conference Program

April 26


3:00-5:00 pm

Library Association of Alberta Annual General Meeting, or

See Conference Program

April 26


3:00-5:00 pm

Alberta Library Trustees Association Annual General Meeting


See Conference Program

April 26


4:00-6:00 pm

Networking Event

Sponsor:  Edmonton Public Library and University of Alberta

Viewpoint Cabin

April 27


Leader:  Dr. Ken Haycock/E. Ingles

Conference Seminar

Beauvert Dining Room


Conference program sessions to be attended are yet to be determined.  These will be discussed and determined during the Thursday sessions and will be tailored to individual student interests.

See Conference Program

April 28


8:00-10:00 am

Leader: Dr. Ken Haycock/E. Ingles

Conference Seminar/Conclusions


Viewpoint Cabin

April 28



Return to Edmonton




Grading :





Grant Application

January,  2013

30% (Replaces Journal)

Short Assignments/Readings

April 25, 2013



May 1, 2013



May 1, 2013



Final grades will be assessed using the University of Alberta grading system (A through F)

VIII. Other Relevant Information:


Be sure to bring a minimum of 100 current business cards with you.



Absolute attendance is expected of students. Please be present and on time for sessions or inform the instructors in advance, as you would any supervisor in a workplace; as there is no final examination, absences make it difficult for you to succeed. 




Evaluation in this course is an ongoing process. An important part of this process is the strengthening of your own self-evaluation skills—learning the process of critical, non-defensive scrutiny of your own performance. The better you are able to do this, the more your professional growth will continue after you leave the course. Should the course requirements or grading practices appear unclear or inconsistent, it is your right and responsibility to seek clarification from the instructors.


Other Course Policies

[1] submit assignments on time according to instructions; written assignments will not be accepted after the stated deadline without prior approval, and may be subject to a grade penalty;

[2] contribute positively and productively to the professional growth of others in meetings, seminars and peer assessments;

[3] complete readings and assignments to increase understanding of leadership and management issues;

[4] complete assigned tasks with demonstrated understanding of process, competence in products and the ability to analyze objectively and critically one's performance.


Academic Integrity: The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Inclusive Language and Equity: The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Written & Spoken English Requirement:  Written and spoken work may receive a lower mark if it is, in the opinion of the instructor, deficient in English.