Virtual LIS practicums: Student and supervisor experiences during COVID-19, part 1

Tina Griffin, Holly Beverley


Pre-professional fieldwork helps graduates pursue specialized library careers, addressing the well-documented experience barrier that many graduates lack. Because COVID-19 required remote learning, virtual practicums may continue, offering LIS graduates the chance to learn from experts and develop skills beyond traditional LIS curriculum. Virtual practicum benefits have been addressed in previous literature, but student perspectives are not usually included. In this two-part series, the student and supervisor describe challenges with their virtual practicum experience so others may replicate similar experiences.

Part 1 will set the stage for the structure of the practicum, introducing background information about participating institutions, preparation for the experience, student learning objectives, and reporting for course credit. The host institution and practicum site agreed to modify the existing in-person experience into a virtual format because of COVID-19. The virtual activities aligned with the student-defined learning objectives. Structure was essential to the success of this virtual practicum. Expectations were established early on about workload, communication, file management software, and designated virtual meeting spaces. Others who seek to replicate a similar experience may use part 1 of this series as a template for designing a virtual practicum. Part 2 will reflect on the student and supervisor’s experiences and lessons learned.

The following two appendices are available as supplementary files from the link in the right sidebar:

- Appendix One: Practicum Guidelines

- Appendix Two: Database Discovery – Health Science


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Copyright Tina Griffin, Holly Beverley

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