Title

“You Can’t Learn It in School”: Field Experiences and Their Contributions to Education and Professional Identity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science

Volume

38

Issue

3

First Page

220

Last Page

238

Keywords

Professional Identity, Education, Academic Libraries

Abstract

Field experiences are uniquely positioned at the intersection of education and the workplace, making them key sites for the development of professional identity, which results from socialization processes that occur in both education and work environments. To explore how field experiences complement, diverge from, and intersect with classroom experiences, this research analysed interviews with and reports of Canadian library and information science students who did coop placements in academic libraries. The findings confirm that field experiences are important for linking classroom learning to practice and that they help illuminate the realities of librarianship and clarify the implications of classroom learning for practice.