Starting this fall, information professionals will have a new and unique opportunity prepare for leadership roles in libraries and knowledge-centric organizations– such as law firms. St. John’s University’s Division of Library and Information Science is accepting applications for a new online program for  an Advanced Certificate in Management for Information Professionals. Information about enrollment is available here.

Full disclosure. I received my M. L. S. from St. John’s and I was part of a alumni, law librarian advisory group which provided feedback to the  Program Director, Professor James Vorbach, and Prof. Rajesh Singh on the development of this program. Alirio Gomez, a thought leader in the New York legal KM community is slated to teach a Knowledge Management Course in the Spring of 2018.

I remain bullish on the market  for information professionals. While print libraries may be shrinking, the demand for knowledge and insights continues to grow. Organizations need leaders with both content and workflow expertise to develop organizational knowledge strategies as well as to investigate, vet and deploy emerging technologies and data sources across organizations. Many information leaders evolve into their roles through ad hoc,  “on the job,” self-training experiences. The St. John’s certificate program offers a structured learning alternative which will allow aspiring knowledge/information leaders to be taught by  a faculty including seasoned library  information professionals.

Professor Singh provided responses to my questions about the CIMP

What factors led to the development of this certificate?

A combination of factors prompted the development of this certificate, including changing trends in the job market, rising demands for management education and training for information professionals, and recommendations resulting from consultation with the DLIS Law Librarianship Council and Advisory Board in 2015.

Can you tell me anything about the instructors? Experience? backgrounds? Will any of your instructors have experience in law firms?

The instructors’ backgrounds in academia and industry will serve students well in exposing them to a unique blend of theory and practice. The instructors have experience in a number of organizations including corporate, business, law, public service, and higher education.

Is this the first program of its kind in the US?

The following distinctive features of this program make it unique in the U.S.:

  • It is the only program for mid-level information professionals.
  • This program provides training in knowledge management and project management, unlike other programs.
  • It is the only program that includes a Project Leadership Capstone course at the end of the program.
  • It is the only completely online certificate program, which provides participants with the flexibility to complete it at any time, in any location, at their own pace.

Will this certificate be appropriate for the many librarians who have moved into non-traditional “knowledge worker” roles in organizations?  E.g. Knowledge Management, Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Records Management?

Due to our emphasis on education and training in knowledge management and project management, this program will also be immensely beneficial for those participants who function as “knowledge workers” in a wide variety of non-traditional positions, including those in corporate, business, and legal organizations.

Would this program benefit librarians who have been out of the workforce and want to prepare for reentry?

As this program can be completed as a stand-alone program with prior MLIS education and experience, it would be an ideal opportunity for those librarians who want to update their education and skills in order to prepare themselves for their reentry in the evolving workforce. This program will provide training and development of skills such as preparing a strategic plan, marketing plan, knowledge management action plan, and project charter. The skillset they end up with will help to set them apart in a competitive job market.

Are there core offerings and electives or does the program require a specific set of classes?

This program requires the completion of the following five courses:

  • LIS 240: Management of Information Organizations
  • LIS 282: Knowledge Management in Information Organizations
  • LIS 262: Project Management in Information Organizations
  • LIS 263: Marketing and Advocacy in Information Organizations
  • LIS 264: Project Leadership Capstone

How long will it normally take someone to complete the program?

This program can be completed in one to five years.