Case study approach for LIS education
a book review
M S Sridhar
N G Sathish and Anil Takalkar.
Case studies for teaching library management
Edited by L JHaravu. Secundarabad: Kesavan Institute of Information and Knowledge Management, 2012, xv+ 159p, Paperback, Rs.290/-.Teaching and practice, unfortunately, are two different streams in Indian librarianship and theymeet quite rarely. With an exception of a few, most teachers of LIS have no option thanborrowing case studies from others
experiences for presenting to their students, if at all theywish to do so. Well articulated true-to-life case studies are not easily and readily available. Hereis a book which very effectively fills this gap and probably the first of its kind to provide a number of well thought out case studies of library management. The book has 39 case studies, a brief
introduction to library management, ‘case analysis’ for the first two cases and ‘suggesteddiscussion leads’ for the remaining cases.
Changing from ‘teaching’ to ‘learning’ is
an important shift in education and case study methodhas a role to play in this process. For a long time, the structure of management education itself gave prime importance to case studies. Almost every LIS course has also
as a subject and management theory is taught regularly as propounded in management textbooks minus cases from the experiences of practitioners. Even n
ascent topics like ‘strategicmanagement’, ‘change management’, ‘disaster management’
taught in master’s
courses and even explored for doctoral works without practical cases to record and discuss.This book provides sufficient scope to library education for adopting, though belated, casestudies approach and fuel for gaining momentum and mileage. Case studies method of learningis going to be revolutionary for library education. It calls for whole hearted commitment and a lotof efforts on the part of faculty to make it happen.Each case study is well presented like a mini story in an interactive mode and in a typical journalistic style in the book. I am sure practitioners would love these case studies as each onelooks as if it is their own. Having retired four years ago, as I read through the case studies, mymemory is stirred and made me involuntarily and vividly recall number of similar incidents in myown career. I consider this as a testimony for the effectiveness of case studies presented in thebook. There are case studies on many important and practical issues of libraries. I wonder thiscompendium of case studies may also serve, in a limited way, as a brief history of managementof Indian libraries during two crucial decades of 1980s and 1990s when they were on the verge