LIS Foundations

Hi there! My name is Erik Christiansen, and welcome to my capping project website. This project was created in 2014 to highlight some of my professional and academic accomplishments during my time at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.


In my two years at the School of Library and Information Studies there were many assignments I produced (from our core courses) that display my firm grip on the foundations of librarianship and the information science profession. The following two artifacts best show my understanding these foundations.

From my foundations of library and information studies course, I have chosen my research paper on corporate sponsorship. The paper defines the concept of corporate sponsorship, and it outlines the various ethical concerns surrounding libraries that receive funding from the private sector. Rather than take a single stance, the paper is divided into two major sections – each posing the downfalls and upsides of corporate sponsorship. This paper made me realize that libraries are often placed in a difficult position, as their budgets are constantly threatened – thereby forcing them to take supplementary funding from outside sources. The potential for harm is great, as private funding might result in a conflict of interest. At the same time, third parties have saved many libraries from extinction, and have extended the life of their services to the publics they serve. During the writing of this paper, I had to compare position statements on corporate sponsorship from the Canadian and American Library Associations and examine a large body of scholarly literature and case studies. Below is a link to a PDF version of the paper.

Corporate Sponsorship in Libraries

The second artifact for this session is a professional development paper from my reference services class, titled “Business Librarianship.” In an effort to broaden my horizons (and look outside academia), I decided to research business (or corporate) librarianship. In doing so, I learned about the typical job responsibilities, which included reference, creating newsletters and PR material, competitive intelligence research, and creating marketing plans. I also learned an increasing number of library school graduates enter the private for-profit sector because of the flexible job titles and competitive salaries. As part of my research, I followed a variety of relevant listservs, trade publications, and blogs from professional associations. The paper was an important foundational component of my graduate degree because it opened my eyes to the many alternative job opportunities. This is important, as my technological background is particularly desirable in the private sector. As a result of this paper, I am now a member of the Special Library Association Western Division, as it enables me keep up on many library and IT trends, which in turn has helped me decide what skills I need to develop to be competitive in the job market. Below is a link to a PDF version of the paper.

Business Librarianship


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