Yes, a thesis would develop research skills. However, few U.S. LIS programs require a thesis. Our students have the option of doing a thesis, but the vast majority elect to take the written qualifying exams.
Suzanne M. Stauffer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Louisiana State University
275 Coates Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Fax: (225)578-4581
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From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training on behalf of Kathy Whalen
Sent: Fri 5/29/2009 7:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [eduCAT] Whom do you pay attention to?

I am a 'practitioner' rather than an academic, but, at least here in the UK more and more libraries, both public and academic are doing research on some level to justify their existence.  With library closures and staff cuts in the ascendancy, research that is conducted and presented in a professional way can help make a difference between keeping your job and finding yourself on the street. 

But the greatest thing I took from my MS thesis was an understanding of project management:  setting a clear aim,  consulting with stakeholders,  conducting a literature review, planning a methodology, writing a Gantt chart, writing a proposal and then carrying out the actual research, and finally writing up the results--these skills are easily transferable to defining, conducting and completing a project, and there are few libraries in this day and age where projects of one sort or another are less than the norm.  I find myself using my research skills frequently, and have been pleased to have had the opportunity to have learned these skills in a supportive environment of library school.

It's all about transferable skills, which is really what higher education is about.

Kathy Whalen Moss
Project Cataloguer
John Johnson Collection
Bodleian Library