Friday, January 30, 2015

#ALISE2015 : President's Program: International Library Education SIG

Nitida Carranza (Honduras) - Panoramic view of librarianship in Central America: an economic, political and social perspective

The economy in Central America is based on agriculture.
Prejudice, discrimination and social exclusion are deeply rooted in society.
In the 1980s, there were several civil wars.  In the late 1980s and 1990s, libraries became more important.

Faced with political and economic problems, libraries are not a priority for governments.
International policies about access to information are not begging supported and implemented by governments.

Lessons learned include - 
  • Identify and know the international and national policies that support libraries.
  • Places libraries in a larger context.
There are a limited number of library schools in Central America. (8-9). Not all are master's programs.  Some have had difficulty staying open.

Esin Sultan Oguz (Turkey) - Value added LIS education: Intercultural skills for Turkey and beyond

Very good libraries beginning with the Ottoman Empire. Began using the Latin alphabet in 1923.  John Dewey traveled to Turkey in 1924, which kick-started LIS education there.  Some came to the U.S. to be educated and then started courses in Turkey.

First trainings on librarianship - 1943-1952
BSc - 1954
MSc and PhD - 1972
1998-2002 - LIS divided in the three branches
Since 2002 - unity under Information Management

There are 15 LIS departments in 10 different cities.  However, not every school is active. Newer schools/programs are hiring faculty, but may not have students.  Of the 9 new programs, only 2 are currently active.

Pros of traditional library departments in Turkey:
Strong professional background and experience
Number of national and international projects and partnerships
Power of networking
Feeling of acceptance and recognition 

  • Lack of faculty members
    • Too many students (enrollment pressure)
    • Lack of faculty members
  • Traditions or approaches
    • Four dominating LIS programs
    • Inter-generational loyalty or comfort zone
    • Mostly undergraduate degrees
  • Political climate
    • Avoiding social issues in LIS curricula
    • Social and political taboos 
    • Realizing and accepting  differences
Trishanjit Kaur (India) - Challenges and problems of LIS education in India

LIS education in India is 100 years old.  
They have more than 118 institutions that offer LIS education, and the situation is not uniform.  They do not always get strong students.
There is no national LIS policies to guide LIS education.
Guidelines were developed in 2002 and some are using them.  Most are developing curriculum based on the needs of the employers.
How much of "L" do they want to keep? How much of "I" do they want to keep?

  • There LIS programs are not accredited.
  • They do have some LIS programs that do distance education.  It is not like the U.S. More like working with intense satellite programs.  Some are incorporating online components.
  • The PhD programs have become more qualitative. (That's a positive!)
  • The computers/ICT facilities and infrastructure are not good.
  • India has 22 languages.  How can you expect to have LIS in 22 languages?  Some terms don't translate across languages.  They need to publish more in the regional languages.
  • Still struggling with nomenclature - LS, LIS, etc.
  • High quality faculty, but the promotion system is tough.
  • Need some uniformity across programs, e.g., length of program.
  • They need to incorporate new areas, without letting go of their core.
  • Where do your graduates go?
    • India - depends, based on location.  A graduate in a larger city would have broader opportunities.
    • Turkey - mostly university libraries.  Very few are working in private companies, e.g.,  database companies.
    • Honduras - graduates often become teachers where they went to school.
  • Are people considering joint programs?
    • India - yes
    • Turkey - no
  • Is there a problem of a brain drain?  People leaving to work elsewhere and make more money.
    • India - not for LIS
  • Is there a problem of monoculture?  Of people wanting to be more like U.S. library education?
    • India - one size does not fit all, but we need to find a central point.  We need to understand what is best for India.
  • In Jamaica, there is a different graduate degree for those that do not already have an undergraduate degree in LIS.

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