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Associations and InstitutionsAnnual 

64th IFLA Conference Logo

   64th IFLA General Conference
   August 16 - August 21, 1998


Code Number: 056-140-E
Division Number: VIII.
Professional Group: Regional Section: Asia and Oceania
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 140.
Simultaneous Interpretation:   No

Perceptions of LIS education and training in Sri Lanka

Pradeepa Wijetunge


Jonathan Willson

Central Library
University of Colombo
Colombo, Sri Lanka


1. Introduction

2. Current LIS Education Programmes

3. Problems

4. Conclusion

It is rather regrettable that, same problems which Irving has identified, in her study in 1983, still exist after 15 years. Most of the recommendations given at the end of her study have gone unheeded. Besides the commencement of two Masters Programmes in LIS, there have been very little development.

LIS education system of Sri Lanka needs immediate attention of the professionals, if it is to achieve any sort of standard. We need more full time staff members, better educational and library facilities, a revised curriculum, more and more research, publications especially in Sinhala and Tamil, better control and accreditation of courses, and students of high academic standards.

In the development of LIS education system SLLA and SLNLSB must play a more authoritative role than being educational organisations. SLLA seems to have ignored its role as the guardian of the profession in its attempt to provide educational programmes.

5. Future Trends

SLLA has undertaken the revision of its curriculum in a more serious manner than making ad hoc changes from time to time. New curriculum which was revised by the Education Committee and a special Curriculum Development Committee will be introduced from 1998. This new curriculum emphasizes more on Information Technology, Library Management and Public Relations.

We can expect that the future of LIS education will be brighter with the establishment of National Institute of Library and Information Science (NILIS) at the University of Colombo with the aid of World Bank. NILIS will establish standards for training and will accredit LIS courses. It will offer courses at Certificate, Degree and Post-graduate level by amalgamating the current tertiary level training programmes offered by University of Colombo (UC), University of Kelaniya, SLLA and SLNLSB. Management and conduct of courses will be the responsibility of the Director who will be a fully qualified and experienced librarian holding the post of Professor Grade II. For academic purposes, the Director will be advised by a Board of Studies comprised of representatives from SLNLSB, UC and other university librarians, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and NIE. (Unpublished draft 1997).


British Council Libraries Department (1987) Libraries and Information Profiles : Sri Lanka . London. British Council.

Ceylon National Library Services Bozard Act No. 17 of 1970. Colombo. Government Publications Bureau. p.6

IFLA (1976) "Standards for Library Schools" IFLA Journal , Vol. 2 No. 4, pp.209 - 223.

Irving, Ann (1983) Education and Training for Library and Information Work. Colombo : SLNLSB. 52p.

Lankage, Jayasiri (1980) "Library movement in Sri Lanka". IN Roads to Wisdom ed. Ishwari Corea. Colombo. Municipal Council.

Mangla, P.B. (1994) "Library and Information Science education in South Asia : India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka", Education for Information, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 399-427.

Lankage, Jayasiri (1989)"Library Education in Sri Lanka" International Library Review 21. 67-72

Piyadasa, T. G. (1985) Libraries in Sri Lanka : their origin and history from ancient times to the present time. Delhi : Sri Satguru

Sri Lanka Library Association (Incorporation) Law, No. 20 of 1974. Colombo. Government Publications Bureau. p.2.

Wijetunge, Pradeepa ; Willson, Jonathan (1998) "Descriptive survey of Library and Information Science Education Personnel in Sri Lanka" to be published in Asian Libraries

Unpublished draft proposal of libraries component of World Bank mission to Sri Lanka (1997). 5-6.