66th IFLA Council and General
Jerusalem, Israel, 13-18 August
Code Number: 060-161-E
Division Number: VII
Professional Group: Education and Training
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 161
Simultaneous Interpretation: No
Guidelines for Library/Information Educational Programs: for discussion
School of Information Science, University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Royal School of Library and Information Science,
This paper will present a revision of the following draft guidelines. These have been refined following discussion at a workshop in Bangkok in 1999, and revisions during 1999/2000. The revised guidelines will be followed by discussion and recommendations for the final guidelines to be proposed by the Section for Education and Training.
MISSION, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The library/information educational program should be part of a degree-granting institution. Instruction should be at the university level. The description (name) and status (organizational level) of the program should be comparable to that of other programs in the country that are engaged in the education of professional personnel.
The library/information educational program's mission and goals should be clearly stated in a publicly available formal document. The program's mission should be consistent with the needs of the country and the values of its parent institution.
The library/information educational program should identify specific objectives, derived from its goals, addressing philosophy, principles and methods of the program; areas of specialization; level of preparation provided; teaching, service and research values; and the perceived role of library and information services in society.
The curriculum should consist of a unified series of courses and other educational experiences based on the program's goals and objectives. It should provide students with a theoretical framework for practice in the library/information field. Opportunities to gain and demonstrate professional competencies should be a part of the educational program. An awareness of professional concerns should permeate the program.
General education (outside of library and information specific courses) should be a major component of the total education for the library/information specialist. The amount and quality of general education should be equivalent to that required for a baccalaureate degree.
Core library/information coursework
Programs should refer to educational policy statements issued by professional associations that identify important knowledge and skill components. Examples of such statements include those issued by the Institute of Information Science (UK), the Library Association (UK), the Special Libraries Association (US), the Medical Library Association (US), the Association of Library Service to Children (US), the Australian Library and Information Association.
Core elements include:
- The Information Environment and Policy
- Information Generation, Communication and Use
- Management of Information Agencies
- Assessing Information Needs and Designing Responsive Services
- Information Resource Management
- Application of Information Technology to Organization and Retrieval of Information
- Research, Analysis and Interpretation
- Evaluation of Outcomes of Information and Library Use
- Communication and Information Transfer Process
The program should either conduct suitable workshops and short courses for the benefit of practicing librarians and information specialists or partner with another agency in doing so.
FACULTY AND STAFF
The academic (teaching) staff should be sufficient to accomplish program objectives. The qualification of each full-time faculty member should include competence in the designated teaching areas, technological awareness, effectiveness in teaching, a sustained record of scholarship, and active participation in appropriate professional associations.
The educational program should have stated policies for appointment and promotion of full-time faculty equivalent to those in comparable units. All full-time faculty should hold advanced degrees from recognized academic institutions.
Part-time faculty should balance and complement the teaching competencies of full-time faculty.
Non-academic (clerical, secretarial, technical) staff should have qualifications equivalent to those of persons in comparable units. The number and kind of staff should be adequate to support the faculty in the performance of their responsibilities.
Recruitment, admission, financial aid, placement, and other academic and administrative policies for students should be consistent with the mission, goals and objectives of the educational program. The policies should reflect the needs and values of the constituencies served by the program. Policies should be publicly available.
Selection of students should be based on clearly stated criteria. Interest, aptitude, intellectual and educational backgrounds should be addressed in the criteria. Standards for admission should be applied consistently.
Program of study
Students should have advisory assistance in constructing a coherent program of study to meet career aspirations consistent with the educational program's mission, goals and objectives. Evaluation of student achievement should be provided on a consistent and equitable basis.
A clear statement of the requirements of the educational program should appear in a formal document that is available to students and prospective students. On completion of requirements, students should be awarded a degree, diploma, or certificate suitable to their level of study.
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The library/information educational program should occupy a distinct position in the administrative organization plan of the institution. It should have autonomy sufficient to ensure the intellectual integrity of the program is consistent with its goals and objectives.
Head of program
The head of the program should have status and authority comparable to heads of similar units in the parent institution. The head of the program should possess both academic qualifications comparable to those required of faculty and administrative ability and leadership skills.
Decisions should be based on clearly defined and publicly stated policies. Faculty, staff and students' participation in governance should be encouraged. Major decisions and activities should be documented.
The educational program should have adequate financial support to develop and maintain a library and information course of study consistent with the expectations of practice and comparable to similar programs elsewhere. An annual budget should be administered by the head of the program. The level of support should relate to the number of faculty, administrative and support staff, instructional resources and facilities.
The program should have a clearly developed planning and evaluation process. The process should include an ongoing review of policies and procedures in light of anticipated changes in the library/information field and in the larger society. Faculty, staff and students should be involved in the planning activity.
INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES AND FACILITIES
Library resources should be of sufficient depth and quantity to support the courses offered by the educational program and the research efforts of the faculty. A procedure for access to additional resources from other locations should be in place.
An adequate number of connections to the Internet should be available to ensure ready access to Internet resources for faculty and students.
Information technology resources
Computer hardware and software and multimedia resources should be provided sufficient for the level of use required for coursework and faculty research.
The educational program's physical facilities should provide adequate space for faculty, staff and students to accomplish its objectives.