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Business Meeting

Web-based Instruction for Continuing Education Students

Fourth World Conference On Continuing Professional Education For The Library And Information Professions, Boston, Massachusetts, August, 2001

Library and Information Science Distance Education in Thailand in the Next Decade

Describing the Elephant: What is Continuing Professional Education?


Newsletter of the Round Table on Continuing Professional Education (CPERT)


October 1999

The CPERT Executive Committee


Linda Ashcroft, M.A.
Liverpool Business School
John Foster Building, 98 Mount Pleasant
Liverpool L3 5UZ, UK
Tel: +44-151-231 3425
Fax: +44-151-707 0423
E-mail: l.s.ashcroft@livjm.ac.uk


Blanche Woolls, Ph.D.
San Jose State University
One Washington Square,
San Jose, CA 95192-0029, USA
Tel: +1-408-924-2491
Fax: +1-408-924-2476
E-mail: bwoolls@wahoo.sjsu.edu

Information Coordinator and Editor, Newsletter

John F. Harvey, Ph.D.
P O Box 21363,
1507 Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel: +357-2-664286
Fax: +357-2-676061
E-mail: john.f.harvey@usa.net

Member-at-Large IFLA Relations

Ms Patricia F. Oyler, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Simmons College
300 The Fenway,
Boston MA02115, USA
Tel: +1-617-5212850
Fax: +1-617-5213192
E-mail: oyler@vax.simmons.edu


Marie-Francoise Bernabe
Bibliotheque Universitair de Autilles, et de la Guyane
BP7210, Schoelcher Cedex 97275,
Martinique, West Indies
E-mail: m-f.bernabe@martinique.univ-age.fr


Ian M. Johnson
Head, School of Information & Media
Faculty of Management, The Robert Gordon University
Garthdee Road,
Aberdeen AB10 7QU, UK
Tel: +44-1224-263902
Fax: +44-1224-263939
E-mail: i.m.johnson@rgu.ac.uk


Diann D. Rusch-Feja, Ph.D.
Director, Library & Research Documentation
Max-Planck Institute for Human Development
Lenzeallee 94, D-14195,
Berlin, Germany
Tel: +4930-82406-230
Fax: +4930-82499-39


Kim Se Kyung
Education Graduate School of Ewha Women's University
Dept. of Library Science Education
South Korea
E-mail: lotus5@unitel.co.kr


Rosa M. Vallejo
18 Cenacle Drive, Sanville
Quezon City, Philippines, 1128
E-mail: rosavallejo@hotmail.com


Pat Ward
Haulfryn, Cae Eithin, Minffordd
Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd LL 48 6EL,
Wales, UK
Tel/Fax: 44-1766-770434
E-mail: layzellward@celtic.co.uk


Robert Wedgeworth
2008 Bentbrook Drive,
Champaign, IL 61822, USA
E-mail: rwedge@uiuc.edu


Darlene Weingand, Ph.D.
Adj. Prof., University of Hawaii-Manoa
Library & Information Science Program
Department of Information & Computer Sciences
2550 Kuhio Avenue, No. 2402,
Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
E-mail: weingand@lava.net

The Newsletter is published twice a year in October and April. Please share your ideas and experiences by sending your contributions or suggestions to John F. Harvey, PO Box 21363, 1507 Nicosia, Cyprus, Tel: (357-2) 462286, Fax: (357-2) 451620, e-mail: john.f.harvey@usa.net or Suite 1105, 82 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005-3682, USA, Fax: 212-968-7962. Secretariat: Janet Assadourian.

Business Meeting

IFLA Continuing Professional Education Round Table (CPERT) Meeting of 21 August, 1999, 15:00-17:30, Bangkok

Present: Patricia Oyler (USA), Oranuch Sawetrattanasatian (Thailand), Darlene Weingard (USA), Ian Johnson (UK), Irina Chanturishvihi (Georgia), W. S. Punyawardena (Sri Lanka), Ken Haycock (Canada - Chair of the Section on Library Education and Training), Blanche Woolls (USA), John Harvey (Cyprus), Kerry Smith (Australia), Diann Rusch-Feja (Germany), Patricia Layzell-Ward (UK), Valentyne Pashkova (Ukraine), Leena Siitonen (Spain - co-chair), Eduard Afowin (Ukraine), Ab Kede (?)

Minutes taken by: Diann Rusch-Feja (Anne Gould, current secretary, is excused)


  1. The Quorum was established in that five of the Executive Committee members (Harvey, Oyler, Rusch-Feja, Weingard, Woolls) were present.

  2. The Minutes for the 1998 CPERT executive committee meeting in Copenhagen submitted by Anne Goulding were approved.

  3. The IFLA Booth will be manned on Wednesday 25 August 1999 from 12-13.00 by Pat Oyler, John Harvey and Blanche Woolls (12.30).

  4. Report on the coordinating board meeting Report - Patricia Oyler - The organizers of the Opening Session and sit-down dinner presided over by the Princess of Thailand ask that people take their places early, before the event begins. The Coordinating Board also encourages attendance at the council meeting prior to the opening of the exhibits. To share Division Activities more extensively, our executive committee email addresses will be sent to Adele Fasic, for inclusion on the mailing list for the Division Listserv. Information coordinators and new officers are asked to attend the appropriate meetings for them especially as there are new regulations and practices which will be of importance in the coming months.

  5. 1999 Bangkok Open Meeting Plans: Pat Oyler announced the program for the Open meeting on Tuesday, 24 August 1999. The program included: Prof. Kenneth H. Dowlin and Prof. David Loertscher (School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, USA) speaking on "Web-based Instruction for Continuing Education Students : a Report on the San Jose State University Virtual Library School Program and its Potential for Web-Based Instruction for Continuing Education" (101-10-4-E), Narumol Ruksasuk (Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand) speaking on "Library and Information Science Distance Education in Thailand in the Next Decade" (090-104-E), Prof.Darlene Weingard (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) speaking on "Describing the Elephant : What is Continuing Professional Education?" (089-1-04-E) and Prof. Blanche Woolls (School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, USA) speaking on "The Fourth World Conference on Continuing Professional Education for the Library and Information Professions, Boston, Massachusetts August, 2001" (097-104-E).
    A question was raised regarding the acceptance of a paper by Blanche Woolls at the Bangkok meeting stating that the 4th World Conference would be in Vermont in 2001 instead of Aberdeen in 2002, as decided upon in the 1998 meeting. Leena Siitonen was responsible for the program planning. Discussion followed which immediately brought up the issues discussed further under Point 19 below. Discussion was closed to end the discrepancy: since the 4th World Conference has now been advertised for Boston/Vermont, it would be difficult to rename it anything else. However, the 5th World Conference on Continuing Professional Education for Librarians and Information Professionals (previously planned as the 4th World conference) will be held in Aberdeen in 2002.

  6. There was no funding for 1998-1999. Therefore there is no Financial Report.

  7. Newsletter - John Harvey. Two issues of the Newsletter were published during the past year. John suggested that since there was so much material available, a third newsletter per year could be envisioned. Although the previously designated editor, Clare Walker, is interested in participating in this respect, John has taken over much of the active work with the Newsletter. The Newsletter is now distributed to CPERT members, the members of the Standing Committee of the Section for Education and Training and to other relevant officers in IFLA. 250-275 copies are distributed at a cost of 200 support from the Section of Education and Training. The Newsletter is distributed both electronically and on paper. Blanche Woolls moved that CPERT apply for NLG 600 and not use this money for administrative costs, but to allocate it to production and sending of the Newsletter. This was seconded. Discussion brought up the problem of mailing this Newsletter to persons who are not IFLA members. The move which Blanche suggested for financial support for the distribution of the newsletter was passed with no objections or abstensions. John pointed out that the Newsletter needs not just money but NEWS and encouraged new articles.

  8. Editor's Report. Clare Walker could not be present for this meeting. Since John Harvey has prepared the CPERT Newsletters over the past year and is prepared to continue in the capacity and since Clare Walker in essence is more an electronic member of the Round Table, a move was made by Darlene Weingard and seconded by Diann Rusch-Feja to elect John Harvey as the editor of the Newsletter. John was elected unanimously.

  9. Information Coordinator's Report - John Harvey. IFLAnet is completely reorganizing. The Newsletter has been put onto the IFLAnet. Since there are now changes for the requirements for putting up information on the Net, Barbara Jedwabski, who was revamping the CPERT Web pages should be contacted. Diann Rusch-Feja will contact Barbara Jedwabski and get her to contact John Harvey regarding the reworking and update of the CPERT website.

  10. Round Table Membership. Blanche Woolls has prepared a form for those present at the meeting on Tuesday to collect names, addresses and Email-addresses. John Harvey noted that the lists of Email are difficult for him, because he cannot distinguish who are members of CPERT and who are members of IFLA and who are not. The status of the Round Tables in general in IFLA has not been decided upon. Thus, these issues are still unclear. There are about 60 persons who feel they are members of CPERT, often because they have attended the World Conferences. These matters will have to be resolved. Ian Johnson pointed out that the matter becomes more difficult in that the establishment of discussion groups is now taking over the purpose once assigned to the round tables.

  11. A Mailing list has not yet been set up. Anne Goulding prepared a list of names and email addresses of the people who attended the 3rd World Conference. This will be augmented by the names and addresses collected by John Harvey at this year's open session.

  12. Special Projects - Darlene Weingard suggested that Blanche Woolls' proposal for the "synthesis book" (more information needed here) could be seen as a one-time small project. Diann suggested once again to set up a database for programs in continuing education. Pay Oyler suggested that we work on that over the year and make a proposal next year.

  13. Round Table Action Plans for 1999-2000. These should be made up by the new officers in conjunction with the executive committee. N.B. (Diann) It should be reminded that these plans of Action must be submitted in October 1999.

  14. The 1998-1999 Annual Report will be prepared by either Anne Goulding or Pat Oyler. The 1999-2000 Annual Report should be done by the newly elected secretary of CPERT during the next few months.

  15. Plans for the 2000 Conference in Jerusalem: Discussion regarding the theme brought up the following suggestions. Pat Layzell-Ward suggested the theme of literacy and Pat Oyler suggested that we work together with the Section (or Round Table) on Reading. The main theme of the Jerusalem conference is: "Information for Cooperation: Creating the Global Library of the Future." Susan Lazinger might have some suggestions for Israeli colleagues who might like to prepare a paper on this theme. A workshop could be put together with the Section on Education and Training. Because the CPERT Round Table is so small and unstructured, we should only plan on one open session.

  16. Details of the 2001 4th World Conference in Vermont: Blanche referred to her paper to be presented on Tuesday in the Open Session (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/097-104e.htm). All the information for the 2001 World Conference will be in that paper. Blanche Woolls will organize this 4th World Conference on Continuing Professional Education and Training for the Library and Information Fields. The Conference will be held in Vermont as pre-conference to the Boston IFLA Conference. There will be limited attendance and the Conference will honor Betty Stone and Brooke Sheldon. The Conference Theme is "Delivering Lifelong Professional Education Across Space and Time."

  17. The 4th World Conference will be held in Vermont/Boston in 2001 - the 5th World Conference will be in Aberdeen. Diann Rusch-Feja reported on the work of the Planning Committee (which includes Diann Rusch-Feja, Riita Makinen, Darlene Weingard and Barbara Jedwabski) and Ian Johnson as local organizer on the preparations at Aberdeen. A draft theme for the 5th World Conference should include Distance Learning, Standards and Assessment Criteria for electronic distance learning, Contextualization, etc. It was moved that the previous planning committee receive CPERT's support for Ian and the Planning Committee to take the proposal for the 5th World Conference to the IFLA Publications Committee to seek publication of the proceedings as an IFLA Publication. Pat Oyler encouraged finding sponsors especially for participants from developing countries. The announcement for the 5th World Conference 2002 should be made at the same time - perhaps in IFLA Express in Bangkok - as the Call for Papers for the 4th World Conference in Vermont 2001.

  18. Relationships with other groups: Ken Haycock, new chairman of the Section on Education and Training was present at the Round Table meeting. There should be more contacts with other Groups, especially the reading group etc.

  19. There were no project reports from the past year.

  20. Membership Committee Report: Diann Rusch-Feja It was unclear what tasks the Membership committee should be doing. It was also unclear why Diann Rusch-Feja's name was listed here, unless this was in connection with getting more names for publicity of the then 4th World Conference and now that 5th World Conference. Membership lists for Sections are available from IFLA Headquarters. The lists of past participants are collected by the Secretary. It was requested that the cumulative list of names, addresses and Emails be made available to the conference planners and the officers of the Round Table, including the information coordinator, John Harvey.

  21. The Future of CPERT - Blanche Woolls has been asked whether or not the Round Table would like to be a Section. There are benefits in terms of transitional support from Headquarters (Pat Layzell-Ward), but also disadvantages as there are so many overlaps with the Section on Education and Training. This means that member institutions would have to make a choice whether to place their membership in only one of these two Sections, or take on the additional cost of supporting of CPERT as a Section. Ken Haycock also mentioned that the Sections become somewhat competitive among themselves to obtain membership as this is how the Sections are financed. Further discussion on this point was tabled until IFLA's position on the existence of Round Tables becomes known.

  22. CPERT pins - Patricia Oyler - They will be distributed to active participants in recognition of their participation. They will be passed on to the new Chairman.

  23. CPERT Dinner - Due to lack of open time slots for most of the people at this IFLA Conference, no dinner could be arranged. However, the hope was expressed that someone would organise a dinner for CPERT participants in Jerusalem.

  24. Items for IFLA Express: Call for Papers for Jerusalem, Announcement of the 4th World Conference and of the 5th World Conference (after Tuesday).

  25. Elections will be held on Tuesday after the session. So far, Blanche Woolls is suggested as a Chairperson, Ian Johnson as secretary and John Harvey as Editor and Information Officer. Any new nominations from the floor will be discussed on Tuesday after the papers being given at the Open Session.
21 August 1999 Diann Rusch-Feja

Election Results of 24 August 1999-09-01


Linda Ashcroft
Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University
John Foster Building, 98 Mount Pleasant
Liverpool L3 5UY, United Kingdom
E-mail: l.s.adhcroft@livjm.ac.uk


Prof. Blanche Woolls, Dean
School of Library and Information Science
One Washington Square,
San Jose,CA 96192-0029, USA
E-mail: bwoolls@wahoo.sjsu.edu

Information Coordinator:

John Harvey
And Newsletter Editor
E-mail: john.f.harvey@usa.net

Web-based Instruction for Continuing Education Students

Report on the San Jose State University Virtual Library School Program and its Potential for Web-based Instruction for Continuing Education

Kenneth E. Dowlin & David Loertscher

San Jose State University
School of Library and Information Science
San Jose, California, USA


Libraries are in A Time of Parenthesis. They are not what they were, Nor what they will be.
(Margaret Knox Goggin paraphrasing John Naisbitt)
Skate to where the puck's going to be, not where it has been. Anticipate. Anticipate" -- Walter Gretzky
(Wayne Gretzky's, the all-time great hockey player, father)

In its early days the Internet was characterized as "A Cloud of Users," but the development of the search engines and the meta search engines is providing powerful indexing and access tools to any user. Carla Hesse, in a chapter in the Future of the Book1 points out the similarity of new technology's impact on communication between the end of 18th century paradigm shift and the end of the 20th century. She sees the experimentation with micro technologies as a means of putting the power of publication into the hands of every individual citizen. Condorcet saw the new technologies for communication at the end of the 17th Century as the opportunity to bring all of France into a dialogue with itself. Unfortunately, the French revolution intervened and it took centuries to be realized. That time did lead to recognition of intellectual property. Is the promise becoming reality as we enter the 21st century? The Internet is a new medium, a cultural phenomenon, a tool for uniting the world, and a great equalizer for access to libraries. It provides access to the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institute, as well as to the Public Library in Homer, Alaska (the great institutions to the small). But is it a vehicle for the virtual university?

The Virtual University

There are signs that the Internet may be over-hyped for education. Is the Virtual University Vaporware? The Western Governors Virtual University in the United States had a huge buildup in the press but is now rumored to have very little actual enrollment after two years of planning and hype. The California Virtual University quietly closed its doors about a year after a grand announcement by the Governor. Perhaps education over the Internet requires a broader perspective than just looking at what the technology can do. Perhaps the University is an artificial construct that doesn't translate into the virtual world. Cliff Lynch of the Coalition for Networked Information states that one of the purposes of a university is to create a community of scholars, and to prepare students to join that community.

So, the question is how do we create a community of scholars in a virtual university? The first step perhaps is to distinguish between a college or school and a university. We feel that Virtual education must start with a smaller, more cohesive unit such as a school within a University. Library and Information Science is a perfect discipline for development of tools and methodologies for asynchronous, distance independent, continuing education. The School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, the only ALA accredited program in the 23 campus California State University system, is an excellent starting point for transforming education.

There is a second factor in the creation of a distance courseware. Individual faculty from whom the treasured content is actually created, must feel two forces beckoning their investment of time and energy: academic rewards and entrepreneurial benefit. Currently, organizations, networks, and consortia are greedily developing infrastructure assuming they will make fortunes off the creative energies of faculty willing to "teach once - many playbacks" thus cutting costs. The existence of a rich body of high quality educational coursework, constantly updated, and tailored to individual learning styles is a challenge to San Jose State University just as it is to every other distance-education provider.

The Virtual Library

At the same time that the California Virtual University closed its doors, the California Digital Library (a new library in the University of California System that is only about two years old) is thriving. If we consider the totality of the library resources that are available on the Internet as a Virtual Library we see that it is global, dynamic, expanding by the second, and, is being cataloged by the commercial world (Yahoo, Lycos, etc.) as well as the public institutions. The Virtual Library reached the size of the New York Public Library in less than 5 years. At least 85% of the public libraries in U.S. provide public access to the Internet. Public libraries are the largest public access mechanisms after the home, office, and school.

Strategic Overview

Strategic Need for Libraries To Change

Attributes of the Traditional Library, The Virtual Library, and the Digital Library

Traditional Library
  • Collections physically bound by walls
  • Collections are artifacts
  • Print oriented
  • Users must go to library
  • Collections selected and managed
  • Intellectual property protected by physical artifact
  • Implied contract with publisher
Virtual Library
  • Collections are global
  • Collections are digitized
  • Channels are more important than local content
  • Users are global and online
  • Collections are not managed
  • Intellectual property rights not managed
  • No contract with publisher
Digital Library
  • Artifacts are cataloged and inventoried online
  • Local media is digitized
  • Channels are included and managed
  • Collections are managed
  • Intellectual property rights managed
  • System is maintained and updated remotely by vendor
The digital library will continue to be community connected, both in users and in collections and channels. Its three major resource components will be the print-based collections, the local digital content, and the channels for access to the Internet and other networked resources. The Online Public Access Catalog will be client/server based and will seamless integrate the three components into a single user friendly access aid.

Paradigm Shift

We are at a transition point and it is time for new definitions. The previous definition of the library no longer serves our communities well in the digital age. The earlier definition as a community collection of books is too limiting. We must have a definition that works for both the traditional library and the virtual library. The library should be redefined as a space to practice librarianship. So, what is Librarianship? Librarianship is the people who practice the craft of selecting, collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating the vessels of knowledge. They also apply the values and ethics of the profession, and advocate for access to information, knowledge, reading, and learning. How do we transform Libraries and Librarianship into 21st Century institutions? We create a Virtual School of Library and Information Science.

Mission Statement of the Virtual Library School

  • To use technology to extend the School of Library and Information Science beyond current distance and time constraints (Out of the box)
  • To ensure the quality of learning for librarians
  • To document the results for research purposes
  • To disseminate the knowledge gained in the program to the field

A Vision for the Virtual Library School

An internationally recognized program that creates and sustains LIS professionals whom will transform libraries into 21st Century institutions through innovation and collaboration.

Innovative Elements

The VSLIS project will accelerate the development of a comprehensive system for the identification of need, curriculum updating, courseware creation, interactive asynchronous communication over infinite distances, and management and assessment. A number of here-to-fore discrete components will be integrated into a systemic program.

These programs are:

  • A Library Learning Channel
  • Asynchronous
  • Geographical Independence
  • E-Texts assigned by Faculty
  • E-Library for expanded resources
  • E-Classroom for interactive communication
  • Quality Assurance Benchmarks
  • Knowledge Transformation Center to create courseware


The project involves public or non-profit agencies to assist in the creation and distribution of the courseware. The California State Library will incorporate the "Library Learning Channel" into their program to develop Internet access in every public library in California. The Bibliographical Center for Research will use the VSLIS as one of the sources of its Continuing Education program. The use of existing library networks will support communication at the regional level and mentoring for the students. The California State Library will also use the Knowledge Transformation Center to create Internet based tutorials for library staff and their publics. Stanford University will be hosting an Institute on Libraries in the 21st Century and will provide the presentations at that institution as course modules to the VSLIS. It is anticipated that other partners will be enlisted in the future to expand the courseware that is available. The American Library Association and the California Library Association are natural partners.
OCLC is also interested in using the tutorials developed for the project for distribution throughout its global network. Public Distributors
  • Bibliographic Center for Research, RMR
  • California State Library
  • California State University
Public Content Producers
  • California State Library
  • Stanford University
  • San Jose State University
The system for the delivery of the courseware, online resources, and management elements for the program will require the development of new processes. The VSLIS has enlisted a number of partners that are viewing the project as an opportunity to develop or refine their tools for education.

Private Partners for Technology Development

  • Living Stone Technology, Inc. will supply the Digital Media Management System and the Electronic Classroom
  • netLibrary, Inc. will supply the Electronic Library of textbooks and supplementary print resources
  • Silicon Graphics, Inc. will assist in the creation of the Video Streaming system for asynchronous distribution of the video resources
  • Divicom will advise on the use of compression technology to ensure the widest possible distribution system
  • 3COM has agreed to assist in the implementation of state-of-the-art networking capacity
Innovation and Collaboration Model
The knowledge transformation Center serves as the integrative element to take content from the faculty, conferences and workshops, textbook publishers, electronic journals and merge them into digital courseware. KnowledgeBase is the Digital Media Management and Distribution system that allows the courseware and intellectual property rights to be managed.
Quality Assurance


Development - Phase A (fall of 1999)
  • Planning
  • Collaboration Building
  • Technology & Network Development
  • Assessment & Standards Tools Development Development - Phase B (Spring of 2000)
  • Delivery of Courseware (first semester)
  • Formative Assessment and Adjustment
  • Delivery of Courseware (second semester)
  • Formative Assessment and Adjustment)
  • Delivery of Courseware (third semester)
  • Final Assessment Institutionalization - Phase C (Fall of 2002)
  • Self funded
  • Replicated throughout the California State University system
  • Adapted to other education applications

Project Staff Elements

The project will have staff for 6 functions.
  • Coordinator & Principle Investigator
  • Communication & Marketing
  • Faculty
  • Production & Technical Support
  • Assessment
  • Transformation Training Unit

The Learners

The project is designed to provide a focal point for Continuing Education for librarians in the state of California. It will leverage content from the courses for the degree program for the School of Library and Information Science to provide CE for practitioners and will bring in the expertise from workshops, conferences, and institutes as part of the courseware for the SLIS. It is intended that the program will prepare the new professional for their initial position and then will continue to provide opportunities to learn.

If the federal funding is received for the fall of 1999, the courses will start on the Internet in the spring semester of 2000. Some of the parts, such as the Digital Media Management System are being developed now. A Beta test of the LSTI DMMS is already in operation at the SJSU School of Library and Information Science and Sonoma State University.


1 Hesse, Carla, "Books in Time", The Future of the Book, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996) p. 21-33

Fourth World Conference On Continuing Professional Education For The Library And Information Professions, Boston, Massachusetts, August, 2001

Blanche Woolls

School of Library and Information Science San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA


The foreword from the first World Conference on Continuing Education held in Palos Hills, Illinois, U.S.A. August 13-16, 1985 stated the belief of the organizers, Elizabeth W. Stone and Brooke E. Sheldon. They wrote, "continuing education for library personnel should be a more significant part of local, national, and international library and information science efforts." This conference would be "one important step in developing a world-wide network for library leaders in continuing education, to explore mutual concerns, share research, and demonstrate the state-of-the-art in practice."

Elizabeth (Betty) Stone presented the idea of a world seminar at the 1977 meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Brussels. Brooke Sheldon expanded the concept as President of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1983-84. Betty and Brooke organized a committee and secured the necessary resources for the first conference. Most of the donors were U.S. based, the Council on Library Resources, H.W. Wilson Foundation, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), General Bookbinding Company, and the Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange (CLENE), now a round table within the ALA organizational structure. K.G. Saur Verlag has continued to support the Continuing Professional Education Round Table by publishing the proceedings for the next two conferences.

These three conferences resulted in significant publications on continuing education. Through the efforts of Betty and the group of professionals she drew around her, a Continuing Professional Education Round Table was formed within IFLA and two conferences, Barcelona and Copenhagen, followed. We are proposing a Fourth World Conference on Continuing Professional Education for the Library and Information Science Professions to be held as a pre-conference to the Boston conference of IFLA, August 2001. This proposed conference as well as the success of CPERT from its early years can be attributed to the two women who led the planning for the first World Conference. Both have been dedicated to providing continuing education from their early careers.

Dr. Stone became interested in continuing professional education as a young technical assistant in the Pasadena, California library. She had recently completed her master of library science degree and was determining how she would continue her education. She noticed that others on the staff who completed their degrees some time before did not seem particularly interested in further education. It was difficult for her to understand their disinterest in what she considered vital to the profession. When it was time for her to undertake research for her doctoral degree, she chose this as her topic.

In another major step, Dr. Stone created CLENE. This organization supported continuing professional education in the U.S. Housed on the campus of The Catholic University of America where Betty was Dean of the library school, she wove this into her other duties, maintaining a viable and active association. CLENE provided an opportunity for continuing education providers to meet and discuss their problems and solutions. CLENE had an active publication program, and a growing membership. In order to give CLENE a stable future, it was moved to the ALA as a round table.

With the success of the 1985 World Conference as a positive example, Dr. Stone turned her attention to IFLA where she worked to create a round table within that organization. Her efforts were rewarded with the creation of CPERT, our forum today. She served ably as its leader and as editor of its newsletter assuring its successful beginning and continuation.

Dr. Sheldon became interested in continuing education in her position as Director of Library Development in the New Mexico State Library. She recognized the need for training opportunities for librarians in the many very small cities that make up most of a state with one major population center (Albuquerque) and very few other cities with populations of 10,000. Prior to that time, the only educational opportunity for librarians in the state was to take Loyola University's correspondence courses. While some librarians were taking these courses, Brooke determined that, if they enrolled students in the courses and they then brought the authors of the courses to New Mexico, students could network and talk with the leaders in the field. Brooke herself then and later has conducted many continuing education workshops.

Brooke recognized that no single agency, even one as large as a state library, could be the only provider of continuing education. As a library school dean, she recognized that library schools should take some responsibility. When she became interested in international affairs, she learned how helpful it was for those who could attend IFLA. Others from developing countries benefited by the learning opportunities offered by UNESCO. She knew that IFLA, through CPERT, could play an enormous role in helping people in various countries to share their knowledge and create continuing education opportunities. It is because of their efforts that we are able to plan a Fourth World Conference on Continuing Professional Education for the Library and Information Science Professions.


The theme of the Boston Conference is"Libraries and Librarians: Making a Difference in the Knowledge Age." One of the sub-themes, "Delivering Lifelong Learning Across Space and Time" can be easily modified for our pre-conference would be "Delivering Lifelong Continuing Professional Education Across Space and Time." Dr. Stone and Dr. Sheldon have agreed to attend the conference, and we suggest that this conference be a celebration of their efforts to make "continuing education for library personnel a more significant part of local, national, and international library and information science efforts."


After the successful Copenhagen pre-conference, it was proposed to K.G. Saur that a festschrift be prepared to honor Dr. Elizabeth Stone during the Boston conference. To create the festschrift, a committee was formed to review the proceedings of the first three conferences and make them the core. When it was learned that Dr. Stone could attend an event in Boston, the concept was moved into a pre-conference. The addition of papers from the Boston conference will expand the selections from the past.
An editor, Dr. Viki Ash-Geisler, Texas Woman's University, has been chosen to edit the proceedings for the Fourth World Conference. Dr. Ash-Geisler previously co-edited the proceedings from a five-day institute held at the University of Texas at Austin, Achieving School Readiness: Public Libraries and National Education Goal No. 1published by the American Library Association. She is presently on the faculty at Texas Woman's University.

Conference Site

The proposed conference site is located in Chester, Vermont, a small New England town. Participants will be collected at Logan Airport in Boston on Tuesday, August 7 and driven in small vans to Chester. This is approximately a two and one-half hour drive through lovely countryside. Using smaller vans will mean that the wait at the airport should be no more than two hours, assuming participants are arriving the day before the pre-conference begins. A buffet dinner will be served in the evening. Should participants arrive earlier in the day, they may stroll to the Village Green and have lunch in a charming tea shop, Rosemary & Thyme. All participants will be returned to Boston to the IFLA headquarters hotel on Friday at the close of the pre-conference. When at all possible, vans will deliver participants to their hotels. This facility includes a conference center with five one- or two-story houses that are divided into small apartments. Each apartment has two or three bedrooms and two baths. These will accommodate 52 persons in shared rooms.

Participants who bring their spouses may prefer to stay in one of the bed and breakfasts within walking distance. Three B&Bs, Fullerton Inn, The Chester House, and the Hugging Bear Inn, are within five minutes walk. Other lovely accommodations are available in the area should a participant have an automobile and wish to drive. The conference center has a large group meeting room and small breakout rooms for concurrent sessions. If requested, technology is available in a laboratory setting for use by participants. Participants will be fed breakfast and dinner at Fletcher House. Because breakfast is as participants arrive, it will be inside. A tent on the lawn will accommodate evening meals. Lunch, morning coffee, and afternoon tea will be served in the conference center.

The conference costs are divided into four plans. For the full conference package (Plan A), participants will be met at Logan Airport in Boston, moved to Chester and housed in conference housing. For Plan B is for those persons who will arrive in Chester on their own. Plan C is for participants who wish to choose their own housing in one of the local inns within walking distance. Plan D is for participants who register only for the conference and meals. They take responsibility for transportation and housing.


This pre-conference is limited to 80 persons including speakers as well as observers. This will be a working pre-conference and participants must pre-register by a deadline so that they will have time to review and react to information that will be sent to them before they leave their homes.

Conference Planning Committee

A conference planning committee has been established. Their most recent meeting was held in New Orleans during the annual conference of the American Library Association. The work has begun. It is up to you to help with suggestions today so that our conference in Boston is as successful as the preceding three conferences have been.
Abstracts and papers are invited on these topics:
  • Defining lifelong learning needs for continuing professional education
  • Models to expand shorter continuing education experiences into lifelong learning
  • Meeting the needs of information professionals for lifelong learning: predicting their needs
  • Effects of new technologies on both the need for continuing education as well as the use of new technologies to provide the actual opportunities
  • Acknowledging differences; how to structure learning sessions so that "one size fits all" when our students live in different countries and cultures, speak different languages, and have widely varying educational systems in their countries.
  • Sharing continuing professional education programs across time and space

The IFLA conference in Bangkok becomes our opportunity to expand the planning for this pre-conference. We invite your comments, suggestions, and assistance in preparing for this event. The questions that follow allow the discussion to begin.


  1. What additional topics should be chosen for papers to meet our theme?
  2. What keynote speakers would you suggest?
  3. To whom do you suggest that we send personal invitations to submit papers?
  4. Have we anticipated the correct number of participants?
  5. What about the proposed registration fees?
  6. What social events should be planned?
  7. Other?


(1) "Foreword" of Horne, Esther E. Continuing Education: Issues and Challenges: Papers from the Conference Held at Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Illinois, U.S.A. August 13-16, 1985. New York: K.G.Saur, 1985. [n.p.] (2) Ibid.

Library and Information Science Distance Education in Thailand in the Next Decade

by: Narumol Ruksasuk

1. Introduction

The concept of teaching library and information science at a distance has been adopted and practiced by many library schools in different parts of the world including Thailand. The advent of the Internet as a means of information access and distribution, and the explosive growth of the World Wide Web (Web) have transformed distance teaching from a broadcast mode to an interactive one. Although, there are many advantages to distance learning, up until now there have also been some criticisms and concerns. Those concerns include whether or not distance education is a suitable mode of education for library and information science, and whether the quality of media used matches the quality of in-class instruction.

Instructional system design model (ISD) is a systematic process that helps the instructional designer make decisions about the nature and scope of instruction. It is based on the premise that learning should be developed in accordance with orderly processes and have measurable outcomes. Even though, there are many ISD models, all of these models include the processes of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (Seels & Glasgow, 1996, p.1).

With the high advanced technology of telecommunication and limitations of the learners, distance education is expected to play a vital role in library and information science education. As a result, many library schools are seeking workable distance education systems for themselves. To succeed in teaching library and information science at a distance, the entire faculties and related people must get involved in the development of courses and curriculum for distance education. And to meet that target, they have to understand thoroughly the distance education system, and how ISD plays role in choosing suitable delivery systems that made the students achieve the required goals.

2. Distance Education

At least three reasons explain why many countries have found distance education to be a good way to disseminate education to all societies. They are: geographical isolation, social isolation, and disadvantaged groups. People may be geographically isolated because of distance, terrain, or undeveloped communication systems. Australia, for example, is 4,000 kilometres from north to south and equal distance from east to west. It has a population of less than 15 million people, living in isolated rural areas, who depend on distance education from their first year of school.

People can become socially isolated for a number of reasons. Mostly it is because they are disadvantaged in some way, financial, physical, emotional, or because of family circumstances. This is the group which distance education can help most. Some people lack confidence in their own ability to learn. One of the obvious manifestations of this lack of confidence is a reluctance to participate in face-to-face classes where they feel their shortcomings will be exposed. In fact, many people refuse to participate in an education program because of these very reasons. Distance teaching techniques enable people to undertake a course of study in privacy. Thus, they can learn at their own pace and take refuge in the fact that they can succeed or fail without being publically exposed. Many of these people, when they achieve success, and gain confidence, may elect to transfer to the face-to-face mode. In short, their introduction to education is obtained through distance education (Taylor, 1985, p.2).

Distance education is an educational system which emphasizes individualization of instruction and provides learning in a place or time different from that of the instructors or other students. It employs contemporary technological developments to deliver knowledge to students using new modalities. Its concept can be traced back more than a century. It appears to be closely related to the collateral concepts of distance teaching, distance learning, telecourse, home study, independent study, external study, open university, electronic university, and virtual classroom (Verduin & Clark, 1991, cited in Yenbamrung, 1992, p.15).

Historically, the geographic isolation of students from educational institutions has been the prime motivation for developing distance education programs. The early distance education systems relied primarily on printed materials for instruction. Correspondence courses have been the most common delivery method of course materials to distant students. In such courses, student/teacher interactions take place by mail or over the phone. Interaction of this sort lacks the immediacy and spontaneity of those in the face-to-face classroom.

With the advances in technology, a variety of technologies have been used as delivery systems to facilitate distance learning. Beginning in the 1960s, broadcast television became a medium for instructional delivery from a distance. Again, in this mode student interaction with faculty was usually limited to mail or telephone communication. In the 1980s, the establishment of the VCR as a household appliance provided students the freedom to attend class at their convenience either by recording a broadcast video or viewing a prepackaged videotape.

The development of synchronous (two-way, real time interactive) technologies, such as audio teleconferencing, audio graphics conferencing, and video conferencing allowed linking the learners and instructors who were geographically separated. In addition, the development of a time-delayed feature for asynchronous computer-mediated communications (CMC) facilitates co-operative group work among distance learners. The advent of the Internet as a means of information access and distribution and the concommitant explosive growth of the Web has now transformed distance teaching from a broadcast mode to an interactive mode. The Web, when combined with other network tools such as listservs, Usenet newsgroups, and video teleconferencing can create a virtual classroom to bring together a community of learners for interactive education.

The separation in time and place of teachers and learners does not imply that distance education is synonymous with all teaching and learning carried out over a distance. Distance education should not be the mere delivery, "at a distance," of classroom-based instruction. A verbatim transcript of a lecture circulated by post to students spread over the country does not constitute distance education. Information should be designed for a particular medium to best exploit its unique advantage (Mason & Kaye, 1990, p.15).

3. Web-based Instruction

Web-based Instruction (WBI) is defined broadly as any form of innovative approach for delivering instruction to a remote audience in which the World Wide Web is included as a tool (Relan & Gillani, 1997, p.41). Presently, several Web sites have been developed to provide learners with access to instructional resources from a distance. However, Hill (1996) noted that, most course-based or learning sites simply post course materials. In such instances, use of the Web falls far short of the potential this medium affords (p.75). According to Casey (1998), currently used Web models of learning can be identified as one of the followings:

  1. The Web as Source of Information: This is the simplest use of the Web. It is used as a convenient place to store supporting information for traditionally offered courses. For example, for the university course which normally supplies students with various resources; printed lecture notes, assignment specifications, or practice exams which have been previously distributed in print form, students can use the Web to access sites for information required for assignments or projects. Therefore, it can be said that this model uses the Web only as a part of the learning process. Students still have a teacher in a formal classroom.
  2. The Web as Electronic Book: Many institutions have moved to use the Web to present information in a more structured way. To use the Web, the information is structured to be used as a the teaching process. Therefore, students use the screen to read materials, activate multimedia demonstrations, take self-correcting quizzes or other activities. The course material is mostly factual information, which is to be learned from the Web page and any accompanying media. There is no interaction between teacher and the students through the Web.
  3. The Web as Teacher:Some Web-based courses include some form of personal communication between students and other students via the use of email and perhaps chat rooms.
  4. The Web as a Communication Medium between Teacher and Students: In this model, students learn from the teacher but "through" the Web and not "from" the Web. Thus, the Web not only presents structured information, but it also provides the communication medium for the necessary interaction. A model such as this aims to mirror a face-to-face learning environment, within which the students will be able to establish some form of human relationship with the teacher (p.52).

According to Reeves (1997), what is unique about WBI is not its rich mix of media features such as text, graphics, sound, animation, and video, nor its linkages to information resources around the globe, but the pedagogical dimensions that WBI can be designed to deliver (p.59). The aim of Web-based education must surely be to develop a model which will enable a relatively large proportion of the student population to learn relatively easily and successfully (Casey, 1998, p.51). To design effective WBI, the following seven important principles should be taken into account: motivating the learner; specifying what is to be learned; prompting the learner to recall and apply previous knowledge; providing new information; offering guidance and feedback; testing comprehension; and supplying enrichment or remediation (Ritchie & Hoffman, 1997, p.135-138).

  1. Motivating the Learner: The use of graphics, color, animation, and sound can be used as stimuli to motivate learners. However, these techniques do not ensure motivating pages. WBI developers should also provide stimuli through inquiry arousal, in which learners encounter a problem, contradictory information, or mystery to be resolved. Other methods to increase motivation include establishing the value of what users are to learn such as linking the information to organizations, job position, or sites that include related topics. Increasing motivation can also be done by enhancing the learners' confidence in being able to complete their learning tasks such as linking the information to examples of completed projects or providing easy practice activities.
  2. Identifying What Is to be Learned: In order to help learners achieve the goals set, it is necessary to let them know at the early stage of the course what their responsibility will be. With the tendency of users to free associate while Web "surfing," in which their attention maybe distracted from desired outcomes, it is important for Web-based instructional developers to help learners keep their instructional goals in mind. Listing outcomes or expectations as students access an instructional page is one method to help focus learners on expected outcomes. As a matter of fact, links to external sources may too easily allow learners to forget the purpose of the instruction. In order to reduce this tendency, designers should be judicious in including external links, only to those locations which offer strong support to the instruction.
  3. Reminding Learners of Past Knowledge: To facilitate retention of information in long-term memory, learners must link the new information with related information already stored in long-term memory. Web pages have an advantage in that they are able to offer multiple links from a single location. Multiple links can help learners to link the new information with their existing information by identifying similarities, differences, or experiences between their existing knowledge structures and the to-be-learned information. In this way, students will more quickly grasp and assimilate the new information.
  4. Requiring Active Involvement: For learning to take place, the learners must actively process and make sense of the information presented. In order to do so, the learners are required to develop an artifact of their learning. Eight strategies that can be employed to ensure that learners produce an artifact of their knowledge are requiring learners to compare, classify, induce, deduce, analyze errors, construct support, make abstractions, or analyze ideas that they encounter in the course of their Web activities.
  5. Providing Guidance and Feedback: Guidance and feedback can be provided to users either when they explore the WBI or afterward. The provision of guidance and feedback can be conducted when users are required to make a choice among alternatives after an instruction. If these choices are designed to determine appropriate or inappropriate responses by the learners, pages linked to their answers can be used to either reinforce the correct response or explain an incorrect answer and guide the learners to a more appropriate answer. Another more complex method uses CGI (Common Gateway Interface) codes to provide learners with detailed information and alternative choices. With CGI scripts, information that students put into online text fields, buttons, or check boxes can be compared to answers in a database or text file. Feedback can give an in-depth explanation to students and active links will guide them to additional information. CGI scripts can also be written to capture variables from students, store them, and access this information later.
  6. Testing: Learning needs to be assessed in order to ensure that students have obtained the desired knowledge. The assessment can be conducted through objective or subjective tests, or through development of products or artifacts of their learning. Online testing can be constructed with CGI scripts where information is gathered from students, compared to established criteria in text or database files, and assigned grades and/or other feedback.
  7. Providing Enrichment and Remediation: The final step in most instructional programs is to provide learners with either remediation in areas where comprehension is lacking, or to extend students' knowledge. Both CGI scripts and direct linking of pages can be used for these purposes.

As the information age evolves and technical advances make resources more accessible, the Web will be a viable medium to facilitate learning. WBI has the ability to provide rich learning environments in a global and interactive manner. WBI design requires thoughtful analysis and investigation of how to use the Web's potential in concert with instructional design principles. If these two forces can be integrated, it may produce a distributed, instructional medium with characteristics unlike previous methods of distance learning.

4. Interaction Needs in Distance Education

Interaction in educational settings has been analyzed in terms of "participant structures" (Levin, 1990, p.188). The importance of interactions is stressed in the literature. For example, Gilbert & Moore (1998), describe two contexts for interaction: the "social interaction" between two or more people about the learning material; and the "instructional interaction" between the individual and the learning material.

According to these investigators, instructional interactivity possesses factors related to both teacher control of content delivery and learner control of processes that relate to the presentation of and response to instructional content. As for social interaction, the interactivity between students and teachers and between students and students can sometimes have little to do with instructional learning, but can still help to create a positive or a negative learning atmosphere. These interactions also provide feedback to and from students about progress toward instructional objectives. Some types of social interaction can directly foster instructional interactions. For example, small-group discussions in a class might have high social interactivity at the same time that students are actively engaged in comparing opinions about content and objectives of key courses (p.30-31).

Zhang & Fulford (1994) noted that student perceptions of the efficacy of social interaction in a course can have significant effects on learning outcomes (p.63). Social interaction tends to have elements of mutuality, flexibility, and bi-directionality that are not as frequently found in purely instructional interaction; the participants in a social situation can start and stop, react, remain silent, etc., at will. According to Zhang (1998), social interaction among students becomes important when it is closely linked to learning objectives (p.11).

The degree to which learners require any form of encounter with a teacher will vary from none at all to a level that is critical for learning. Some learners have developed independent learning strategies, which may require little or no interaction with a teacher. Other learners require the motivation and structuring of learning that a teacher can provide. (Casey, 1998, p.53).

In a distance learning environment, a complaint often voiced by learners is that they feel isolated and unconnected. (Hill, 1996, p.76). According to Moore & Kearsley (1996), one important component that may influence student success in completing a distance education course is the degree of interaction that is provided and available. Hiltz (1994) found that when students were asked to advise faculty pertaining to the instructor's role in distance instruction, one basic principle emerged for establishing and maintaining a learning community by organizing the interaction. Specifically, instructors were urged to be flexible in their representations and activities, to provide frequent and directed questions and responses, to acknowledge comments made by students, and to provide periodic updates and reviews of discussions.

One of the goals in creating a distance learning environment is the desire to create a community of learners. The creation of a virtual community will add to the support needed in a distance learning environment to move it toward becoming an environment of learning. According to Dickinson & Willis (1996), WBI can facilitate important interactive activities between teacher and learner by creating "Virtual" office hours and Learner-to-learner interaction.

E-mail and newsgroups are some Internet methods that can hold virtual office hours. Desktop interactive video through the Internet is the technology that can allow real-time question and answer sessions. The Internet can also be used to increase learner-to-learner interaction. Learners can work on assignments and team projects together by using newsgroups for group discussions and email for working on questions or assignment that are not of interest to the whole class. Another advantage of this type of interaction for distance education is that the learners are often distributed over many time zones or have different job schedules, so the asynchronous nature of newsgroups and email allows an entire class to participate in discussions.

According to Hughes & Hewson (1998), at the minimum level of interaction, the WBI needs to support both teacher and learner access to the "content," which may be presented in text, graphic, or multimedia format. It allows teachers to publish the notices, lesson notes, readings, or tasks, as well as to provide a medium for learners to publish any material they want to contribute, either privately or to the class. This may take the form of accessible items, or simply, input to the ongoing discussions. Moreover, teachers need to initiate and guide discussions on particular issues that arise. To make the learning effective, these discussions may also need to be suspended at the time the teacher sets an activity, or asks a question. The tasks may be given to individual students or to the group to work collaboratively. The teacher can form small groups with appointed leaders to facilitate the task and then request feedback from each (p.49).

5. Instructional System Design (ISD) Model

Instructional system design (ISD) is the process of solving instructional problems by systematic analysis of the conditions of learning. ISD is based upon the concept that learning should be developed in an orderly processes and have measurable outcomes. To do this one makes decisions related to each step in the ISD process. ISD requires defining what is to be learned, planning an intervention that will help learning to occur, measuring learning to determine if objectives were met, and refining the intervention until objectives are met (Seels & Glasgow, 1996, p.1).

ISD procedures and their application have developed through practice and through research and expansion of theory. Many models of the ISD process have been developed. The Instructional Development Institutes (IDI) model for public school personnel was developed under the auspices of the U.S.Office of Education, and a number of scholars in the field such as Gagne, Briggs and Wager; Kemp, Morrison and Ross; and Dick and Carey, developed models (Seels & Glasgow, 1996, p.1). While there are numerous individual ISD models, it is possible to extract a single generic model from their common features. No matter what the individual configuration, all ISD models include the processes of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (Seels & Glasgow, 1996, p.4-9).

Analysis is the process of defining what is to be learned. There are three types of analyses: need analysis, task analysis, and instructional analysis. Need analysis is a method of determining whether the instruction is needed and how much it is needed. Task analysis starts after the problem and its solution have been defined. It covers defining the job or topic to be learned using the standardized techniques of task analysis. To conduct instructional analysis, the designer examines each task or content area to determine what the student has to know in order to perform this task or learn this content.

Information from the analysis phase forms the bases for the design phase. The design phase involves a search for the answers to these questions: What are the learning objectives? How will we know if they are met? What teaching strategies will best achieve the objectives? What combination of media and methods will be the most cost-effective?

In the development phase, the materials are authored, reviewed, produced, and validated. The activities carried out during development will depend on the instructional media to be produced. The question during production is: How will the materials look and sound? The physical features of the material are produced during this phase, and it is the designer's job to ensure that the principles of learning are incorporated into the materials as specified during the design phase. To fulfil the media requirement, the instructional designer may work closely with writers, film or video producers, director, actors and editors, artists and photographers, and computer programmers. Material development also involves a process of formative evaluation whereby the materials are tried out. Formative evaluation is used to identify weaknesses in the materials while they are being "formed" in order to correct these weaknesses. It answers: Do the materials teach? How do we improve them?

Implementation is the process of putting the instructional plan in a real teaching setting. The success of a course depends on whether it is implemented as intended. To ensure this, it is necessary to develop guidelines for administrators and teachers, to prepare them to carry out their instructional tasks, and to monitor course administration during the start-up phase. The question for the implementation phase is: Is the instructor ready to take responsibility for the course?

The evaluation phase aims at searching for the answers to questions: Have we solved the problem? What is the impact? What needs to change? This is regarded as summative evaluation and is intended to help the responsible institution assess the impact of new materials in a broader sense.

The essential objective of education is to change the learning behavior of students. The ISD model is designed for this. Thus, in teaching library and information science at a distance, the ISD model should be given careful consideration in the effort to develop a WBI to meet student's interaction needs. Repeated application of the principles of the ISD model should lead to optimization of the student interactions in a way that is satisfying to the students and faculty and does not diminish, and hopefully enhances, the learning outcomes. Furthermore, continued refinement and testing will bring valuable feedback from students themselves about what forms of interactions they find most effective.

6. Library and Information Science Distance Education

The history of distance education in library and information science education can be traced back to one year after Melvil Dewey opened the first formal program of library education at Columbia College. Correspondence study was one of the first types of distance education employed in this field. In 1888, Dewey urged Albany to develop correspondence courses in special library and small library services. The American Library Association Committee on Library Training recommended in 1903 that school and/or 'leading libraries' be authorized to offer correspondence work (Barron, 1990, p. 325).

Barron (1990), noted that Charles Williamson was the one who became enchanted with correspondence education in library science. In his famous reports of 1921 and 1923 submitted to the Carnegie Corporation, Williamson recommended that library schools adopt the correspondence method of instruction. Later, Williamson recommended that the Carnegie Corporation fund the development of a school in New York City that would be expected to develop correspondence study on a large scale and of high quality (p.326).

In 1923, the American Correspondence School of Librarianship was established under the direction of H.P. Gaylord at Syracuse. Later in 1928, it was transferred, with all its assets, goodwill and students to Columbia University (renamed from Columbia College). It was administered jointly by the School of Library Service and the Home Study Department, under the direction of Williamson, then director of the School and Libraries. The program was very popular with practising librarians and flourished until 1936 when Columbia abolished all correspondence study (Barron, 1990, p. 326). From the days of these initial efforts, library and information science educators have provided correspondence courses, sent faculty with courses and complete degree programs to satellite campuses within their states, and delivered degree programs to other states. Recently, telecommunications technology has been used to bridge the distance between students and schools.

Barron's survey (1993) indicates that all faculty who teach in ALA accredited program schools agree that distance education has the potential of being an important addition to traditional classroom delivery of instruction. The data also support the findings of a related study of curriculum committee chairpersons conducted in 1985. This study concluded that most faculty view distance education positively but are greatly concerned about the quality of the experience. Particular concerns include the lack of money to purchase hardware and courseware, the lack of available courseware, inadequate resources for distance students, the lack of faculty expertise with instructional media and technology, and the lack of rewards and incentives to encourage faculty to try new technologies and methods (p.195-197).

7. Library and Information Science Distance Education in Thailand

7.1 Library Education in Thailand

Library education in Thailand was first introduced at Chulalongkorn University in 1951 under the support of the Fulbright Foundation. At the beginning, it was just a training program, conducted by five American professors who offered a certificate in library science. In 1955, the Department of Library Science was established at the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University to offer a program for a diploma in library science (Atthakorn & Nandhivajrin, 1988).

At present, there are more than ten universities both private and public that offer programs in library science at a bachelor degree level and a master degree level. The universities that offer programs at a bachelor degree level include: Chulalongkorn Univeristy, Thammasat University, Chiang Mai University, Khon Khaen University, Prince Songkla University, Ramkamheang University, Silapakorn University, Mahasarakam University, Srinakarintharawirot-Songkla University, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Burapa University, Rangsit University, The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Suranaree University of Technology. The universities that offers master degree are comprised of Chulalongkorn Univeristy, Thammasat University, Srinakharintharawirot-Prasarnmitr University, Ramkamheang University, Mahasarakam University, Chiang Mai University, Khon Khean University, Prince Songkla University, and Burapa University (Chutima, 1994, p.126-130). However, it appears that library education in Thailand is moving towards offering only the master's degree and the curriculum has been revised to include information studies (Premsmit, 1997, p.93).

7.2 Distance Learning Programs in Library and Information Science in Thailand

7.2.1 Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU)

Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) founded in 1978, is the first university in Thailand to offer library and information science education via a distance education system. The program was set up by the School of Liberal Arts to offer the bachelor's degree and the certificate in 1989 and 1991 respectively. At the bachelor's degree level, there are two programs: General Information Science Program, and Office Information Science Program. The students of both programs have to take at least 22 courses (132 credits). Those courses include five General Foundation Courses, four Core Courses, eleven Area-Specific Courses, and two Free-Elective Courses (http://www.stou.ac.th/index.htm). 6. Library and Information Science Distance Education The objectives of information science programs are: 1) to enable students to store, retrieve, and handle information efficiently; 2) to disseminate knowledge on information storage, retrieval, and handling to information specialists and other interested persons; and 3) to promote studies and research in the field of information science (Sacchanand, 1996, p.193).

STOU has developed and integrated various instructional media into a distance teaching/learning system to help students study independently without having to enter a conventional classroom. The instructional media comprises main media (textbooks and workbooks which are mailed to students) and supporting media (audio-cassettes, radio and television programs in conjunction with printed course materials and other audio-visual aids).

Students also have the option of attending tutorials. The aim of the tutorials is to provide a face-to-face interaction between students and instructors. Tutorials run for three or five hours and are held on three weekends in each semester at local centers throughout the country.

Guidance and counselling are provided by STOU to help its students cope with their studies, particularly the problems involved in participating in distance education courses. This counselling is important for students new to this mode of study. It is provided by the university at local centers on orientation day, and also in subsequent tutorial sessions and at examination times.

Practical work is provided for students enrolling in the courses from the Schools of Public Health, Communication Arts, and Agricultural Extensions and Co-operatives. These sessions cover hands-on skills and job training. The Ministries of Public Health and Agriculture co-operate in the provision of facilities for their respective schools. In case of the information science program, prior to graduation, students have to participate in the practical experience programs organized by the School of Liberal Arts . The objectives of this program are as follows: 1) to enable students to realize the importance of their professions; 2) to enable students to apply the principles and theories acquired through their studies to actual practice; 3) to provide students with additional experience they may be unable to get effectively through the distance education media; and 4) to provide students the opportunity of exchanging professional experiences.

These professional experience programs are practical activities, and students must take up residence at the University for four nights and five days. The participatory activities include: inviting resource persons to give speeches and answer questions to students related to the latest interesting issues in the field; discussing among the students, the issues about ethics for librarianship; and observing work procedures in The Office of Documentation Services and in the Office of Computer Services (Sacchanand, 1996, p.196).

Self-help groups are one type of activity organised by groups of students. These groups are generally set up as a student club and are located in their province or region. The purpose of these groups is to arrange extra support for the local students. This may involve running a tutorial using a local expert or someone from the university (Boondao, 1992, p.6).

To ensure that educational services reach students throughout the country, STOU provides "STOU Corner" which are library and education media service centers located in 75 provincial public libraries. These facilities have been arranged in co-operation with the Ministry of Education's Non-Formal Education Department. The corner acts as a repository and service center for different types of education media acquired and prepared by the Office of Documentation and Information, STOU. The purpose is to provide services which will be of benefit to students and the general public in local areas. Materials provided include teaching materials and exercises prepared by the University for use with different subjects, textbooks, reference books. The latter include books covering specific subjects of benefit to people residing in local areas, audio cassettes containing course materials as well as radio programs providing tutorials and educational counselling (Ruksasuk, 1992, p.85).

7.2.2 Ramkamhaeng University (RU)

Ramkamhaeng University (RU) was established in 1971 as an open university. It was designed as an "academic market"; i.e., admissions were not limited by qualifying exams, class attendance was not mandatory, and fees were kept low. The main instructional materials used for learning and teaching include textbooks, handbooks, and instructional sheets printed by the university press. The primary teaching method in use is the lecture method in either a regular classroom or a large lecture hall with closed-circuit television. Laboratory services and equipment are practical additional training facilities (Phornsuwan, 1997, p.125-131).

RU started distance learning system in 1995. Video-conference is used through THAI-COM satellite as an educational media. Video-tape cassettes, radio, and television are also employed. At present, the University offers programs for a bachelor degree level through the distance education system for students studying in six provinces namely: Uthaithani, Pare, Prachinburi, Annajchareon, NakornSrithammaraj, and NakornPanom. At the master degree level, it is offered to students studying is four provinces namely: Uthaithani, Prachinburi, Annajchareon, and NakornSrithammaraj (http://ram1.ru.ac.th/web/ru_it/it2.htm).

The Department of Library Science was set up after RU was founded. It has been attached to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The objectives of the Department are to: render the librarianship program for the management and practical work in the library; produce qualified librarians who can work in the library and information center effectively; and provide the library professional ethics. At present, the Department offers library education programs at a bachelor degree level and a master degree level. Total required credits for both degrees for graduation are 144 and 48 credits respectively. Teaching in the Department involves classroom lectures and library practicum while radio and television programs are provided for distant students in the provinces (Phornsuwan, 1997, p.125-131).

7.2.3 Suraneree University of Technology (SUT)

Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), established in 1990, is the first state university with full autonomy with regard to governance. It is a government-supervised state university and has its own systems of financial, personnel, academic, and general administration customized to its characteristics and missions to ensure high operational efficiency as well as fulfilling international standards in its educational programs.

SUT uses the credit-hour system in designing its curricular program courses and the trimester system in its curricular program implementation. Thus, each school year consists of three terms each of 13 weeks in duration. All curricula conform to the standards set by the Ministry of University Affairs. The undergraduate curricula require 175 trimester-credit hours for completion. At present, the University offers bachelor degrees in three areas: Information Science, Agricultural Technology, and Engineering (8th Anniversary SUT Report).

The University employs two methods, with equal sharing of the total number of seats, for admission of first year students. The first method administered by the university, quota allocation, was originally for the northeastern region of the country only. The second method, administered by the Ministry of University Affairs, is the entrance examination procedure and is for qualified individuals nationwide. The quota allocation method does not require any examination and may be divided further into two categories, namely the school quota, applicable only to the lower part of the Northeast (Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphoom, Buriram, and Surin); and the province quota, applicable to remaining northeastern provinces. SUT completes the selection of quota students before the examination takes place. Thus, if the total number of quota selections is less than the prescribed total, SUT increases the examination admissions to compensate.

Library and Information Science program at SUT was provided in 1998 by School of Information Technology, Institute of Social Technology. The objectives of the program are: 1) to educate and train the students to be competent in the field of information technology with both theory and practice, 2) to enable students to register as highly qualified and professional technologists; and 3) to train students to have skill and knowledge in technoware, skills in the technolgy concerned; humanware, general skills as human being in a modern society; infoware, skills in efficient of technology for information compilation and dissemination; and orgaware, skills in the setting up of suitable mechanism and systems for sustainable development. The teaching method employed is a traditional face-to-face classroom.

In the age of globalization, the aim of education is to manage life-long learning for all without limitations of time or space. SUT has developed the Borderless Education system by using information technology in the form of multimedia, combining distance interactive, computer assisted instruction, printed, and other electronic media, so that the learner may gain broad knowledge, and thus, participate in a virtual university. The system is being implemented by creating various courses in this format. Courses on Library and Information Science are also included in the plan.

8. Conclusion

Distance learning employs contemporary technological developments to deliver information to students using new modalities. In the last decade "distance" has expanded to include temporal as well as physical isolation. Today's distance learner may be an urban dweller with easy physical access to a college or university. The changing social fabric, with its increasing demand on individuals at work and decreasing support for individuals from the extended family, has made time a highly valued commodity in the society. Technology which allows individuals to shift activities or interactions to more convenient times such as VCRs, answering machines, and Email have become indispensable parts of people's life.

The distance education movement in the field of library and information science in many parts of the world including Thailand appears to have progressed slowly. During the past three decades, there appears to have been little research relating to the field of library and information science. Nonetheless, interest in distance education has increased recently. Many library and information science educators, as well as related professional associations, have addressed the topic of delivery of library and information science education to distant students through the use of telecommunications technologies.

As we move away from a broadcast mode of teaching and more toward on active interaction mode, it is a mistake to conclude that simply the installation of distance education classrooms is the prime ingredient for success in offering distance instruction. The transition is much more complex. In the next decade, distance learning classrooms require careful planning both in their technical capabilities and in their physical organization. Appropriate delivery vehicles need to be selected to match the levels of interaction expected. Teaching in such an environment requires a host of new instructional support personnel and technologies, as well as new approaches to teaching strategies (Besser, 1996, p.820). In distance instruction, the demands on the learner are greater. Rather than being a passive recipient, the student must transform himself or herself into an autonomous learner. At the same time, course content and design need to be mindful of the learning process.

The essential objective of education is to change the learning behavior of students. This can be accomplished by using the ISD model. Thus, the ISD model should be given careful consideration in effort to select and develop delivery systems of teaching library and information science at a distance.


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Describing the Elephant: What is Continuing Professional Education?

Darlene E. Weingand

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, USA


Continuing professional education [CPE] has been defined in many different ways, which has often resulted in confusion. This paper attempts to place continuing professional education within the context of the whole of education for librarianship. Using the fable of the blind men and the elephant as an analogy, the discussion explores the who, what, when, where, why and how of CPE and its relationship to the range of educational possibilities.


In the farthest reaches of the desert, there was a city in which all the people were blind. A king and his army were passing through that region, and camped outside the city. The king had with him a great elephant, which he used for heavy work and to frighten his enemies in battle. The people of the city had heard of elephants, but never had the opportunity to know one. Out rushed six young men, determined to discover what the elephant was like.

The first young man, in his haste, ran straight into the side of the elephant. He spread out his arms and felt the animal's broad, smooth side. He sniffed the air, and thought, "This is an animal, my nose leaves no doubt of that, but this animal is like a wall." He rushed back to the city to tell of his discovery. The second young blind man, feeling through the air, grasped the elephant's trunk. The elephant was surprised by this, and snorted loudly. The young man, startled in turn, exclaimed, "This elephant is like a snake, but it is so huge that its hot breath makes a snorting sound." He turned to run back to the city and tell his tale. The third young blind man walked into the elephant's tusk. He felt the hard, smooth ivory surface of the tusk, listened as it scraped through the sand, then as the elephant lifted the tusk out, he could feel its pointed tip. "How wonderful!" he thought. "The elephant is hard and sharp like a spear, and yet it makes noises and smells like an animal!" Off he ran.

The fourth young blind man reached low with his hands, and found one of the elephant's legs. He reached around and hugged it, feeling its rough skin. Just then, the elephant stomped that foot, and the man let go. "No wonder this elephant frightens the king's enemies," he thought. "It is like a tree trunk or a mighty column, yet it bends, is very strong, and strikes the ground with great force." Feeling a little frightened himself, he fled back to the city.

The fifth young blind man found the elephant's tail. "I don't see what all the excitement is about," he said. "The elephant is nothing but a frayed bit of rope." He dropped the tail and ran after the others. The sixth young blind man was in a hurry, not wanting to be left behind. He heard and felt the air as it was pushed by the elephant's flapping ear, then grasped the ear itself and felt its thin roughness. He laughed with delight. "This wonderful elephant is like a living fan." And, like the others, he was satisfied with his quick first impression and headed back to the city.

But finally, an old blind man came. He had left the city, walking in his usual slow way, content to take his time and study the elephant thoroughly. He walked all around the elephant, touching every part of it, smelling it, listening to all of its sounds. He found the elephant's mouth and fed the animal a treat, then petted it on its great trunk. Finally he returned to the city, only to find it in an uproar. Each of the six young men had acquired followers who eagerly heard his story. But then, as the people found that there were six different contradictory descriptions, they all began to argue. The old man quietly listened to the fighting. "It's like a wall!" "No, it's like a snake!" "No, it's like a spear!" "No, it's like a tree!" "No, it's like a rope!" "No, it's like a fan!" The old man turned and went home, laughing as he remembered his own foolishness as a young man. Like these, he once hastily concluded that he understood the whole of something when he had experienced only a part. He laughed again as he remembered his greater foolishness of once being unwilling to discover truth for himself, depending wholly on others' teachings. But he laughed hardest of all as he realized that he had become the only one in the city who did not know what an elephant is like.[1]

Continuing professional education has been a topic of great interest within IFLA and throughout the profession for many years, yet confusion exists as to just what it means. The Continuing Professional Education Round Table [CPERT] has charged me to address this issue and this tale or fable presents a useful introduction. Just as the elephant was subject to several interpretations by the six young blind men, it took the wisdom of the sage to recognize that the whole of something tends to be complex, and that making assumptions from partial evidence can be very misleading.

In terms of continuing professional education, partial descriptions have ranged from courses in universities and colleges to workshops within the library setting. This paper will attempt to place CPE within the whole of education for librarianship. The structure of the paper will be linked to the components of the lead paragraph in a newspaper article: Who, what, when, where, how, and why. At the conclusion of the discussion, I hope to have provided a useful map to the sometime confusing terrain and highlighted where CPE contributes to the whole.

Who: Every Information Worker

Continuing professional education is in the best interests of every person working in the information industry which, of course, includes libraries. Although the issue of competence will be discussed in more detail later in this paper, it is important to also introduce it here since it is key to maintaining a successful professional career. Regardless of job title and responsibilities--professional, paraprofessional or clerical-- every staff member has the responsibility to stay up-to-date as the profession, technology and society change. Such currency embraces knowledge, skills, and attitudes--in other words, the entire spectrum of educational achievement. This is an all-encompassing responsibility that extends throughout the length of the worklife.

What: Definitions

The phrase "continuing professional education" can be sub-divided into its components, in order to better understand its origins:
Continuing...To go on with a particular action or in a particular condition; persist; to exist over a prolonged period; last.
Professional...Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession; engaged in a specific activity as a source of livelihood; performed by persons receiving pay; having great skill or experience in a particular field or activity
Education...the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process
Continuing education...An educational program that brings participants up to date in a particular area of knowledge or skills

These definitions are quite straightforward and understandable, so it is unlikely that the existing confusion can be traced to this source. Continuing professional education is clearly the process of engaging in education pursuits with the goal of becoming up-to-date in the knowledge and skills of one's profession. In a paper delivered at the IFLA/CPERT Third International Conference on Continuing Professional Education for the Information Professions, the authors described CPE as "educational activities primarily designed to keep practising librarians and information professionals abreast of their particular domain in the library or information centre, and to provide them with training in new fields." This approach expands the definition and moves beyond maintaining current competence to the acquisition of new abilities as the profession changes. If the educational engagement is voluntary, then the individual's attitude toward work is proactive and forward-looking.

But perhaps the confusion is rooted in how education is perceived and where CPE is placed within the larger educational construct.

When: Dividing Education Into Its Phases

Education can be viewed as having several distinct, and overlapping segments.

The lines within the circle designate separation between segments, yet must be considered as flexible rather than arbitrary. Depending upon country and cultural norms plus personal interests, an individual will participate in various aspects of the lifelong learning model.

The segments can be identified as:
Pre-school... any formal educational experiences occurring before the standard age of entering school.
K-12... education occurring between Kindergarten and graduation from high school.
University/College... post-secondary education that may, or may not, include professional pre-service education--depending upon the home country's professional requirements
Pre-service... education that may be a portion of baccalaureate study, post-diploma, or master's degree work.
Continuing professional education... education that takes place once professional qualification is achieved, with the intent of maintaining competence and/or learning new skills
Continuing personal education... education engaged in related to personal interests outside the workplace.

This model is intended to cover the entire life span. Therefore, continuing education, whether professional or personal, occupies the largest portion of the model.

Where: The Venue

Now that we have a context for the way continuing professional education 'fits' within the larger educational picture, it is time to move on to look at a range of possible venues. Continuing professional education can be offered in a variety of formats and locations, from formal face-to-face interactions to the use of electronic technologies. Some of these opportunities and venues include:

Formal Courses. Seeking a degree may be viewed by some as continuing education and, in very general terms, this is true. However, a degree program is more usefully defined as pre-service education. Even advanced degrees within library and information studies, while continuing a candidate's study in the field, should be regarded as different from continuing professional education. Formal courses may be offered by colleges and universities, technical schools, and private vendors/industries. They may extend across a semester or involve some combination of evenings and week-ends. Some formal courses may be considered as CPE if the student's intent is the updating of professional abilities outside of enrolling in a degree program.

Workshops and Seminars. Educational events that are short-term in nature, from one to five days, fall into this category. A workshop typically involves some experiential learning, whether that be hands-on skills development, role playing or scenario-based discussion sessions. Seminars more commonly draw directly upon student involvement, with less instructor lecture time.
Both formal courses and workshops/seminars may be offered in two primary venues:

  • Classroom...when instructor and students gather together in a single physical location. In this venue, there may be a mix of degree-seeking and continuing education students. As stated above, it is the intent of the student that defines the educational context.
  • Distance Education...when instructor and students are separated by time and/or distance. Distance education is a broad term that covers a variety of possible venues, including correspondence, video or audio teleconferencing, Web-based instruction, and so forth. The list of options continually changes as technologies emerge and phase-out.
Conferences. The gathering together of professionals in a conference venue such as IFLA provides many opportunities for continuing professional education. Participants can select from workshops, general sessions, paper sessions, and settings for social interaction and personal networking. Conferences offer a broad spectrum of formal and informal educational events and the social context is quite attractive to many professionals.

Tutorials. For the purposes of this paper, tutorials are defined as a one-to-one experience between instructor and student. Sometimes confused with "independent study," the tutorial includes both the face-to-face or electronic interaction--plus whatever research, reading and/or study is done by the student in preparation for that interaction.

Independent study and Reading. The "independent study" presented here involves work that is done entirely by the student, without any input from an instructor. Such study may be of short- or long-term duration and needs to be carefully documented if presented to an employing organization as evidence of continuing professional education.

Teaching, Presentations and Publishing. Less often recognized as CPE, preparing for teaching, delivering a paper, or writing an article or book involves considerable research and study. While this type of CPE also requires documentation for employment purposes, it is certainly true that considerable learning and effort is involved with this effort.
Certainly, continuing professional education can occur in a variety of different contexts and venues. But how does it take place? Who has the responsibility for providing, authorizing or encouraging CPE? How can the quality be assured?

How: Issues of Responsibility and Quality

The responsibility issue is complex, involving participants, funders, and providers. This three-way involvement is a partnership, with all that such an arrangement implies: a sense of equity and benefit resulting from the arrangement. Participants need to feel that learning has taken place; funding suppliers, whether personal or organizational, must recognize value for monies expended; and providers require that evaluations were positive and anticipated costs were met.

Participants. Individuals are frequently represented as both participants and funders. Paying for one's own educational experience is a common by-product of a personal commitment to professional competence. Participants also expend time, and this time allocation becomes increasingly valuable as the years go by; time is often perceived as more valuable than money in the second half of life. Library workers may engage in educational opportunities at the workplace, which is termed in-service or staff development, or personally in any of the occasions or venues described earlier.

Funders. While individuals may finance their own education, funding may also secured from various organizations. The library itself may support in-service training and/or offer stipends to employees that engage in education off-site. Library systems are another source of funding, as are governmental agencies and private endowments. In each country, the pattern of funding resources will vary and library workers need to become knowledgeable about where these monies might be located.

Providers. Schools, organizations and vendors are representative of the many continuing professional education providers in the marketplace. For all of these agencies, recovering expended costs can be a critical concern. Beyond the financial considerations, however, lies the nebulous issue of quality. All of the partners in the CPE enterprise have an expectation that the educational event will be of high quality.

Quality. How can quality be assured? In 1988, a unit of the American Library Association considered this question in detail and prepared a set of "Guidelines." These "Guidelines" provided criteria for group programs and activities, individualized programs and activities, instructional materials and technologies continuing education providers, and learning consultants. While the question of quality could easily be a paper unto itself, there are certain approaches to CPE that should be highlighted:

  • Needs Assessment is the first step on the road to quality. Who is the audience for the program? What are the needs of this audience? What are the most appropriate learning strategies to meet those needs?
  • Planning / Developing Program Objectives is the stage where what is learned from the Needs Assessment is translated into program design. Consideration of how adults learn is also factored into the decisions that are made.
  • Evaluation of the educational event is both the final piece of one event and the first piece of those to come, as data is fed into the next needs assessment exercise. There are six steps to evaluating a learning activity: know your purpose(s) in evaluation, delineate what you need to discover, identify who knows what you need to discover, communicate what you need to discover to those who are best able to inform you, gather the information, and relate the findings to your purpose(s). Evaluation is an essential ingredient in strengthening the quality of CPE.
    These issues of responsibility and quality are intrinsic to the "How" of making CPE happen.

Why: The Issue of Competence

Last, but certainly not the least of these components, is "Why": Why engage in continuing professional education? Why spend the money? Why put in the time and effort?
Central to the argument is competence: the competence of each individual library worker; the competence of the library /information agency so that it effectively serves its community; the competence that is both a right and an expectation by each customer. Competence rests on shifting sands these days, as the library strives to compete in a rapidly changing world. A century ago, libraries and publishers could have been regarded as the entire information industry; today, they are working to maintain market share in an industry that embraces more providers each day. Competition is very real, and libraries must provide service that is better, faster, and/or cheaper than other potential providers.

Consequently, the shelf life of a degree is approximately three years and declining. Maintaining competence and learning new skills must be at the top of every professional's "To Do" list. It is an ethical responsibility, to be sure, but also one that is pragmatic and critical for career success. Indeed, the "Why" of this paper has been the easiest to compose. Continuing professional education is no longer an option; it is a requirement of professional practice.


And so, we have described the elephant. It is not simply a wall, a snake, a spear, a tree trunk or a frayed piece of rope. Rather, it is a very large animal, with many attributes and, increasingly, a life of its own within the profession. In fact, we need to learn to ride this elephant so that it can take us into a brighter professional future. It is too large and important to ignore--and we do so at our peril. Each person must discover this truth for him or herself. It is a discovery that is both a mandate and an adventure--as we seek to become wise.


[1]. A Sufi and Indian tale, adapted by Carl Strang in part from Saxe, John Godfrey. The Blind Men and the Elephant (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963) and found on the World Wide Web by searching AltaVista.. [2]. The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985). [3]. Niels Ole Pors and Trine Schreiber, "Continuing Education and Information Technology: A Study of Content and Deliverables," in Patricia Layzell Ward and Darlene E. Weingand, eds. Human Development: Competencies for the Twenty-First Century (Munchen: K. G. Saur, 1997), p. 133.
[4]. Continuing Education Subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Library Education (SCOLE) (1988), "Guidelines for Quality in Continuing Education for Information Library and Media Personnel" (Chicago: American Library Association, 1988), as summarized in Darlene E. Weingand, "Training the Trainer: A Perspective From The ALA/CLENE-RT" in Patricia Layzell Ward and Darlene E. Weingand, eds. Human Development: Competencies for the Twenty-First Century (Munchen: K. G. Saur, 1997), pp. 303- 305. [5]. Kenneth D. Shearer and Duncan Smith, Workshop Evaluation: Forms Follow Function (Chicago: ALA/CLENE-RT, 1992).
[6]. Mary C. Chobot, "Evaluating Continuing Education," in Esther E. Horne, ed. Continuing Education: Issues and Challenges (New York, Munich, Paris: K. G. Saur, 1985), p. 107.

Continuing Education Program

College of Information Science and Technology

3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19304

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are a valuable tool in keeping track of authorized professional development. One CEU is awarded for every ten instructional hours spent in professional development, and provides recognition for the participants effort toward professional development. The International Association for Continuing Education and Training lists the following benefits of CUUs:

  • Reporting maintenance or improvement of professional competence
  • Documenting continuing qualifications for renewing recertification
  • Presenting evidence of personal and vocational growth and adjustment to meet changing career demands
  • Recording preparation for a new career, whether because of personal preference or the pressure of individual or technological obsolescence
  • Demonstrating a conscious and persistent effort toward personal development and growth
Records of the CEUs will be maintained by the College of Information Science and Technology upon request.

Scholarship Information

Pennsylvania public library directors and staff and institution librarians may apply for funds to cover registration costs to attend a workshop or other training identified as relevant to their present position. These funds are available for continuing education only, and may not be used for coursework. Reimbursable costs may not exceed $600. For an application form contact your District Consultant or Dr. Elizabeth Fordon, Commonwealth Libraries, emf@stlib.state.pa.us

The Continuing Education Program is Expanding!

In an effort to reflect the overall mission of the College of Information Science and Technology as well as to increase the quality of professional development opportunities for the information specialists in the field, the Continuing Education Program is in the process of expanding. By the summer of 1999, the Continuing Education Program hopes to offer not only the popular computer and library workshops desired by media specialists, but also courses geared specifically to information systems professionals. If you would like to be placed on our mailing list to receive a copy of the summer brochure, please send an e-mail to Avis Taylor at Avis.Taylor@cis.drexel.edu with your name, address and phone number.


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