A Comparative Analysis of Library and Information Science Post Graduate Education in India and UK

By Siddiqui, Suboohi; Walia, Paramjeet K. | Library Philosophy and Practice, May 2013 | Go to article overview

A Comparative Analysis of Library and Information Science Post Graduate Education in India and UK


Siddiqui, Suboohi, Walia, Paramjeet K., Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

Education is undoubtedly a process of living. It cherishes and inculcates morale values, disseminates knowledge, spreads information relevant to its institutions and keeps alive the creative and sustaining spirit. Education today is the most important investment that government of different states and countries make. Developed as well as developing countries of the modern era need to stress on building the creative and productive capacities of their workforce. The last two decades have definitely witnessed the tremendous changes in the higher education system and library and information science (LIS) is also experiencing a period of change, reflecting a combination of internal and, more importantly, external factors Gerolimos (2009). Those changes, which are related to the essence of the library profession, operations, services and user's information seeking behavior, have inevitably affected LIS education. Issues such as the internationalization of LIS education, the equivalence of qualifications, the orientation of LIS education, the training and professional background of LIS faculty and the competition with other disciplines that manage information, lead to a volatile environment. These circumstances have an impact on the structure of curriculum, the content of courses and the orientation of LIS institutions.

Library and information science (LIS) education has become increasingly challenging in the context of emerging information communication technologies and competitive with the frontier subjects like computer science, mass communication, management studies etc. The schools of library and information science across the world have to compete for students in the recruitment market. LIS market needs a new breed of professionals who possess relevant capabilities and competencies in todays changed context. In order to succeed, librarians in developing economies need to have a clear understanding of how and the extent to which an individual or group of individuals or societies generate, acquire, distribute, communicate and utilize information regardless of its nature, package, quality, content and significance. Hence the need for continued review of the curriculum of the LIS schools in developing countries and the redefinition of library and information profession for professional identity and relevance of information work and workers in developing countries is required.

Literature Review

The literature review was undertaken to study the existing literature on library and information science post graduate courses in India. Discussing the condition of LIS education in developing countries Asundi and Karisiddappa (2007) has observed LIS curriculum for the developing countries. This paper discusses the pros and cons of LIS Education scenario in the developing countries and stresses the need for model curriculum and presents a succinct profile and contributions of Indian LIS education since its inception. In brief the designed course contents should concentrate in developing knowledge, skills and tools corresponding to the four basic identified areas creation, collection, communication and consolidation.

Similar study made by Babu and Rao (1991) discusses trends, challenges and future of library and information science education in India. It states that the major responsibility of the LIS departments in India is to groom LIS students in the philosophy, knowledge, and professional values of librarianship, as practiced in libraries and in other contexts, and as guided by the vision of the 21st century librarianship. Mortezaie and Naghshineh (2002) made a comparative case study of graduate course in library & information studies in the UK, USA, India and Iran lessons for Iranian LIS professionals. It highlights that most significant feature of LIS graduates programs are: diversity of course offered; university independence; diversity of degrees offered; ease and flexibility of the higher education system; updated course programs; emphasis on research; course and curricula development. …

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