Library is one of the social institutions, so it always involved in the progress and development of the society. For successful administration and organization of the library services, specially trained personnel are required. This is only achieved through the library and information science education by preparing trained personnel. Librarianship is a service profession and it includes both theoretical and practical or technical subjects. Thus it is essential that the librarian should gather full knowledge about the techniques and methods used to provide better services to the user. In 1959 P. F. Drucker in his book "Landmarks of Tomorrow" identified programmers, system analysts, library workers and researchers as knowledge worker. Now, we termed library science as library and information science. Pertti Vakkari shows how library science is related with information science. In this perspective, LIS education has to play a vital and diverse role.
3 History of LIS education: LIS education first started in Columbia University of USA in 1987 by the effort of Melvil Dewey. After it, many other schools were set up in the USA in the same pattern till 19th century. Then in England London School of Librarianship was started in 1921 at London. In India LIS education started with the effort of Maharaja Siyaji Rao Gaikowad of Baroda state, who invited Mr.W.A.Borden to the state to organize a good library system. Borden started a training programme in 1911. After this, A.D.Dickenson also started a training programme at Punjab University to train library staff.
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31 LIS Education in Asia: Library science and information science are two very interrelated subjects. Saracevic sees a strong common ground between this two and suggests there are stronger arguments for demarcating them. In this situation we need to know the current state of the situation of LIS education in Asian countries which will help and guide us to implement appropriate course curricula in our country.
Following description will give the summary of LIS education pattern in different Asian countries. Here, the Asian countries include Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines , India etc
This paper will focus on the challenges and opportunities of LIS educational in the Asian countries of and further recommends an immediate action to be taken by LIS educational institutions in our country.
311 South Korea: Librarianship in South Korea is a profession that has developed simultaneously with the general cultural changes of the country libraries in South Korea resulted from cultures that emerged, continued development inhibited and stimulated by the state, education, and religion that responded to human needs and adopted new technologies in order to cope with the government's policy on information services. At present in Korea's 32 LIS institutes grant Bachelor Degree, 25 out of 32 (78%) grant Master's Degree, and 14 out of 32 (44%) have doctoral programs.
312 Japan: In 1950, immediately after the enactment of the Library Law, the librarian training program was initiated by two universities: namely, Toyo University and Nihon University. The Japan Library School, the first comprehensive program for library education at the university level, was established in 1951 at Keio University, under the auspices of the American Library Association. The school added a two-year Master's program in 1960, changed its name to the School of Library and Information Science in 1968 to emphasize the study of information, and introduced the first Japanese doctoral program in LIS in 1975 in order to produce highly qualified researchers and educators for the field.
Parallel developments were made at the national level when the National Junior College for Librarianship, established in 1954 by the Ministry of Education, was re-structured as the University of Library and Information Science in 1979, extending the education program devoted to LIS to four years. The university (actually a four-year college) added a two-year Master's program in 1984, a doctoral program in 2000, and merged with the University of Tsukuba in 2002. This is currently the largest school of Library and Information Science in Japan. As of 2004, 296 colleges and universities offer the librarian training program and produce, altogether, more than 10,000 qualified public librarians every year.
In Japan, there are five official institutes provide LIS Education and grant various levels of degree. 4 out of 5 (80%) grant Bachelor's degree, 2 out of 5 (20%) grant Master's degree, and 2 out of 5 (20%) grant Doctoral degree. 3 out of 5 (60%) cover Library/Museum/Archive, as Cultural Information Sciences. Each
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313 Taiwan: The first library science program in Taiwan was initiated in 1955 by Department of Adult &Continuing Education, National Taiwan Normal University. Through decades of efforts and development, the library and information profession in Taiwan now has ten institutes officially provide library and information science (studies or its kind) programs that ranges from bachelor degree to doctorate, plus one distance education program, a specialized program, and a credit-grant certificate program. The 11 institutes includes: 1) National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), 2) National Taiwan University(NTU), 3) Shih-Hsin University (SHU), 4) Fu Jen Catholic University (FJU), 5) Tumkang University, 6) National Chengchi University (NCCU), 7) Hsuan-Chuang University (HSU), 8) National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), 9) National Open University (NOU), 10) National Chiao-Tong UniversityLibrary (NCTU-Lib.), and 11) National Sun-Yet-Sen University Library (NSYSU-Lib.) Among these 11 institutes, seven (above mentioned Number 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11) are public schools and other four (Number 3, 4, 5, and 7) are private schools.
Many programs indicated that their major student body is under graduate, with increasing growth of the graduate level, especially in Master's programs. Most of the institutions' names remain as "Library and Information Science (Studies)"In Taiwan area, 8 out of 11(72%) institutes grant Bachelor Degree, 9 out of 11 (82%) grant Master's Degree, and only 1 (9%) institute grant Doctoral Degree.
314 Chaina: There were only two LIS schools in chaina in 1978. First one set up in 1920.By 1980 Wuhan and Bejing universities both conducted under graduate and graduate courses with other 8 graduate ,2 more provided under graduate(3 yrs) and 9 other institutes provide 2 years courses. There are 35 LIS schools or departments for undergraduates, 21 teaching units for postgraduate students, and 6 for Ph.D. scholars in China. At present, the universities offer LIS courses in 3+2 pattern i.e. three years bachelor degree and two years master degree.
315 Bangladesh: Bangladesh has had a slow and steady growth of library education, which started before independence. The country has nearly fifty-six years of history in library education. Librarianship training started with the first three-month certificate course in librarianship at the central library of the University of Dhaka in 1952. The university made provision for the institution of certificate course in librarianship under the Faculty of Arts (Khorasani, 1986; University of Dhaka, 1957). A one-year Masters of Arts (MA) course in library science was formulated at the University of Dhaka in 1962. In 1974-75, the University of Dhaka approved a two-year Master of Philosophy (M Phil) programmme (University of Dhaka, 1974), beginning with the 1975-76 sessions (University of Dhaka, 1976). At the end of 1975-76, the University of Dhaka endorsed a two-year MA course, called a "Master of Arts in Library Science. Library and information science was introduced as a subsidiary subject in degree (pass) and honours level for affiliated colleges beginning in 1991-92 (University of Dhaka, 1990). The university started the two-year MA course in 1994-95. The one-year MA course was restricted to library and information science graduate students (University of Dhaka, 1995). In 1997-98, to align itself with the western education system, the university initiated a four-year BA (honours) course in information science and library management to replace the three-year BA (University of Dhaka, 1999). In 1999-2000 the four year BA was declared the professional degree, to take effect in 1997-98 (University of Dhaka, 2000).
The University of Rajshahi (est. 1953), in the northwest region of the country, started a one-year PGD course in library science beginning with 1991-92 (University of Rajshahi, 1992). The university added a three-year Bachelor of Social Science (BSS) with honours in library and information science from 1992-93 under the Faculty of Social Science and established the full-fledged Department of Library and Information Science in that same session (University of Rajshahi, 1993). In 1995-96 a one-year Master of Social Science (MSS) course was introduced for its own library science graduates only (University of Rajshahi, 1996). After that, the bachelor program was converted into a four-year course beginning with 1997-98 (University of Rajshahi, 1999).National University (est. 1992) began to offer 400 marks in library and information science as an optional subject in the BA (pass) degree beginning in 1998-99. Three different colleges under the National University will offer that program before the end of this decade. The University of Rajshahi introduced M Phil and PhD courses for library science graduates from 2006-07.
316 Thailand: Library education in Thailand was initiated at Chulalongkorn University in 1951. The Department of Library Science in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University was founded in 1955. This was the first library school to offer a diploma Program. In 1964, the master's program in Library Science was introduced.
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The first degree for information professionals in Thailand is the bachelor's degree and most universities offer such programs. However, the titles of those degrees awarded vary. The bachelor's degree in Information Studies, is offered at 5 universities, firstly at Chulalongkorn University, Ramkhamhaeng University, Chiang Mai University, Suranaree University of Technology, and University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Besides this Open University Khon Kaen University, Mahasarakham University, Sukhothaithammathirat award Bachelor of Arts in Information Science.
317 Pakistan: To get admission to bachelor in LIS, Pakistan requires good bachelor degree in any discipline. Kanwal (2007) says, "In Pakistan presently eight universities have been offering regular programmes in Library and Information Science Education. Besides providing bachelor and master degree of one year duration the country also provides M Phil and PhD degree.
318 Srilanka: Student in Sri Lanka need GCE/AL qualification to get admission to bachelor's in LIS .In Sri Lanka it is offered by two universities. In Sri Lanka bachelor in LIS is a 3-4 year course, Though the duration of master degree in Sri Lankan is of two year, only the first year (300 hours) is devoted to theoretical study, second year is completely to the research and writing up of dissertation. Master degree is the highest academic qualification available in Sri Lanka for managerial level professionals as well as LIS educators
3191 India: The LIS education in India is conducted by the universities, colleges, institutions and boards at different levels. More than 100 universities offer the LIS education in India. Most universities offer one year Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLISc.) programme and one year Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc.) programme. Only a few universities offer three years bachelor degree and two years master degree in LIS. The eligibility for admission to two years Master's course/one year Bachelor's course is a pass in Bachelors' degree. Most of the universities offer Master's and Doctoral (Ph.D.) programme in LIS. There is no uniformity among the LIS courses regarding the duration of the course and eligibility for admission etc.
3192 Philippines: After 1930 LIS education is started in this country though the education is popular by 1983.At present almost 30 LIS schools provide under graduate level LIS education & 7 provide graduate level LIS education.
3192 Singapore: The history of library and information science (LIS) professional education in Singapore is a relatively recent one. The only LIS professional education program in Singapore is the M Sc in Information Studies program, established at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 1993. A Certificate and Diploma program for training paraprofessionals was also established at the Temasek Polytechnic at about the same time. Prior to that, LIS professional training could be obtained through the postgraduate diploma program in library and information science conducted by the Library Association of Singapore from 1982 to 1992 (Thuraisingham, 1984 & 1989). The MSc in Knowledge Management program was launched in 2002, and the MSc in Information Systems program will be launched in 2005.
3193 Malaysia: In Malaysia 8 universities offers bachelor degree courses in LIS of three year duration .Besides this master degree courses also conducted. Now offer courses in various names library science, information science, library management etc.
3194 Indonesia: In the developing countries like Indonesia, the change was also seen in the last decade of 20th century, but it mostly happened in the changing of curriculum and course contents. Currently there are 20 universities offering diploma program in librarianship, while those offering undergraduate and graduate program are few. There are 20 of higher education institutions offering diploma program in librarianship.
The three SAARC countries viz., Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan do not conduct any LIS education programmes.
Advancement of the Internet and digital technology has brought new challenges and opportunities to the education of library and information science (LIS), which entails specific knowledge and skills which are highly desirable in the era of digital technology. The reform and innovation of LIS education has become a major global issue.
LIS education systems which will prevent from massive growth of the subject. It has been found most of the Asian countries provide LIS education in 3+2 pattern that is 3 or 4 years bachelor degree and 2 years master degree. So, the countries like India, Pakistan and other countries should follow the same pattern as found in most of the Asian countries to keep the LIS education world standard and maintain in uniformity in education system. Among some Asian countries the Bologna Process of Library and Information Science (LIS) is not implemented.
The Bachelor's LIS education is expected to be offered to a large number of students through degree collages. In this the student has to choose LIS courses/papers as honours or pass paper with other common subjects along with other courses i.e. history, political science and sociology, etc and the duration should also be 3 year. The students who complete the Bachelor's education with LIS courses/papers would be eligible to be admitted to the Master's programme of 2 year. UGC model Curriculum in LIS, released in 2001 suggested adoption of two-year integrated M.Lib.I.Sc Course, but still most of the LIS schools hardly follow this recommendation.
There is a wide disparity in the courses, duration, number and name of papers, contents, number of lectures and practical, method of teaching and evaluation, and grading system. Therefore, it become essential that curricula be revised by increasing emphasis on traditional technique and philosophical aspects as well as introduce emerging areas such as marketing of product and services, knowledge management, information system online information system, information processing and retrieval system and information and communication technology and to do this there required a great deal of time. Revised curriculum must be capable for preparing the future professionals to meet the challenges enforced cooperate sector. Provision for training placement, job placement or internship is lacking in the region.