LIS Education: who decides on quality and standards?

designed for parallelHow do you decide what’s a good LIS program? How do the many, many library schools out there ensure they are teaching the right things to their students? If you wanted to run your own library school program, where would you even start?

There are IFLA guidelines for professional library programs that cover core elements, curriculum suggestions and faculty and resourcing guidelines.

Some professional associations provide course accreditation, including CILIP in the UK, ALA in the USA, and ALIA in Australia to name a few. Generally speaking, Western cultures are more likely than developing countries to have an accreditation process for their LIS programs. Course accreditation is designed to ensure that the many different institutions’ offerings are of a similar quality and will have a similar set of graduate attributes.

There are plenty of challenges associated with providing LIS education in a consistent manner – how do we even begin to predict what the profession will look like in a few years time let alone tie down numbers of students or exactly what they should study? A thoughtful piece by Joseph Janes from April 2015 asks this question – and this then raises the question of whether a rigorous and presumably lengthy accreditation process is the best way forward for a professional qualification that needs to be agile and rapidly developing.

What do you think? Are you for or against accreditation? Do you have ideas about ways LIS programs can be rigorous yet responsive to changing demands and fields of work? Join in the conversation below in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter using #interlibnet.

Posted in Discussion topics, Round 2015B and tagged , , , , , , .

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