Date of this Version
Library Philosophy and Practice 2011
Professional competence is achieved through University education. University is the place where the root of knowledge in a field of study is fabricated. It is also the forum where research and professional queries begin. As such, the curriculum is not only for the forming of knowledge but also for the forming of attitudes, academic and professional approaches. The impact of a departmental curriculum is far greater than the mere transfer of knowledge. Syllabus or courses of studies are one-dimensional document that embody the subjects and contents outline with broad time allocation. Curriculum is three-dimensional, and takes into account the needs of the society, students, professions and the instructional methodology (Karisiddappa and Sangam, 1994). The objective is to describe the course content or what is being studied. It is a blueprint that provides fundamental guidelines for a department on: what is study; why; when; where and how it is to be studied; who should study and how the courses of studies are to be evaluated and trainees’ assessed (Ocholla, 2000).
The use of ICT has transformed a modern library into an electronic library providing access to information from local and remote databases through Internet and/or Intranet, CD Networks, e-books, e-journals, computerized in-house library operations such as acquisition, classification, cataloguing, circulation serial control, bar-coding, etc. The concepts such as ‘Library without walls', 'Virtual Library', 'Electronic Library' and 'Digital Library' have already come to light. New technologies have heralded not only new ways of handling information but also introduced new formats. Information started detaching itself from just the print format. Diverseness in format has created an independence of thought in approaching it. These changes transfigured the library education and obligated the professionals to prepare themselves for the coming era.
How do these changes affect education for library and information science? If professional values are changing minimally, professional parameters slowly and information technology rapidly, it follows that education of information professionals has to reflect minimal change, moderate change and total change – all at once! (Gorman, 1999). Educating information professionals for the future can be determined by examining what skills will be required by library information professionals to enable them to adapt new and changing demands in society (Wagner, 2000). There is a need to educate and train students to the best contemporary standards in terms of curricular aims and contents, teaching methodologies, assessment practices and quality control. Modularisations of the studies and their harmonisation with actual needs of the running library and information centres are required. A standard formal library education should have devoted faculty members, well-resourced department, and scientifically liable curriculum indicating clear relationship between theory and practice, an enthusiastic and hard-working student body, management of training units. There should also be suitable classrooms, practical room, computer laboratories and computer and/or electronic equipment, suitable organizational placing, effective communication among all, and an emphasis on continuing education as community service. The University of Dhaka has played a key role for the development and provision of library education in Bangladesh. As professional, the future is never far from our thoughts, but the changes and challenges of the new millennium give a special reason to re-examine where we are coming from and where should be heading. An attempt has made here to scrutinize the bachelor program’s syllabus of library education of the University since its inception of bachelor program.