Tuesday, July 26, 2022

IFLA Guidelines for professional library and information science (LIS) education programmes #WLIC2022

This afternoon at the World Library and Information Congress I attended a session on IFLA Guidelines for professional library and information science (LIS) education programmes. This has been an initiative developed over a number of years, and the finally approved version of the guidelines are here https://repository.ifla.org/handle/123456789/1987 The aim is for the guidelines to be used to influence national accreditation bodies and policy agency, and for them to be used with individual programmes. We discussed the guidelines on tables (on mine there were people from various types of library, from Armenia, USA, Germany, Ireland, Wales; plus me from an information school in England). There were three topics for discussion, and these are some key ideas that emerged.

(1) Promoting the guidelines
- Employing the guidelines as a professional development tool e.g. for workshops
- Promoting guidelines to encourage mobility berween jobs (notably between countries)
- Discussing the guidelines at local conferences, including socialising them with students
- Using social media to stimulate knowledge and understanding about the guidelines
- That the strategy would depend on the extent to which a national professional structure was developed (e.g. for those in countries with accrediting associations there needed to be discussion with them to make sure the IFLA guidelines were incorporated in their accrediting structures; for those that didn't it might involve approaching individual universities to run smaller courses based on some elements of the guidelines) 

(2) Using the guidelines as a tool for the development of quality in LIS education
- Starting by reviewing existing programmes and see whether they are compatible - addressing the gaps - Use as an international examination
- Using it as a basis for reciprocity, so people could move between countries
- Getting examples so people can see what the guidelines look like in practice
- Need help in thinking about how to use the guidelines in specific areas e.g. if training childen's librarians for specific tasks 

(3) Challenges in implementation of the guidelines
- It would be helpful if there workshops on mapping accreditation standards to the IFLA guidelines (i.e. how to do that)
- Finding ways of helping librarians create development programmes mapped to the guidelines, also advice on getting support from funding agencies to support the programmes
- There are procedures for getting academic programmes approved - so incorporating the guidelines might involve a lot of bureaucratic effort
- Having an impact in different countries - How do you cope with fast-changing skills 

The idea is that this should be a living document and is of genuine use to library and information professionals. Therefore there is an intention to have a group of people stewarding it. People who have already provided leadership are Jaya Raju (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Clara M. Chu (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States) and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States): these three led the session. Other people are mentioned in the guidelines (linked above). See also https://bslise.org/

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