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Each institution tries to develop their curricula to be appropriate to market's needs and aims to apply the use of new technology in order to increase enrollment.
The most important of the special major courses that students need to study are as follows: 'Introduction to Library Science', 'Library Administration', 'Library Services', 'Classification and Cataloging', 'Reference Services', 'Information Resources', 'Acquisition', 'Periodicals', 'Abstracting and Indexing', 'Archives and Government Publications', 'A-V in Libraries'.
At present, Library Science schools tend to use the name of schools, departments or divisions in Information Science. They try to improve their curricula to be more advanced in order to serve the needs of the students and the market. Additionally more information science courses have been created in order to increase enrollment and keep Library and Information Science relevant and lasting within Thai society.
The background to the development of current Library and Information Science curricula in Thailand, the changes in Library Science provisions in Thailand, undergraduate library curricula improvement in Thailand and the trends in Library and Information science studies in Thailand comparied to other Asean countries have been reported respectively.
In 1955 Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University established the department of Library Science and provided a certificate programme in Library Science for 1 year and opened a bachelors degree in Library Science for 4 years in 1959 and in 1964 a master's degree of Library Science was inaugurated in 1971 the subject of "Mechanization of Library Information Science was introduced and in 1988 department of Library Science was changed to "Library and Information Science"
Thammasat University was the second University that initiated a Bachelor's Degree Programme in Library Science followed by Chiang Mai University in 1967, Kon Khaen University in 1970, Ramkhamhaeng University in 1971, Prince of Songkla University in 1974, Sinlapakron University in 1982, Sri Nakharinwirot University and its campuses as well as Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in 1983 respectively.
We can see that every institution that provides library and Information Science courses offer total credits of between 132 and 147. Sukhothai Thammathirat offers the least credits (132) where as Chiang Mai University offers the most credits (147), while the others allow the equivalent of 145 credits (for example Kon Kaen and Prince of Songkla-Pattani campus). Chulalongkorn and Ramkhamhaeng University offer 144 credits and Srinakharinwirot and Southern campus offer 140 credits.
Normally between 40 and 68 credits can be received from Specialized/Major Courses . However 70 credits can be received from Kon Kaen University. Prince of Songkla-Pattani campus has 60-69 credits and Silapakorn has the least number (40 credits). While Thammasat and Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University have 68 and 66 credits respectively. Sri Nakharinwirot and Southern campus share the same total credits of 44.
For the Main Course the number of credits offered are between 15 and 39. Chiang Mai University offers the least (15 credits) while Thammasat University offers the most (39 credits) (minor and free elective). Sri Nakharin and Southern campus offer the same number (18 credits) while Sukhothai Thammathirat does not have this minor course. Prince of Songkla-Pattani campus offers 24-33 credits.
Free Elective. The number of credits offered are between 5 and 32. Sri Nakharinwirot Prasanmitr has elective courses with the number of credits received between 5-10, but Prince of Songkla-Pattani campus has the least number of 3-12 credits. Chulalongkorn, Chiang Mai and Konkaen University share the same number (6 credits) while Sukhothai Thammathirat and Ramkhamhaeng University have the same number (12 credits) and Silapakorn has the highest number of 13 credits.
Basic /General Education Courses offer credits of between 30 -45. Sukhothai Thammathirat, Chulalongkorn, Thammasat and Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasanmitr have the equivalent number of 30 credits. While Ramkhamhaeng and Kon Kaen University have the highest number of 45 credits whereas Prince of Songkla-Pattani campus has a moderate number of credits.
Core courses, required courses and required by school courses have total credits of between 24 and 38. Sukhothai Thammathirat has 24 credits. Prince of Songla-Pattani has the least number (12) while Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasammitr and Southern campus have the highest number (35) while Thammasart University does not have these courses and Ramkhamhaeng and Kon Kaen University and Silapakorn University use the different course name of Basic Course for school.
Most of the Institutions use the name of library science while Sukhothai Thammathirat uses Information Science. Thammasat, Prince of Songkla-Pattani campus and Konkaen University use Library and Information Science.
The trend of using the name of Department/Division occurs under the title of Information Science. Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University has the most credits for a special or major course (66). Free elective courses offer a moderate number of credits (12). The core, required and required course of the school have the least number of credits (24). Basic courses or General Education courses have the least number of credits: Chulalongkorn, Thammasat and Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasanmitr and Silapakorn University all offer 33 credits. For the total number of credits, Sukhothai Thammathirat has the least number of 132 credits which is nearly the same as Silapakorn and Thammasat University which have a total number of 138 and 137 credits respectively
'Public/School/Academic/Special Library' every institution uses the same course name approximately except Thammasart which uses 'School/Academic and Special Library Management and Administration'
'Acquisition of Library Materials' is offered in 10 institutions and uses the course name 'Information Resource Development', 'Collection Development' and 'Selection and Acquisitions of Library Materials'
'Classification and Cataloging' is offered in every institution but different course names are used. Sukhothai Thammathirat uses 'Information Analysis', Prince of Songkla-Pattani uses 'Classification and Cataloging', Silapakorn uses 'Classification', Chulalongkorn University uses 'Cataloging and Classification'. Thammasat and Ramkhamhaeng University separates this course into 2 courses. Finally Prince of Songkla-Pattani, offers the course of 'Dewey Decimal Classification'.
'Library of Congress Classification'. Every institutions uses this course name approximately except Konkaen University which uses 'Book Classification Incorporating Dewey and L.C. Classification'. Prince of Songkla-Pattani uses 'Classification and Cataloging 2'. Sukhothai Thammathirat offers this course as 'Information Analysis'. Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasarnmitr doesn't offer this course.
'A-V Cataloging' Every institutions offers this course and uses the same course name approximately. Thammasart University uses 'A-V Cataloging'. Ramkhamhaeng University uses 'Special Materials Classification and Cataloging'. Prince of Songkla-Pattani University uses 'Classification and Cataloging 3'. Kon Kaen University University uses 'Advanced Classification and Cataloging'. Sukhothai Thammathirat has this course as 'Information Analysis'.
'Library Administration'. Every institution offers this course and uses approximately the same course name except Sukhothai Thammathirat which uses the name 'Information System Planning and Administration'.
'Office Administration'. Not every institutions has this course and those that do use similar course names: 'Office Information' at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, 'Office Works 1 and 2' at Prince of Songkla-Pattani. Chulalongkorn, Ramkhamhaeng and Silapakorn University do no offer this course.
'Documentation Services' Sukhothai Thammathirat University uses 'Reference and Information Services'. Prasanmitr and Southern Campus University use 'Reference Services', Ramkhamhaeng uses 'Information Services and Reference' where as Silapakorn University uses 'Information Resources'.
'Introduction to Library Science': approximately the same course name is used in every institutions except Thammasat University which uses 'Library History and Development'. Ramkhamhaeng University uses the 'History of Libraries'. Silapakorn University uses 'Library and Information Center Management 2'. Sukhothai Thammathirat has this course as 'Introduction to Information Science'.
'Introduction to Research in Library Science' appears as approximately the same course name. Sukhothai Thammatihirat uses 'Statistics and Research in Information Science'. Chulalongkorn, Thammasat and Ramkhamhaeng University use 'Research for Librarians', Prince of Songkla-Pattani uses 'Research Methodology', Silapakorn University uses 'Basic Knowledge in Research'. Kon Kaen University uses 'Library and Information Science Research'.
Library Training is required as a major course for 2-6 credits in 10 institutions except Sukhothai Thammathirat where it is called 'Professional Experience in Information Science' (40 hours). Chulalongkorn and Korn Kaen University use 'Library Practicum'. Ramkhamhaeng University, Prasanimitr and Southern Campus use 'Training'. Thammasat and Silapakorn University use 'Practice in Library', Prince of Songkla-Pattani used 'Library Lab' but changed to 'Professional Experience in Library Science' in 1995.
Library Services is required as a major course for 2-3 credits. Sukhothai Thammathirat uses 'Information Service and Disseminations'. Ramkhamhaeng uses 'Readers' Services'. Prasanmitr and Southern Campus use 'Library Services and Activities'.
Reading in Library Science is an elective major course. Some institutions will not provide this course, such as Sukhothai Thammathirat, Prasarnmitr and Prince of Songkla-Pattani. Some institutions use different names , for example 'A study of Library and Information Science Decumentation'. Kon Kaen University uses 'A Study of Library and Information Science Literature'.
'Archives and Government Publications' is usually one course except Kon Kaen University and Prince of Songkla-Pattani which separate it into 2 courses. Some institutions open only one course such as Chulalongkorn University which has 'Archives Management', Ramkhamhaeng University does not have this course. Sukhothai Thammathirat University has the same course content in its 'Special Information' course.
'Periodicals': Some institutions will include 'Periodicals and Newspapers' in one course for example Thammasat, Ramkhamhaeng, Prasarnmitr and Southern Campus University. Sukhothai Thammatirat has the same course content in 'Information Resources Development' and the content of 'Serials' is in 'Special Information'. Some institutions open only 'Periodicals' and use the course name of 'Serials' such as Prince of Songkla-Pattani and Silapakorn University. But Kon Kaen University uses 'Serials' but includes the same content of 'Newspapers'.
'Abstracting and Indexing'. Some institutions will include this content in 'Periodicals and Serials' such as Silapakorn, Prince of Songkla-Pattani, Thammasat and Chiang Mai Univeristy. Sukhothai Thammathirat has this content in 'Introduction to Information Science' but Ramkhamahaeng University includes it in 'Information Services and Reference'.
'Humanities/Social Science/Science and Technology Literature' Every institutions uses approximately the same course name for example, Thammasat University uses 'Information Resources in Humanities/Social Science/Science and Technology'. Prasanmitr and Southern Campus use 'Knowledge of Humanities/Social Science/Science and Technology'. Ramkhamhaeng University does not offer this course. Silapakorn has the same content in 'Information Resources of Humanities/Social Science/Science and Technology'. Sukhothai Thammathirat has the same content in 'Information Resources of Social Science, Humanities and Science.'
'Information Resources of Social Science/Humanities/Science and Technology' is separated from 'Literature' in 4 institutions: Sukhothai Thammathirat and Silapakorn University, but Prasarnmitr and Southern Campus use another course name, 'Information and Service in Social Science/Humanities Science and Technology'. At other institutions these will be included in 'Literature'.
Information Technology Sukhothai Thammathirat, Chiang Mai and Prince of Songkla-Pattani use this course name. Some institutions have this content in other courses such as 'Introduction to Information Science'. Ramkhamhaeng University uses 'Application of Micro-Computers in Library and Information Centers'.
Technology in Libraries. Both Chulalongkorn and Kon Kaen University offer this course. Sukhothai Thammathirat has this course as 'Introduction to Information Science'. Prasarnmitr has 'Technology and Communication'. Besides, the content will often be included in another subject.
Micro computers in Libraries Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasarnmitr and Southern Campus University, Konkaen and Ramkhamhaeng University provide this course. Ramkhamhaeng uses the name 'Application of Micro-computers in Libraries and Information Centers'. Whereas Sukhothai Thammathirat has this course as 'Introduction to Information Science'. Silapakorn uses 'Data Evaluation for Libraries, Information Libraries and Information Centers'.
'Information Storage and Retrieval System'. Thammasat, Prasarnmitr and Southern Campus Universities use this course name. But Silapakorn and Prince of Songkla-Pattani have 'Information Retrieval'. Chiang Mai uses 'Online Information Services'. Sukhothai Thammathirat uses 'Introduction to Information Science'. Chalalongkorn University has the same course content in 'Technology in Libraries'. Kon Kaen University put this course content in 'Introduction to Information Science'.
Each institution emphasizes different areas. In the future, every institution will move more towards Information Science. Chulalongkorn University emphasizes 'Reading and Service Management for Special Group and Locals'.
Thammasat University has several courses in 'Information Science' and also promotes 'Children's Literature'.
Ramkhamhaeng University as well as Chulalongkorn University preserves 'Children/ Juvenile and Adult Literature'.
Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasarnmitr and Southern Campus University emphasize 'Literature and Information Resources in Social Science, Humanities, Science and Technology' and promote 'Reading, Children's and Juvenile Literature'.
Chiang Mai University. offer 3-4 courses in 'Information Science' and has seven special major courses in 'Library Science'.
Korn Kaen University has both 'Library and Information Science' courses. Some courses will be different from the others such as 'Material Production for Library Services and Communication Amongst People'.
Sri Nakharinwirot-Prasarnmitr has updated its' courses in terms of Information Science and has changed some course names such as 'Cataloging of Printed Materials', 'Dewey Decimal and Classification', 'Library of Congress Classification', 'A-V Cataloging' instead of using 'Classification and Cataloging 1, 2 and 3'. 'Introduction to Printing Business' instead of 'The History of Books and Printing'. Additionally there are more required major courses such as 'Computers for Library Systems'. Elective Majors such as 'Teaching in Library Science', 'Office Work 2', 'Communication and Public Relations', 'Documentation and Archives', 'Information Business', 'Southern Literature', 'Information for Quality of Life Development', 'Software for Library Systems' and 'Information System and Database Management.'
Silapakorn University's emphasis is on Arts such as 'Arts and Libraries', 'Management of Arts Library and Documents', management of special libraries such as map libraries and picture libraries.
Sukhothai Thammathirat University offers several different subjects within its courses. The differences from other institutions are 'Communications', 'Professional Experience in Information Science (theory and workshop)'.
At present, Library Science schools are improving their curricula to be more advanced in order to serve the needs of the students and the market. Additionally more information science courses have been created in order to increase enrollment and keep Library and Information Science relevant and lasting within Thai society.
Each library school has to respond to a rapidly changing society and market needs. Curricula of library schools need to be revised and improved to be much more concerned with new technology. Teaching staff need to be trained in using new equipment and computerized systems. This move needs to go with financial resources and the job market for the students to be able to survival in this society.
Liu, Ziming (1992) " A comparative study of library and information science education: china and United States." International-Information and Library Review 24, 2 (June) 107-118.
Martin, Murray S. (1994) "The Changing library environment." 42,3 Library Trends (Winter) 478-89.