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65th IFLA Council and General
|1976 IFLA Standards Categories||1999 Standards Update Categories|
|Locus, Goals, Objectives, Designation and Status||I. Mission, Goals, and Objectives|
|Curriculum, Continuing Education||II. Curriculum|
|Academic Staff, Non-Academic Staff, Research||III. Faculty|
|Admission of Students, Completion Requirements, Credential||IV. Students|
|Organization, Support, Governance, Records, Planning||V. Administration and Financial Support|
|Accommodation, Library||VI. Physical Resources and Facilities|
Not all the categories of the 1976 standards require an equal amount of updating. For example, the following categories state general principles which have not changed to a great deal since 1976 and which, therefore, require minimal updating:
All of the above categories from the 1976 standards fall into three of the six expanded categories proposed for the updated standards:
I. Mission, Goals, and Objectives
IV Administration and Financial Support
The remaining categories from the 1976 standards - Curriculum, Continuing Education, Academic Staff, Non-Academic Staff, Research, Accommodation, Library - comprise the categories of standards which either were described in greater detail in 1976 (e.g. Curriculum), resulting in definitions that have enough specifics in them to require significant updating in light of the enormous changes in our field in the more than 20 years since they were published, or simply define aspects of our profession that have changed so drastically that any definition more than 20 years old would inevitably be in need of revising. The Library, for example, has changed beyond recognition since the 1976 standards described it, and the Academic Staff has diversified far beyond the requirement that "all members should have professional experience as librarians or information scientists"(4) in this age when faculty from fields such as business, economics, communications and computer science routinely contribute to the multidisciplinary nature of our field and our faculties.
All of these categories from the 1976 standards which require more extensive revising fall into the proposed categories:
VI Physical Resources and Facilities.
The 1976 standards state in section C. Philosophy and Main Points of the Standards:
These criteria have been designed for a universal function. For this reason, they concentrate on basic principles and essential conditions of operation which ought to be found in any library education program, in any country... The draft statement of these standards brought reactions from every part of the world. In examining these reactions, it was noted that points of disagreement between one national viewpoint and another national viewpoint simply underscored points of non-universality; consequently those points were modified for this final version.(5)
In the 22 years since the 1976 standards were published the Global Information Infrastructure has moved out of the realm of science fiction and at least partially into place. Distance education is commonplace, scholars on opposite sides of the world collaborate electronically without ever coming face to face, standards in computer protocols, database structure and metadata models - to name only a few areas - have moved out field closer to a common information language.
Therefore, in updating the 1976 standards, we would like to attempt to succeed in an area in which the relative isolation of one country from another made success in the early standards impossible. We would like to establish a set of standards specific and detailed enough to provide real guidelines for real schools and, at the same time, general and universal enough to be applicable in all countries. This can only be achieved by studying and incorporating standards gathered from a truly representative sample of schools of library and information science in IFLA countries.
This subcommittee is currently gathering information on the library and information education infrastructure in every country for which we can locate such information. While we have located to date a large number of articles on the general state and/or recent developments in LIS education in various countries, we have found very few published standards.
The workshop will summarise work that has taken place during 1999 and present a proposed draft of standards. The workshop will be very hands-on, allowing people from any country to have an input to the draft standards.
1. "Standards for Library Schools, 1976" (1996), IFLA Journal 2(4), 209-223; "Standards for Library Schools, 1976", abridged version. Available: http://ils.unc.edu/daniel/IFLA/standards76.htm [December 1997].
3. Rochester, Maxine, "Equivalency of Qualifications in Anglo/American Countries", in 60th IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 21-27, 1994. Available: http://archive.ifla.org/IV/IFLA60/60-rocm.htm.