Library Education in Africa: A Foundational Perspective

Library Education in Africa: A Foundational Perspective

Peter Olubunmi Olubiyo
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5964-5.ch019
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The concept of library developed when people started reading and writing, but the need of library education was felt in the late 19th century when the concept of library changed from store house to service institution. Globalization of education, complex nature of demands of the users, explosion of knowledge and literature, and innovation of information technology also had a role to play in the establishment of library schools which bring about library education all over the world. As a result, a large number of library and information science (LIS) schools were set up to produce competent professionals who could achieve the objectives of libraries and information centres effectively and efficiently for library sustainability. Librarianship in Africa owes its origin to colonialism. The history of library education was traced in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. The chapter concluded that the existing ICT laboratories in all library schools in Africa should be well equipped while the library schools without laboratories should be encouraged to establish one.
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The idea of a library originated when people began to read and write, but it wasn't until the late 19th century when the idea of a library shifted from a storehouse to a service institution that the need for library education became apparent. Globalization of education, the complexity of user needs, the proliferation of knowledge and literature, and information technology innovation all played a part in the creation of library schools that spread library education around the globe. In order to create knowledgeable individuals who could successfully accomplish the goals of libraries and information centers for library sustainability, many Library and Information Science (LIS) schools were established (Khan, 2002).

According to Wood (1997) and Thomas (1999), professionals like lawyers, doctors, architects, and engineers up until the late nineteenth century typically learned the skills and procedures their line of work required through apprenticeship, or “learning by doing.” A lawyer may receive their professional training at one of the Inns of Court, while an engineer may do so through an engineering firm apprenticeship. The field of librarianship followed this path as well. However, as education advanced, education as a whole was thrust into the public eye, which also had an impact on worldwide library education. In the majority of African nations, LIS education focused more on librarianship education. The goal of LIS education is to create qualified librarians who can sustainably administer all kinds of libraries across the nation. other fields that deal with information, such documentation, archives, and records management weren't given much attention because they weren't well known when they first came into existence. However, colonialism is where the profession of librarianship began in Africa. The indigenous population learned to read and write as a result of colonialism. The two activities had never been combined before. Western education was introduced by colonial rulers, which included reading and writing among other things. It was determined that the new literates needed information materials, primarily books, to improve their reading and writing abilities in order to strengthen the two activities. Public libraries were the finest organization to provide this service, resulting in library education (Otike, 2017).

In addition, Otike (2017) noted that academic institutions arose to offer education and training crucial to the growth of the new colonies. The majority of these universities possessed libraries, which required sufficient staffing. These libraries were staffed primarily by expatriates who were also needed in their own countries. Therefore, their employment status could not be assured. The governments worked to create up departments and organizations to take advantage of the information potential in an effort to develop the colonies and to assure their sustainability. In order to accomplish these goals, research and other specialized institutions were founded. The majority of these businesses set up libraries to offer the required backup. Due to this growth, there are now numerous unique libraries in

Key Terms in this Chapter

Africa: Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in. At about 30.3 million km 2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.3 billion people as of 2018, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population.

Library Education: Library education is a system of training and teaching being provided for students in order to make them become practitioners in information profession particularly librarians.

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