The Changing Curricula of LIS Education in Southeast Asia

The Changing Curricula of LIS Education in Southeast Asia

John Hickok (California State University, Fullerton, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2273-8.ch005


LIS education in Southeast Asia is undergoing exciting changes. A newfound interest by LIS educators, in enhancing and modernizing the curricula, is occurring. Several factors are driving this. One is technology. Automated library management systems, online databases, websites, mobile applications, and more are all forcing LIS curricula to modernize. Another force is internationalization. As libraries in some SEA countries adapt to new, international standards and trends, libraries in neighboring SEA countries must either adapt as well or become incompatible. And still another force is new generations of library professionals. New LIS faculty in SEA countries, with exposure to training abroad, are bringing changes and ideas to reflect the new needs and opportunities of library environments. This chapter will reflect the author's own research, as well as library literature, in discussing the background, current status, and future outlook of LIS education in Southeast Asia.
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Library Environment

Brunei’s library development is relatively new, within the past several decades. It currently has no national library, but the Dewan Bahasan Dan Pustaka (DBP)—the government’s Language and Literature Bureau Library—serves as the de facto national library (Ibrahim, 2015). In terms of public libraries, the DBP also serves as the country’s central municipal library—with typical services of lending, children’s collection, computers and internet access, etc.—and oversees 11 branches around the country (all listed and described here:). Brunei’s public libraries, overall, are very well developed, with new buildings and modern technology—online catalogs, databases, RFID, etc. (Kassim, & Begawan, 2013). Regarding school libraries, all schools in Brunei have libraries. Brunei reported 154 school libraries in 2015, each overseen by a librarian or teacher-librarian (Ibrahim, 2015)—though not necessarily with LIS training, discussed below. Some reports have indicated the libraries are inadequate with not enough reading material (Sunny, 2012), but efforts by the Ministry of Education and DBP to assist school libraries—with technology and DBP mobile library visits—have been occurring since 2011 (Jalil, 2015). In terms of academic libraries, all of Brunei’s higher education institutions have libraries. Given Brunei’s strong economy and the government’s support of education, these libraries are better funded (for infrastructure, technology, etc.) than some other SEA countries. Some examples of Brunei’s academic libraries are: Universiti Brunei Darussalam, University of Technology Brunei (formerly called Institute of Technology Brunei;), Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University, Institute of Brunei Technical Education.

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