Trends in LIS Education and Research in Pakistan

Trends in LIS Education and Research in Pakistan

Kanwal Ameen (University of the Punjab, Pakistan) and Nosheen Fatima Warraich (University of the Punjab, Pakistan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5158-6.ch011


This chapter provides an overview of the development of formal Library and Information Science (LIS) education and research programs in Pakistan. It analyzes the trends in scholarly literature publishing while identifying the areas of LIS research addressed by Pakistani authors. It also discusses the challenges faced in LIS education and highlights the milestones of LIS education and research history in the country.
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Lis Education


Pakistan was created in 1947 after partition of the united India under British rule. The history of formal LIS education programs at university level dates back to 1915 in the Subcontinent. Bansal and Tikku (1988) stated that the University of the Punjab (PU), Lahore “was the first university, outside the USA, in the world to introduce regular training in librarianship” (p. 397). Asa Don Dickenson, a disciple of Melvil Dewey, was appointed to start this program to train the already working library staff and to reorganize the PU Library. An American national, Professor James C. R. Ewing, the then Vice-Chancellor of the PU (1910-1917) suggested the recruitment of a trained librarian. The suggestion was approved by the PU Syndicate (Anwar, 1992). Dickenson designed and started in the PU Library a one year certificate course on library education. This was a post-graduate (after 14 years of education) day-time course, but initially undergraduate working librarians were also admitted to it. The course remained suspended after Dickinson’s departure in 1916 and was revived in 1918. It was converted into a post-graduate course in 1928. The study of German and French was made compulsory in 1936 (Khurshid, 1992, p. 14). The certificate course remained continued till 1946.

Dickinson’s another contribution was writing a book. He wrote worlds’ first textbook on library education entitled “Punjab Library Primer” published in 1916 by the PU. Kaser (1992) argued that:

The preparation of true textbooks in the field of librarianship was in its infancy when Dickinson wrote his Punjab Library Primer. Although books had been written about libraries for several hundred years previous to that time, those books had tended to be largely oratory and descriptive rather than prescriptive and were seldom intended to be used for purposes of instruction at all (p. 7).

Dickinson stayed only for one year, but he left behind remarkable imprints. The distinction of PU in offering the first library education program in a university outside the USA has been acknowledged internationally. Kaser (1982) wrote in Journal of Academic Librarianship, “Many other countries on earth where librarianship has experienced vastly greater languor would like to know the secret of Pakistan’s comparative success (p. 163)” In Kaser’s opinion selection of Asa Don Dickinson may be part of that secret (1992, p. 9). He trained librarians and designed a series of lectures on modern library methods. The faculty comprised of Dickinson himself and his wife (as cited by Qarshi, 1992).

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