Education for library and information studies in Canada: a cross‐cultural comparison

Ken Haycock (School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 16 January 2007



This paper aims to highlight the unique characteristics and homogeneity of the Canadian accredited programs in library and information studies compared with those programs in the USA.


Each year the Association for Library and Information Science (ALISE) collects statistics from accredited graduate programs. By disaggregating the American and Canadian information and limiting the data to the accredited degree program only, comparisons could be drawn between the two data sets. The generalizations and themes were then validated by comparison with the recent history of development of Canadian schools.


The history of development of Canadian graduate programs and the national context has resulted in programs that are more homogenous than diverse. The programs are housed in public research institutions, with competition for spaces. The students are full‐time, studying a curriculum with more required courses. Faculty have more time for research. Access is an issue. The profession is generally satisfied, but points to inadequacies in education for management and favors more internships.

Research limitations/implications

While commenting on developments and trends the report relies primarily on three secondary sources, thus creating a snapshot.

Practical implications

The separation of Canadian and American models allows for greater attention to national approaches providing a beginning point for discussion, analysis and suggestions for further study.


This paper is based on a presentation to the ALA President's Forum on International Library Education in June, 2006. Both American and Canadian participants demonstrated limited knowledge of the subject and urged publication. No such explication has appeared previously.



Haycock, K. (2007), "Education for library and information studies in Canada: a cross‐cultural comparison", New Library World, Vol. 108 No. 1/2, pp. 32-39.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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