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Challenges in assisting schools of librarianship and information studies in developing countries: A perspective from research in Latin America

Ian M. Johnson (Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 18 July 2008

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review traditional forms of international support for developing schools of librarianship and information sciences, and traditional approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

The review draws evidence from the literature and the author's extensive international experience.

Findings

The study notes that the traditional approaches have not been entirely successful, and that the sources of support for these approaches are changing. In the light of the growth in the number of schools in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, it suggests that traditional approaches may not be practicable. Alternative approaches suggested in the past have included making teaching materials available, including access to them over the internet, but these may be no more appropriate or practicable. The paper then draws on recent research into the emergence of electronic publishing in Latin America. Whilst there are still flaws in the electronic publishing system, it may suggest a possible new way forward.

Practical implications

The challenge now is to determine how to facilitate similar support for developing schools of librarianship and information sciences internationally.

Originality/value

The paper challenges orthodox thinking about support for new schools of librarianship and information sciences in developing countries, and invites consideration of how new communications media could play a part in this process.

Keywords

Citation

Johnson, I.M. (2008), "Challenges in assisting schools of librarianship and information studies in developing countries: A perspective from research in Latin America", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 7/8, pp. 337-353. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074800810888168

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited