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Current trends in library and information studies curricula around the world: Looking for the user‐centred approach

Jenny Bronstein (Beit Berl Academic College, Doar Na Beit Berl, Israel)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 19 October 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to identify current trends in library and information science (LIS) education related to the user‐centred approach adopted by libraries and information professionals in response to the advent of the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

Course descriptions of 30 LIS departments around the world were analyzed based on Wilson's map of information science that proposes five basic foundations fields: information content, information systems, people, organizations, and policy. The analysis focused on the user‐centred people field and on the interactions between this field and the other four fields proposed by the model. Course descriptions found in the departments' web sites were analyzed using the content analysis method and eight categories were revealed in the analysis that represent the different interactions between the fields.

Findings

Findings show that LIS departments have been successful in infusing the traditional information‐related curricula with a user‐centred approach but they have yet to develop areas of study that strengthen the students' social skills.

Research limitations/implications

The data collection method limited the scope of the study. By restricting the data collection to course descriptions as advertised in the departments' web sites the study could only analyze the departments' intent and not their actual work in the field.

Originality/value

The study recommends the implementation of courses dealing with social or personal skills.

Keywords

Citation

Bronstein, J. (2007), "Current trends in library and information studies curricula around the world: Looking for the user‐centred approach", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 5 No. 2/3, pp. 59-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960710837579

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited