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Perceptions of online degrees in library science across the Arab world

Charla Chebl (Department of Library, Notre Dame University-Louaize, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon)
Maroun El Rayess (Department of Library, Notre Dame University-Louaize, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This research paper aims to present a specific outline of the library decision makers’ perceptions and the hiring patterns and acceptability of online library science degree holders in academic libraries across the Arab world. It also investigates whether such degrees compare favorably with traditional degrees or not.

Design/methodology/approach

This study data were collected using an online questionnaire, which was sent out to 74 library managers in academic libraries across the Arab world. The libraries were selected from the QS stars Worldwide University Ranking for the Arab Region 2015, which ranks the Arab world’s top 100 universities.

Findings

The findings reveal no significant relationship between the hiring decision of library managers and the degree type, whether earned through traditional education or online. The analysis notes different factors influencing the hiring practices and acceptability of online library science degree holders, the most influential factors being candidate skills, accreditation of programs and candidate experiences.

Originality/value

To date, no study has investigated whether employers in academic libraries across the Arab world perceive online library science graduate degrees “less than” or “equal to” those obtained through traditional education. This study will contribute to the literature on the acceptance of online degrees in general and in the library science field in particular. The study is a significant contribution to knowledge for students, job seekers and employers alike.

Keywords

Citation

Chebl, C. and El Rayess, M. (2017), "Perceptions of online degrees in library science across the Arab world", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 5/6, pp. 317-330. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-06-2017-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited