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Two steps forward, one step back: Ideological and historical aspects of library and information science education in independent Ukraine

Advances in Library Administration and Organization

ISBN: 978-1-84855-710-9, eISBN: 978-1-84855-711-6

Publication date: 15 July 2009


The book is a mighty instrument for communication, labor, struggle. It arms a person with life experiences and the toils of humanity. It expands his horizons and gives him knowledge to tame the forces of nature.N.K. Krupskaya, wife of V.I. Lenin

This chapter examines historical developments and current trends in Ukrainian library education, based on a review of the Ukrainian literature, a survey of Library and Information (LIS) curricula, and conversations with senior figures in Ukrainian LIS education. Ukraine became an independent state only in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Prior to independence, Ukraine's LIS education was integrated within the Soviet system. After independence the system evolved slowly, but with the recent Orange Revolution, reform efforts have increased apace. Ukrainian LIS education remains more vocational than in the United States, with a two-year nondegree certificate as the most common training, and a four-year bachelor's degree offered by elite institutions. One emerging trend in LIS education there stresses the new opportunities for librarians and information professionals because of Internet technologies. Another trend is part of a more general shift, inspired by a new Ukrainian higher education law, stressing the country's independent culture and formalizing standards for different degrees. Although Ukrainian LIS leaders advocate adoption of open access mechanisms, customer friendly practices, and electronic resources, my own experiences as a library user suggest that Soviet-era habits continue to shape library practices. LIS education has now reached a turning point as reformers grapple with the limited resources, the power of inertia, and remnants of Soviet culture in their efforts to meet current challenges and prepare a new generation of information professionals.


Haigh, M. (2009), "Two steps forward, one step back: Ideological and historical aspects of library and information science education in independent Ukraine", Graves, W., Nyce, J.M., Golden, J. and Williams, D.E. (Ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-24.



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