30 November 2015

Ranganathan, India and LIS education

In July, we had a visiting academic and Assistant Professor from the University of Calcutta, Dr. Susmita Chakraborty gives a talk on LIS education in India.

History of LIS education in India 
During the 1950s, there were only 370 colleges and 27 universities. This has risen to around 719 universities in March 2015. Punjab University was the first institution to have a course in Librarianship during 1915. Since then LIS education has grown in popularity and 79 universities (divided by state, private and some deemed to be institutions) had LIS courses in 2001. For example, the Bengal Library Association have Bachelor and Master's degrees running for 1-2 years and a 5 year integrated MLIS. Further education courses also exist at PhD level across Indian institution along with MPhil degree. This level in education is in between a Masters and PhD level and not currently available within the UK. Although, in 1950 only 2 PhDs were awarded, further research in LIS has seen 345 PhDs awarded in 2008. The most interesting thing mentioned by Susmita was that there were refresher courses for LIS students which allows pass students to revisit certain topics in the early years of their careers when it is most needed.

14 March 2015

Can we tear down the wall between the researchers and the library?

"Can we tear down the wall between the researchers and the library? Research support services at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology" by Marius Haugen.

A long time ago, I went to a UCL DIS event into the current issues in LIS. This event really highlighted the difference between libraries in the UK and elsewhere in regards to research support services. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) it is a science and technology specific university, however, it has a humanities department. NTNU is definitely a complex institution with 12 different libraries and its rare books, special collections and a medical collection spanning 4 departments.

It was very interesting to learn the differences of librarianship in Norway. For example, focus in university research support to satisfy user needs has recently become a trend. Furthermore, from what I could understand, unlike in the UK where librarians are expected to have a LIS qualification and work experience, only the research librarians in NTNU have this. Subject librarians on the other hand, have degrees from other fields which may be completely different from LIS. Nonetheless, the need to tear down the issue of "silo mentality" of faculty vs. librarians still remains a prevalent issue in the UK and Norway.

21 February 2015

Young Stationers in Oxford

I went to my first Young Stationers event on Thursday 5th February and it was very interesting. A merry trip down to Oxford University College and I was welcomed by some new faces of the Oxford University Society of Bibliophiles and some recognizable Young Stationers. All to be launched into the fascinating talk about the traditional history of bookbinding at Shepherd's Bookbinders and how they have adapted to trading within modern times by Alison Strachan

18 February 2015

Meeting my mentor

At the Stationer's New Members Evening late last year, I finally met my mentor for the first time. Sarah Mahurter, is the current Manager of University Archives & Special Collections Centre (ASCC) at University Arts London (UAL) and she invited me on a tour of her workplace.

It was interesting to learn that the Centre were created around 2007 with the Stanley Kubrick Archives as one focal point of the collections. As a mainly film and design archives and special collections, the layout of centre is a futuristic glass reading room and office space with red chairs, modelled after a clip in the movie Odyssey. The centre does not hold any university records (as they are located elsewhere) but the collections are embedded into the university courses curriculum. Furthermore, half of all users are students and the other half are external users such as film historians and actual film companies which is an exciting prospect.

In my opinion, the major strength of these collections is that they truly support academic teaching and foster learning development, as the student has physical resources to use as reference. The academic staff and library staff also understand the need for these resources and support their use. However, one downside is that there is usually only one copy of each resource and if damaged the chances of it being replaced is slim. Conversely, this explains the importance of the collections and why trained archivists work with the collections and supervise their use.