SHORT HISTORY OF EDUCATION FOR LIBRARIANSHIP
The source of the first series of clear proposals of organised training for librarians was European as evidenced in the discussions made by Friedrich Ado Ebert, Martin Schrettinger and Christian Molbech in the eighteenth century. Molbech (1783-1 857), historian and Danish Royal Librarian had quoted the 1808 definition of library science by Schrettinger as “the precepts necessary to the purposeful organisation of a library built systematically on firm principles carried in essence to their highest levels”. (1) How ever, Ebert (1791 – 1834), the author of the first treatise on Dio Bildung Bibliothekar (education for librarianship ) in 1820 insisted that to be qualified, the librarian needs the same knowledge others need, but his requirement must be more comprehensive and varied especially in the languages, literary history and bibliography so as to be able to place at the disposal of scholars the heritage of the past. The librarian himself must be a scholar but to enable him to conduct daily business, he needs vocational training in- librarianship.
Schrettinger (1772-1851), a Bavarian monk and librarian who was the first to use the term Bebliothekwissenschaft or library science, believed that a literary education, though necessary, is not sufficient for librarianship as no librarian can operate a library without special study and practice so as to be able to embrace the whole realm of science and art with even-handed love, without favouritism for any particular subject class, a difficult thing even for a scholar. He therefore recommended that a “Librarian-Nursery” be established at the principal library of a province to produce librarians for various libraries and contribute to the standardization of library science.
Outside Germany and its environs, France recognised for professional posts, the graduates of the Ecole de Chartes (founded in 1821) with responsible appointments to archives and libraries beginning in 1839; library bibliographical courses were installed in 1847. Librarianship examinations were introduced in Italy in 1870-71, and in December 1884 in Great Britain- for assistants who were “certified” if they passed (2).
In the United States of America, the desired assurance about competence in candidates was forthcoming from the conventional examination and degree system applied to students of librarianship at Columbia where the first formal education for librarianship occurred with the establishment of the School of Library Economy by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University of Chicago to provide education beyond the first professional degree, and so offering a Doctor of Philosopy (Ph.D) degree in Library Science. (3).
BACKGROUND TO EDUATION FOR LIBRARIANSHIP IN NIGERIA
The first visible effort made by the Colonial Governments in the erst-while British West Africa to give library education to West Africans including Nigerians was at the instance of the joint auspices of these governments which culminated in the short-lived Achimota Training School for Librarians in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1944. While some Nigerians went to Great Britain to obtain professional library training, short courses were organised at home for junior and paraprofessional library staff from some Nigerian libraries. Worthy of mention is the short in-service training for thirty and fifteen library assistant of Native Authority and the University College, Ibadan, respectively, in 1950 and for school librarians in 1954, all organised by Miss Joan Parkes and John Harris, under the auspices of the Provincial Education Office in Ibadan. The observation was made that none of these pioneer efforts seemed to satisfy the basic manpower needs of personnel for Nigeria’s fast expanding libraries. –
In its final report on “Library Training in Africa”, the Unesco Seminar on the “Development of Public Libraries in Africa” held in Ibadan in 1953 recommended that “a limited number of library schools of high calibre be established in Africa to provide full-scale professional training at the leadership level”, Following that Seminar, the West African Library Association (WALA) inaugurated in Lagos in September 1954, carried forward the Seminar proposals for education for librarianship when on March 12, 1955, a deputation of the Nigerian members of the Association presented a memo to the Federal Minister of Social Services on Professional training course for librarians, stating that “there is urgent need to provide for the training of library staff at various levels” (5) (italics mine). Through the efforts of the WALA Council, the benefaction of Carnegie Corporation of New York and Harold Lancour’s favourable report, the Institute of Librarianship ‘was accordingly established in The University College, Ibadan in 1959 and admitted its first intake of students in the 1960/1961session. (6) The Institute ran the one- academic – session – course for candidates taking the Library Association of London Examinations discontinued after the 1962/63 session in favour of the one-year Diploma until the 1974/75 session when the two year non-graduate Diploma programme was introduced. The Institute started the one-session post-graduate Diploma in the 1966/67 session but on becoming the Department of Library Studies in the 1970/71 session discontinued the programme after the 1973/74 session for the Masters programme lasting for twelve months. The Ph.D. Programme came into force in. the 1970/71 session.
The second library school in Nigeria is the Department of library Science Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, established during the 1968169 academic session to train librarians for leadership posts and assistants as at the University of Ibadan, and for the recruitment needs of the Northern States in order to satisfy a felt-need for additional professional qualification. Thereafter, other library schools were opened in other universities and several non-university tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
THE NEED FOR PROFESSIONAL LIBRARY EDUCATION
All over the world, libraries of all sorts – public, college and university, school and special – are established for the purpose of human development. aimed at improving the general quality of life by specialists and others in economic, social, scientific and technological fields. To achieve this general objective, libraries are established also to provide print and non-print materials for their clientelle in their pursuit of education, information, research, recreational and cultural interests. For libraries to perform these services they must perform the function of selecting, acquiring, organising and interpreting, preserving and making available as, and when required, the print and non-print materials in their custody. The librarians who provide these services and perform those functions effectively and competently are often those with professional knowledge consisting of the following three elements, viz; –
An underlying discipline or basic science component upon which the practice rests or from which it developed.
An applied science or engineering component from which many of the day-to-day diagnostic procedures and problem solutions are derived,
A skills and attitudinal component that concerns the actual performance of services to the client, using the underlying basic and applied knowledge.
Professional library knowledge is gained through education for librarianship, the purpose of which many library managers believe is
to produce qualified staff for their libraries who will be competent to step into a professional post and perform the duties assigned to – them, with only the minimum amount of in-service training being necessary. (8)
The effective and competent librarian, apart from being firmly grounded in the core subjects of librarianship, in addition, must be able to communicate effectively not only with the library users but also the authorities who determine the budget of the library. Thus, the librarian must have the skills of a public relations consultant and a modern manager, formally transmitted to him through professional education.
When Dr. F. Rullmann, Librarian at Freebury University, Germany. addressing German librarians, asked them whether library science should be a distinctive field of study at universities, he had no doubt about the special training necessary to produce a librarian. Recognising that the instruction given, at a library would not suffice like Karl Dziatzko’s largely isolated lectures at Gottingen launched in 1887, Rullmann contended that it had to be a University Course, complete with examinations and a formal certificate, the latter to be required for appointment to the post of librarian. While the education should ensure better understanding, of balance in book selection and rapid enrichment of the literature of libraries, Charles Cutter argued that “no one is thoroughly fit to have a charge of a library who has not pursued some comparative study, and learned to reason about what he does.” (9) In Germany, Otto Harwig anticipating expanding collections in libraries. expressed that trained personnel would be in demand, and suggested that there ought to be institution to produce them, linked with higher education.
In 1869, before the establishment of the Columbia School of Library, Economy by Melvil Dewey, Justin Winsor of the Boston Public Library had lamented the absence of schools of bibliographical and bibliographical training whose graduates can guide the formation of, and assume management within the fast increasing libraries of the U. S. A.. The need for professional library education became a felt-need because a librarian whose work involves what and how the public read, service to children, bookkeeping in librarianship, book selection, book importing, cataloguing, etc, requires good professional .education in librarianship. If the library is an instrument in the development of the people as highlighted elsewhere in this paper, the operators require to be educated in that trade.
In all countries where the reading habit has been acquired by the majority of children, the impact of the children’s demands upon publishing, and the call for professional library guidance in all manner of institutions serving children, clearly make a pressing need for more trained personnel. Now that several state governments in Nigeria are striving seriously to ensure the establishment of libraries in their primary and secondary schools, one sees this long-delayed welcome policy capable of making incessant demands on library personnel, demands that certainly call for professional library education Marco has recognised, as many educational planners have done, that ‘schools are inevitable in a critically complex occupation as the most 4fficient way to transmit the tricks— and concepts of the work to beginningers (10)
The international developments and influences in the profession, principle the concepts of Universal Systems in Information for Science and Technology (UNISIST), National• Information Systems (NATIS), Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC), Universal Availability of Publications (UAP), International Standard Serial Number ISSN), International Standard Book Number ISBN), International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), etc., all cutting across international barriers, mean that librarians will have to get familiar with these new bibliographic descriptions and information systems.
Aspects of modern information handling techniques like systems analysis. computer application to libraries, bibliometrics, reference sources for science and technology, etc, call for the education at the appropriate level, of those to carry out the techniques, decision-making, problem-solving and initiating desirable changes. This new technology has made it possible for the librarian to provide more effective services. With sound professional and theoretica1 training, the librarian might be able to adjust more quickly to the “future shock of rapid changes.
The rationale for education for librarianship points to the need for library and information manpower. Manpower constitutes an essential component in all developmental activities and therefore sufficient provisions are always made for manpower developments in all national or regional plans or programmes. For instance, section 2(d) of the nine “objectives, priorities and strategy” of the Fourth National Development Plan 1981 – 85, states “Increase in the supply of skilled manpower”, while Table 35.5 shows that additional requirements for librarians will be 2,930 between 1981 and 1985 from its 1980 base of estimated 1,000 librarians. (11 During the same plan period; the revised edition of the National Policy on Education recommended that:
Every State Ministry needs to provide funds for the establishment of libraries in all our educational institutions and to train librarians and library assistants for this services. (12)
It therefore, hardly needs to be emphasised that properly educated and trained manpower would be essentially required for organising and developing an infrastructure of library and information services in Nigeria. The type and level of personnel required would largely depend on the needs of the library and information infrastructure to be served by them. This infrastructure includes the whole range of library and information services in the country, consisting of various components such as libraries of different types, sizes, and different levels, namely, national library, research and technical libraries, academic libraries, public library network, documentation and bibliographical centres, information analysis centres, referral, specialised data banks, etc.
Professional Library Education And Employment Opportunities
SHORT HISTORY OF EDUCATION FOR LIBRARIANSHIP