School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 International Librarianship

Course Outline

Winter 2011



Office hours: There are no regular office hours but chats using the course chat facility can be arranged at any reasonable time. 

There are no regular office hours but chats using the course chat facility can be arranged at any reasonable time. 

Course Goal:

The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad understanding of library development and services throughout the world. Students will learn the issues and problems facing the development of libraries within their socio-economic and cultural contexts and will become acquainted with the successes and/or failures of various approaches to these issues. As North American librarianship is addressed in other SLIS courses, most attention will be given to library development in other regions. 

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

• identify the major trends in the provision of library and information services in the aforementioned regions - discuss the specific issues facing libraries, library services and the library profession in developed, lesser, and least developed countries within their cultural contexts
• describe the various library and information training approaches and accreditation systems in different countries and regions
• explain the role and existence of national libraries in various countries
• describe the role and activities of national, regional and international library associations
• describe the effects on libraries and library services in areas where there is: war; natural disaster; unstable governance; low levels of literacy; little indigenous publishing; little or no monetary assistance; lack of foreign currency for purchase of materials; lack of training; censorship and other intellectual freedom challenges, etc.
• propose possible solutions and assistance where the aforementioned occurs
• discuss the role of information and access (or lack of) to information and development
• discuss the role of international aid organizations, and inter-governmental aid/assistance
• identify the existing programmes of international aid organizations and inter-governmental assistance - discuss the pro's and con's of these methods of assistance
• access various internet sites concerned with the aforementioned issues, associations etc.
• identify the key international journals of librarianship


• Introduction to the course
• What is International Librarianship? Why do we study it?
• The skills and methods involved in the study of International Librarianship
• Perspectives on library development – case studies (UK, EU, USSR, Anglophone Africa)
• Training for Librarianship
• War and Natural Disaster
• Information for Development; the role Donors and International Aid; the ‘Digital Divide’ etc.
• Innovations
• Library Associations
• Working Internationally  


Online: Class delivered via the web using Vista software.

Required Text:

No required texts.

Course Relationships:

Successful completion of 3 core SLIS – MLIS or equivalent courses

Course Requirements:

See Assignments/Evaluation section

Inclusive Language & Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of equality and respect for all people within the university community, and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.