It is the responsibility of departments and professional organizations like LAB and BALID (Bangladesh Association of Librarian, Information Scientists, and Documentalists) to improve the image. It is crucial to update the curricula including course on technology in libraries.There should also be high standards for admission, performance, and the latest technology and other materials should be available to students. Research and publication are an integral part of academia. Publication of excellent articles and books helps students to learn more and to appreciate and respect their professions. Graduates should also be able to do quality research, publication, and teaching, if required. At present in Bangladesh, there is no regular journal dedicated to library science. Eastern Librarian (started in 1961), the oldest library journal of Bangladesh, published by the LAB is very much irregular. As a result, faculty members have published in non-library science journals like University of Dhaka Studies and Rajshahi University Studies, Journal of Asiatic Society, Journal of Center for Development Research (CDR) etc., where student or library professional articles are not entertained.
Similarly, only few quality books on library and information science are published in Bangladesh. Students depend on foreign library journals and books, which are expensive. foreign books and journals should be used to gain knowledge of international library education and librarianship. Similarly, abstracts and indexes should be published in time for the benefit of researchers. Professional association and academic departments must publish journals or newspapers on a regular basis, to keep professionals informed about developments in the field.
There has been a proliferation of library science institutes in the country. Many institutes were started without proper facilities and faculty. This has caused problems and affects the standard of library education. National University and LAB administrations have allowed institutions to develop like mushrooms, without securing proper staff, skilled faculty members, adequate preparation, and facilities. Certainly this is not the right way to proved the training that will equip librarians sufficiently. There is an urgent need for the consolidation and improvement of existing training programs and to ensure that quality is maintained.
Academic institutions and professional associations must make government aware of the importance of library education, libraries, Internet access, database development and library networking. The government must provide proper funding for library science institutions, which are responsible for training and producing future librarians, library administrators, and library educators; otherwise, it will be difficult for them to catch up and compete in the competitive and changing modern world.
Continuing education for faculty should be an integral part of all library institutions and associations. It will help the faculty to learn teaching methods with the latest electronic tools rather than depending on their old hand-written notes, to teach courses in the fast changing field of library science.
Library and Information Science Education System in Bangladesh: An Overall Situation
Dr. Md. Shariful Islam