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J. Lau - Foro 07 1 Jesús Lau, Ph.D. / Director, USBI-VER Library, and Coordinator, UV Virtual Library.

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Presentation on theme: "J. Lau - Foro 07 1 Jesús Lau, Ph.D. / Director, USBI-VER Library, and Coordinator, UV Virtual Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 J. Lau - Foro 07 1 Jesús Lau, Ph.D. / Director, USBI-VER Library, and Coordinator, UV Virtual Library Universidad Veracruzana / DGB Veracruz, México Non-Walked Fields: Mexican Library Education Opportunities "One Size No Longer Fits Everyone" - Panel: Judith Field, Jesús Lau, and Ken Haycock Transborder Library Forum, February 22, 2007 – Thursday 11:30-12:30

2 J. Lau - Foro 07 2 Topics Topics General Introduction Library school challenges Employment market Transborder hiring of librarians LIS school opportunities

3 J. Lau - Foro 07 3 Mexican Snapshot Mexican Snapshot 100 million inhabitants Largest Spanish-speaking country A quarter of the US territory 14th world economy – GDP 7th in tourism Largest immigration output to US Middle income country With the largest library system in Latin America

4 J. Lau - Foro 07 4 Library Statistics Library Statistics Public…………….7,200 Academic………...1,200 School…………….5,400 Special………………230 Librarians…………4,000 Library Schools………10 INEGI, 2006 / SEP 1999

5 J. Lau - Foro 07 5 Library Education History Library Education History Dates back to 1924 Oldest LIS school 1945 There were only two schools located in Mexico City until 1970 There has been a good growth in the last five years Library education is mostly traditional Except distance LIS education (2 programs)

6 J. Lau - Foro 07 6 US Library Role US Library Role Library theory and practice are based on US cannons Foreign library degrees are from US universities There was a special library scholarship program in the 1970s-1980s for US universities US Franklin library played an important promotional role

7 J. Lau - Foro 07 7 Graduates´ Profile Graduates´ Profile Strength: Bibliographic skills Material organization oriented Limited skills in: Management English Computer use Communication: oral and written

8 J. Lau - Foro 07 8 Schools Need to… Schools Need to… Change teaching methods Update curricula Broaden programs to cover more employment markets Attract more competent students Increase their budgets Integrate IT to the curriculum

9 J. Lau - Foro 07 9 Librarians´ Challenges Librarians´ Challenges Transform libraries into learning organizations Face constant demand change Adopt new organizational strategies Offer new and more relevant services Offer distant learning information services

10 J. Lau - Foro Crossborder Hiring of Librarians Crossborder Hiring of Librarians Mexican librarians come to US to work Their degrees are not fully recognized There is a need for an international accreditation scheme Programs may need to be homologated A good pattern is the European Bologna project

11 J. Lau - Foro Foreign Degrees Are not Recognized Foreign Degrees Are not Recognized Degrees from abroad universities are not officially recognized There is a lengthy, almost impossible, process to get government recognition However, in practice, it does not matter much The annoyances are usually for government paperwork

12 J. Lau - Foro Accreditation Accreditation There are no specific library accredited programs yet, unlike other fields The country has a general evaluation system Those who pass the evaluation can get better federal funding Mexican Library Association (AMBAC) does not play a role in this process There is a degree-holding guild who could play the legal role of accreditation (Colegio Nacional de Bibliotecarios)

13 J. Lau - Foro Actors in the Library Scene Actors in the Library Scene Only 22% academic directors have a library degree Public and school libraries have almost no librarians Libraries mostly directed by professionals with other backgrounds

14 J. Lau - Foro Universities and Special Hire More Librarians Universities and Special Hire More Librarians Most advanced libraries Best budgets Lead in technology Higher salaries More professional development opportunities

15 J. Lau - Foro Society's Library Concept Society's Library Concept A place for lending books An administrative department A place for students Anyone can work at the library A service that can be replaced by Internet Salaries are low, more than in other professions

16 J. Lau - Foro Personal Hiring Experience Personal Hiring Experience Attract candidates from miles away Recruiting is difficult and slow Insufficient number of candidates They prefer to work in their hometowns Family culture ties them to their homes Institutional contracting procedure is time limited

17 J. Lau - Foro UV Requirements UV Requirements Vision Self management Service oriented Communication skills Master English Information technology skills

18 J. Lau - Foro Conclusions Conclusions There is a need for more librarians New education roads have to be created to non-library working professionals Distance postgraduate education is good A NAFTA library education accreditation scheme is needed LIS schools have the great opportunity to meet the market demand in quality and quantity


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