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Title:LIS education in the UAE: Exploring school librarian qualifications and opportunities
Author(s):Stewart, Kristine; El Najjar, Mireille; Al Mansoori, Suhaila
Subject(s):School librarians
United Arab Emirates
Library and information science education
Educational accreditation
Abstract:School libraries provide resources designed to support curriculum, students, and staff and are ideally run by professionally trained school librarians. However, professional qualifications required of school librarians vary greatly, based on the type of school, but also where (in the world) the school is located. In the USA, school librarians are usually expected to earn a master’s degree in library science from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program and have a teaching certification and/or license to work as a school media specialist. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there are no accredited LIS programs and presently, no LIS programs at all (the last unaccredited program was discontinued in 2018). This works in progress poster reports findings from the first nationwide survey of school librarians in the UAE. Data is being collected through interviews, surveys, and observations during professional development seminars provided to school librarians. Preliminary findings from this mixed-methods study highlight the vast differences in school librarian qualifications within the UAE and suggest the need for more professional development opportunities as well as an accredited LIS program within the country. The opportunities and challenges for LIS education within the UAE are discussed along with the potential roles of local and government authorities and councils (e.g. Ministry of Education, Department of Education and Knowledge, and Knowledge and Human Development Authority) in school librarians’ qualifications and trainings. Difficulties that may be encountered when using international frameworks to provide LIS education while honoring local customs and cultures will also be discussed.
Issue Date:2019-09-24
Series/Report:School libraries
Continuing education
Education programs/schools
Community and civic organizations
Genre:Conference Poster
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105384
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23


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