Public Library Management Diploma: training to improve the library, formal education to transform it

OYARZUN, Gonzalo (2014) Public Library Management Diploma: training to improve the library, formal education to transform it. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 150 - LIS Education in Developing Countries Special Interest Group. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/849
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Public Library Management Diploma: training to improve the library, formal education to transform it

In the last two decades Chile has made a tremendous improvement in public libraries, which included development of an extensive training program for library staff. However an assessment made by the Public Libraries National System showed urgent need to bring more than just training: people in charge of public libraries in Chile, like in whole Latin America, were lacking academic degrees: only 15 percent had university and 40 percent - high school degrees. This was negatively impacting libraries’ management and staff salaries. We have identified the need to put emphasis on librarianship and public library management skills, since these, as studies show, are central to human development in the communities they operate. To address the issue in 2013 Public Libraries National System of Chile and Alberto Hurtado University created and implemented formal education program on Public Library Management, which is delivered via e-learning and gives academic Diploma. The studies are completely free and take 178 hours. The content covered is: Library and Community, Library Services, Customer Service and Users Training, Heritage, Culture and Memory, Reading Promotion and Advocacy. This first version of this program not only reached library staff in Chile but also people from various countries: Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. The results of first course showed that 74.3% participant successfully completed the course, which means that 330 people across the country already have skills and abilities to support local management and better position public libraries in their communities. This program has been so successful that during 2014 we are expanding it to several Latin American countries through a project that has been funded by Iberblibliotecas, Iberoamerican Program for Public Libraries, whose members are Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, the cities of Bogota and Medellin (Colombia) and the State of Ceará (Brazil).

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