Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 41, no. 2-4, 2005 Introduction

 


 

Introduction / by Dajin D. Sun and Ruth Carter

Catalog librarians have been the cornerstone of library services for centuries. Their education and training largely influences the profession’s collective ability to deal with the current challenges and meet the future needs for information services. Although studies or reports on cataloging practices outside of the United States have been seen in the library literature from time to time, very little is published about how education for cataloging develops in other parts of the world. Now that there is growing interest and effort to foster international cataloging standards and cooperation, an understanding of how education contributes to the cataloging profession globally would be significant and beneficial.

With this in mind, we have compiled this special volume of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly in an attempt to reflect and capture the worldwide education in the first decade of the twentieth century for cataloging and classification in its dynamic forms. Focusing on international perspectives, this theme issue is a cross-sectional document for the current status, developments, and trends of cataloging education around the world. It contains 22 papers written by 28 authors from over twenty countries spanning six continents and covers both formal education and continuing education of catalog librarians in these countries. The countries covered in this volume are: Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa in Africa; China, India, Japan, and Korea in Asia; Australia representing the Oceanic region; Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and the countries of the British Isles in Europe (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales); Argentina, Mexico, and Peru in Latin America; and Egypt, Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in Middle East. The United States is not included here because the US education for cataloging and classification was already well covered in Volume 34 by Janet Swan Hill in 2002.

Although there are different ways to organize these articles, it seems natural to arrange the contents according to the geographic locations they cover. Some political, historical, cultural, religious, and linguistic factors are also considered in the geographic organization.

Region by region and country by country, the reader will see a kaleidoscope of educational efforts and programs to cultivate cataloging professionals all over the world. From Africa, Kgosiemang depicts the education and training development for librarians in the University of Botswana Library. Iwe shares her study of cataloging course in the library science school curricula in the Cross River State of Nigeria. Cloete discusses the training of students in cataloging via distant education in South Africa. In Asia, Ma and Si describe the education programs in China from different perspectives. Ma introduces the various educational programs at different levels, whereas Si analyzes the varied cataloging instruction and courses by examining the web sites of library and information science programs in mainland China and Taiwan. Raghavan gives an account of the education for knowledge organization (including cataloging and classification) in India. Taniguchi provides a thorough depiction of the current status of cataloging education in Japan. Kwak presents the result of his survey on the job training of catalog librarians in South Korea. There are three authors introducing the education for cataloging in Australia: Hallam describes an independent module in descriptive cataloging that was experimented at Queensland University of Technology; Harvey and Reynolds reflect the current status of education for cataloging and classification in Australia by studying the course handbooks and web sites of Australian library and information science programs. In Europe, Münnich and Zotter join forces to present how catalog librarians are trained in Germany and Austria. Sitarska describes the library education system in Poland and its recent changes. Saye and Sauperl report the library science programs in Slovenia with emphasis on catalog and classification courses. Ruiz-Perez and Lopez-Cozar present a critical study of cataloging instruction within the library and information science programs in Spain. Bowman describes the results of a recent survey of graduate education and training for cataloging and classification in the United Kingdom. In Latin America, Barber and Pisano study the current curriculum in information processing including cataloging and classification at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Martinez gives an overview of the education for cataloging and classification in Mexico. Talavera explains the development of library education programs in Peru over the last decades of the 20th century. In Middle East, Fat’thy and Shaker introduce the current status of cataloging and classification education in Egypt. Kokabi provides a brief account of cataloging and classification education in Iran. Shoham describes cataloging teaching in Israel and the recent changes to it. Khurshid reports the continuing education for catalogers in Saudi Arabia and explains why it is necessary. It is noteworthy that some of these pieces have been the first effort ever to introduce the education for cataloging in the countries (e.g. Egypt and Japan) they cover.

For all our diligent efforts to invite as many contributors and cover more geographic areas, it is to our regret that many countries including some with long traditions of education for cataloging are not represented in this volume. Countries that we intended to cover but from whom we were unable to locate an author include several each in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Others missing are from the Americas and the Pacific. This by no means indicates our negligence or bias of these countries, but rather is due to limited time and resources to undertake such a large-scale project within a reasonable time period. We hope that a future volume will cover many more countries, both those with active formal library education programs and those without. Any suggestions or recommendations on possible authors in these countries not included here are exceedingly welcome and can be e-mailed to Dajin Sun (dajin.sun@yale.edu).

It is our sincere hope that readers will find papers in this special issue as interesting and educational as we have and that our effort, limited as it is, will inspire further research and publication on this important international education topic. Finally, we feel obliged to acknowledge our immense gratitude to all those who helped us identify and locate authors in different countries.

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