n Mousaion - Information and communication technologies in Library and Information Science education in South Africa




Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have becomecentral in the education and training of Library and InformationScience/Service (LIS) because of the great influence of thesetechnologies on the profession. The purpose of this study was todetermine the extent to which ICTs are applied in research, teaching,learning and academic administration, and establish the levels of ICTsupport available in South African LIS schools in terms of policies,infrastructure, hardware and human resource. The descriptive surveymethod was applied. Questionnaires were electronically mailed to 15LIS education departments in January 2003, out of which 9 (60%)responded. Some of the data was updated by respondents in July 2004.The findings indicated that all LIS departments in South Africa hadresponded to ICT developments by offering a wide range of ICTmodules and embracing the use of ICTs in teaching, research andacademic administration. It was observed that changes or modificationsin existing qualifications and programmes are ongoing activities inseveral institutions. The majority of LIS departments in South Africahave interactive Web pages within the respective university/technikonWebsites. However, for teaching and learning, only a few of the LISschools used ICTs in presentation of lectures, while for research, teleconferencingand e-publishing ICTs were not yet extensively exploited.The study recommends that South African LIS schools should increasethe use of ICTs in teaching and learning, as is the case in administration,to foster greater effectiveness. South African LIS schools should takeadvantage of experiences of online and distance education already wellestablished among some universities in South Africa, in order to reachwork-bound and other disadvantaged students due to distance fromlearning centres. The advantages of good Internet access should also beexploited and a mechanism for supporting accessibility be lobbied forstudents from the technologically disadvantaged areas.


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