LIA e_Newsletter Vol 2 No 1 of February 2010 is now online. Just click on the link below to read/download it Vol 2 No 1
In the local context, the term “squatter” is well known and is used to describe people who settle or occupy property, buildings or unoccupied space illegally. In the field of ICT’s “Cybersquatting” is used frequently. This term has been coined to designate ‘domain squatting’. Cybersquatters register and/or use domain names with bad faith to eventually sell them to companies willing to ‘buy’ the domain name(s) at much higher prices. Taking a broad view, one may say that to squat something is to appropriate things that do not by right belong to you. Can we apply the term ‘squatting‘ in the local library and information sector? Recent events indicate that there exists some form of squatting in LIS. A new breed of squatters has born and it seems that they are determined to occupy positions for a life time. In the past, we have seen people considering top library positions as sinecures or semi-sinecures. We thought such beliefs and practices have disappeared but we were wrong. Staying in your post beyond compulsory retiring age may be considered as a form of squatting. Such unethical practices are detrimental to the profession and impact negatively on it in the long run. How can such practices affect the profession? In my view, there are two negative messages which are sent to society and the public in general. The first one is that there is a shortage of skills and competencies in the sector; there exist no new blood in the profession and that the younger generation is not capable of taking up the challenges of our new and highly technological world of LIS. The second message is that the same people are creating /forging a bad name / image for the profession in the minds of people who may preceive top positions in LIS as sinecures. If squatting LIS top positions is true, the question that lurks is: how do we market the library and information profession to earn the respect it deserves? Is it possible to do it in the company of those same people who are digging the grave of the profession? Those who are part of the problem (or the problem itself), can they be part of the solution? ….. Points to ponder.
In this article, an attempt has been made to trace back the brief history of libraries, librarians and library education in Mauritius. An overview of the various undergraduate LIS courses offered by tertiary education institutions since 1981, coupled with relevant statistics have been presented. Some recommendations have also been formulated at the end. For the full-text version, please Click here…Library Education in Mauritius…