Changing paradigms: Library and Information Science (LIS) into Information Management (IM) in Pakistan
The change from the industrial age to the knowledge economy, connect with advanced technological development and globalization have revolutionized economies and labor markets, creating continuous demands for a combination of new skills and mentalities. This change become a severe mismatch between university offerings’ courses and industry needs and demands. This advancement makes the universities to offer such courses which will very helpful to students in their professional life, educators in many parts of the world accepted this change and shift the traditional knowledge into current. According to Hensley (2015),
“This disjuncture between supply and demand has prompted industry to question the validity of the traditional mode of learning in Higher Education (HE) and specifically their curricula offerings”
In Pakistan, library education programs globally to diversify their courses from the library focus towards information, and many programs have expanded their curricula, introduced a range of courses in information technologies and related fields, and modified their names by adding ‘information’ in the title or dropping the word ‘library’ altogether like ‘information science’. The advanced developments in ICTs have moved the communication culture, business operations, methods of information production and dissemination totally into Internet. The embrace of World Wide Web has forced the LIS profession to revise its products, services philosophies, models, practices, standards, professional tasks. As a result, LIS professionals become ‘information managers, system designers, knowledge managers, web designers and administrators, educators, problem solvers, navigators, researchers and publishers.
In 2015 the Department of Library and Information Science in Punjab University changed their department name “Library and Information Science into Information Management” and also changed the names of their various programs replacing the word ‘library’ with an excess of phrases perceived as more effective. The name changes were used as a strategy to ‘embrace advancement and bunch into larger organizational grouping, to attract the students and increase the status of LIS education programs.
ICT and information related subjects have recently gained importance in the LIS curricula and traditional LIS subjects like collection development and management, reference services, cataloguing and classification have been relegated to lower-level qualifications in the curricula. At the effectiveness and popularity of the name ‘information management’ the department of Library and Information Science, Sargodha University changed their department name as Information Management (2020). ICTs have redefined the LIS profession and given shape to the profession. Whereas all along the LIS profession has been working like a shapeless entity, now with this current trend we begin to see the shape of the LIS profession. This has also expanded our interest in research and teaching.
Furthermore, LIS professionals need the abilities to manage projects, effective research planner, manage the information in technological ways, evaluate projects, creative person and must have I.T skills. Most of all LIS professional is creative enough to find new ways to solve new problems, make strong decision, teach, communicate-well.
In addition, a director of a specialized library noted:
“We need information professional with a working knowledge of ICTs and their applications. Expert with the ability to use and apply information communication technologies in library operations and institutional repositories; compare, evaluate, select technologies and software, translate print-based services to electronic services, design web pages and manage them. The professional need to be honest, curious, passionate, versatile, resilient and able to work independently, able to build partnerships, continuously learn, communicate and add value to our services”
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