Information Technology and Library Science

Principles in Planning Library Education Programs in the Muslim World

Four major principles for planning library education programs in [the] Muslim World are considered of importance: the environmental needs, the application of programs, the cultures, backgrounds and traditions of the nation, and the future changes. The Muslim World is acquiring expertise largely from non-Muslim nations through recruiting expert planners or through sending their students to developed countries to acquire knowledge, then apply it. Both approaches are seen to have some problems at the time of acquisition and application of planned programs. These problems are discussed and planners are expected to be aware of these principles before they start their plans. Blind application of library technology is considered the main reason €or the failure of library education programs in some Muslim World countries. A balance of application, in accordance with the four principles, is recommended.

I. The Muslim World

What is meant by the phrase “the Muslim world” is those countries which have a high percentage of Muslims compared to non-Muslims. The Muslim World is a part of what is called “less developed countries,” “developing countries,” the “Third World,” or the “South.” The phrases are used to refer to those countries-including the Muslim world-which are less advanced in technologies due to the existence of many factors, some of which are:

A. The lack of human resources.
B. The lack of natural resources.
C. The lack of political stability.
D. The resistance to imported ideas.
E. The fear of cultural interference.
F. The lack of awareness of technology, as well as those factors involving the locality that cannot be generalized.

A portion of these countries has been able to overcome many of the above factors and has begun rapidly developing at an astonishing rate of progress. This rapid change has its effect on education in general and the library education as a distinguished field of knowledge.

II. Nature of the Study

Four principles are to be considered when planning for library education programs in Muslim countries. Generalizations of the application of these principles are determined and the discussion is meant to cover all Muslim countries. The four principles considered in this discussion are:

A. What the environmental needs are.
B. What could be applicable to this particular environment.
C. How conducive is the planned program to the traditions and culture of the particular environment, and
D. What the possible future trends are.

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