Library and Information Science (LIS) is a discipline that aims at training information professionals to serve different stakeholders for development. LIS is considered as a cross cutting discipline in humanities, sciences and technology. In Uganda, training in LIS started in 1963 when the East African School of Librarianship (EASL) now East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS) was established at Makerere University in 1963 and is one of the academic units equivalent of a faculty. EASLIS mission is “to offer education, promote research and innovation, and outreach in LIS to respond to the present and future information needs of society”. The 2008/09 – 2018/19 EASLIS Strategic Plan addresses the following goals:
- To provide a teaching and learning environment in LIS that ensures quality of staff and students that are competitive in the changing information management environment;
- To promote staff and students research and technology innovations in library and information management;
- To mentor staff and students in LIS with a purpose of preparing them for employment in the ever changing public and private sector information environment.
- To promote transfer of library and information management best practices to private and public sector;
- To facilitate LIS academic work in the real life information management sector
- To facilitate networking between the international, regional, private, public sector and EASLIS stakeholders.
EASLIS has three departments that were established in 2001. The departments are: Information Science, Library Science, and Records and Archives Management. Each department is engaged in teaching, supervising field attachment; conducting research, consultancy and outreach programmes in the respective sub-disciplines.
Currently, the following programmes are offered at EASLIS:
- Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science (PhD), 3 years
- Master of Science in Information Science (M.Sc Inf. Sc.), 2 years
- Post Graduate Diploma in Librarianship (PGDL), 1 year
- Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) 3 years
- Bachelor of Records and Archives Management (BRAM) 3 years
- Diploma in Library and Information Studies (DLIS), 2 years
- Diploma in Records and Archives Management (DRAM), 2 years
The Bachelor of Library and Information Science was introduced in 1989 under the term system. It was restructured for the semester system in 1997 and later revised in 2003, where practicum and options were introduced. Since 2003, four cohorts have gone through the programme.
For the BLIS programme, all the courses from year 1 to 3 are core. However, students will be required to take two academic courses outside EASLIS during the first two years of study. These will be chosen from among the courses offered in the faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Science and Fine Art.
Programme goal and objectives
Programme goal: Developing human capacity to manage information for organizational, national and international development.
The programme objectives to
- Equip learners with the theory, concepts and philosophy of library and information science
- Expose learners to practical training for enabling them acquire competencies and skills required in the LIS profession
- Equip learners with knowledge and skills in the management of LIS institutions in a changing society
- Expose learners to the research process to examine LIS issues and identify solutions
- Enable learners appreciate and adopt ICT in the management of library and information services.
- Develop learners’ professional attitudes in information work