Does Africa’s LIS Education Address New Forms of Digital Content and Related Right?

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As the case is elsewhere in the world, Library and Information Science (LIS) education in Africa is largely lagging behind industry developments with reference to the legal and policy framework regulating digital content and technology. Notwithstanding the importance of information ethics, LIS programmes in Africa tend to predominantly focus on ethical issues at the expense of legal issues. For most LIS programmes, the national legal and policy infrastructure regulating digital technology and content is simply missing in the curriculum. Others only have sprinklings of legal knowledge in the curriculum. Digital technology and content is fundamentally changing the way people in Africa access and consume information. The fundamental question is how prepared are librarians for the ever-changing digital rights associated with digital technology and content? In this paper digital rights refer to the application of traditional human rights to digital technology or digital environments. Second, are LIS programmes in Africa preparing professionals that are capable of navigating the difficult terrain of digital rights as well as engaging in legal and policy discourse on digital rights that affect LIS institutions? The paper is the first step in understanding what is taught by LIS programmes in Africa based on the analysis of course titles and descriptions from 11 programmes. Courses reviewed generally touched on some of the legal and technological issues associated with digital content. However, several of the contemporary issues associated with digital content and rights are missing from the courses and curriculum.

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APA Citation

Kawooya, D. (2016). Does Africa’s LIS Education address new forms of Digital Content and Related Right? Libri, 66(2), 137–150.