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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS064109)

Credentials Program for Special Library Staff
No.64, p.109-133
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to clarify prerequisites for establishing the credentials programs by private organizations in library and related fields. Based on the results, we considered why the Japan Special Libraries Association (JSLA) failed in their attempt to introduce the credentials program by certification exam. Methods: Three methods were used. First, based on a literature research, we clarified the prerequisites for establishing credentials programs. Second, we performed a literature research of two credentials programs established in the past, and investigated whether the prerequisites for establishment had been fulfilled. Third, in regard to the JSLA-conceived credentials program, we performed a literature research and interviews, and investigated whether the prerequisites for establishment had been fulfilled.

Results: The following three points have been clarified. 1)The following nine points based on four observations are considered to be prerequisites for establishing credentials programs: a)Vocational skill, b)Market, c)Certifying organization (financial capability, legal entity, framework for cooperation with university faculty, secretarial system)d)Specialized educational system seminars, setting study parameters and accumulating knowledge, offering opportunities for study activities)2)The two programs previously established basically fulfilled the prerequisites. 3) he credentials program envisioned by the JSLA did not meet all the prerequisites. Accordingly, the JSLA should take the following strategies to establish the program: building foundations for the credentials program, and gradual preparing of the program.

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