The Department of Information Studies, University of Natal : its role in education for librarianship in South Africa, 1973-1994.
This thesis investigates the development of the Department of Information Studies, with the aim of assessing the role it has played in education for librarianship in South Africa from 1973 to 1994, a period of change and transformation in the country. Historical sources, both written and oral, have been traced, analysed, and where possible, verified against other sources, thus using historical method. The study, the first in-depth research into a library and information studies department in a South African university, was seen as necessary in order that the future development of the Department in question be placed upon as sound a socio-historical basis as possible. A literature review provides the context for the study and the thesis contextualizes education for librarianship within national and international library and information services (LIS) and again within the broader context of the South African socio-political and economic situation of this period. The Department's contribution within the University context is also assessed. The findings indicate that, in spite of its uneven development during the 1970s and 1980s, the Department has played an important role in LIS in KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa and, to some extent, in the southern African region as a whole. This role revolves around training LIS practitioners from school library diploma to doctoral levels; producing and publishing research; participating in wider LIS initiatives and contributing nationally to leading education for librarianship.