The preparedness of technikon-trained library and information science diplomates for the work situation : an evaluative study.
Mhlongo, Maned Annie.
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This study investigated the preparedness of technikon trained library science diplomates for the work situation. The views of both diplomates and their employers were sought in order to determine the preparedness of the former for the work situation. Both the diplomates and employers were requested to rate the various tasks for which diplomates were trained according to the degree of preparedness of diplomates. Respondents were also asked to identify weaknesses and strengths ofthe diploma. Results indicated that generally diplomates were employed as library assistants and were therefore not performing tasks for which they were trained. However, those diplomates who were performing tasks for which they were trained , were prepared in terms of their skills although certain problem areas were identified. There was no consensus on what could be identified as weaknesses ofthe diploma. Areas that should have been developed according to diplomates included communication skills, computer literacy and practical work. Employers identified areas that were peculiar to their kinds of libraries as areas that should have been developed but were not, for example, story telling, community information services, on-line searching, and others. Cooperative training, exposure to technology and the practical nature of the programme were identified as strengths of the diploma. What also emerged was that diplomates were underutilised as half of those who responded were performing at library assistant level in their work places. This indicated the reluctance of employers to afford diplomates the opportunity of undertaking para-professional tasks. Recommendations were made to conduct a survey of all employers in order to establish which employers have positions for para-professionals. This would indicate what job opportunities exist for diplomates. Another recommendation was that this study needs to be duplicated by other technikons in order to establish the preparedness of diplomates.