A study of divergence : libraries and society in Brazil within an educational perspective
Since the lack of connection between library education and society was identified as the major problem of library education in Brazil, emphasis was placed on some social variables which bear upon librarianship education and practice. These social variables were selected on the basis of the communication cycle of recorded information, where the library profession is inserted. A framework for developing educational objectives for library undergraduate education in Brazil was attempted by taking into account the three sources from which educational objectives may be derived, viz. the state of society, the needs of the student, and the nature of librarianship qua discipline. Factors contributing to the disconnection between library education and society in Brazil were identified as being the uncritical transplant of foreign library educationat models, as well as the lack of a bridge between the basic cycle in social sciences and the professional library cycle. In order to gain a better insight into the problem of library education in Brazil a series of interviews were conducted with a group of Brazilian library educators. The student (background, needs and interests) was examined by considering the findings of general studies on the Brazilian university student as well as a local study (State of Minas Gerais) specifically on the library student. The need was felt to know the students view of the existent relationships between the basic cycle of social sciences and the professional library cycle. A study by means of a questionnaire applied to the students of the Library School of the Federal University of Minas Gerais was undertaken. Librarianship qua discipline was approached under Nitecki's analysis of its nature, subject matter and objective, and compared and contrasted with a recent proposal for a minimum library curriculum, which is being studied by a group of Brazilian library schools. This piece of work, as an exploratory study, presents some general guidelines for the definition of objectives for library education in Brazil, as hypotheses to be tested within the educational process.