French library training 'inadequate'

February 14, 1997

France's grande ecole for librarians and information scientists is leaving students inadequately prepared for work in online libraries, according to a report from the country's academic assessment council, The Comite National d'Evaluation highlights differences between the French system and United States and United Kingdom library schools, where developments in multimedia and information technology "often led these courses to move closer to faculties of management, communication and information technology".

In contrast, the Lyons-based Ecole Nationale Superieure des Sciences de l'Information et des Biblioth ques (ENSSIB) has a monopoly training structure for the elite professional corps, distinct from the universities. ENSSIB has some links with university departments but still remains too isolated, according to the assessment. The CNE acknowledges that the standard of the information sciences course is high, but suggests it lacks the broader linkage to management and communications which are needed to put the training into practice.

In his response to the assessment, ecole director Francois Dupuigrenet Desroussilles points out that the school has developed international links, with students on Socrates exchanges and participation in European research programmes, and has far more extensive links with local academic institutions than the report records.

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