La formazione e il reclutamento del bibliotecario in Spagna

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Silvia Cretarola


Training of librarians is one of the most widely discussed subjects in Spain in recent years. This is yet another country that is experiencing great changes in the way of carrying out this professional activity: the increase in society's request for information, the recourse to new technologies, the transfer of attention from the book to the user have changed the work of the librarian and made a redefinition increasingly urgent starting from his/her professional training. Spain, which emerges from a long period of dictatorship at the beginning of the 1970s and which, with respect to other European countries, shows a manifest delay in the creation of a library system at national level, is today making great strides forward: in spite of the many problems that continue to afflict the libraries, the will to make up for lost time is very clear in this as in other sectors of culture. We wish therefore here to provide an overview of the situation with regard to the training of the Spanish library personnel, both with respect to the initial preparation (university and non-university) and to that which regards so-called on-going training or professional updating. Greater space has been reserved for university training: courses in librarianship and documentation, which were once the prerogative of the various schools of librarianship or the library associations, are being taught in the Spanish universities for some years now. These courses, the study plans of which have been examined, make it possible to obtain respectively the qualification of a diploma in librarianship and documentation and the qualification of a degree in sciences of documentation that are officially recognized throughout the national territory. Particular attention has been reserved for the experiences of professional apprenticeship obligatory for the students in their final year of the course. In order to have a general view of the teaching programmes that are included in the study plans, it was decided to examine the case of the School for librarians and documentalists of the Complutense University of Madrid – one of the main Spanish universities – with reference to the theoretical lessons, the practical exercises and the actual examinations. Finally the subject of entrance to the world of work and the work opportunities that this profession can offer was considered. This was carried out with due regard for the fact that in Spain, as in other countries, there is an increase in the request for information in society with a consequent extension of the work market for librarians.

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