Library and Bibliographical Education

Library and Bibliographical Education


a system of training librarians and bibliographers with advanced and intermediate qualifications.

The first attempts to organize library and bibliographical education in Russia date from the beginning of the 20th century. A. L. Shaniavskii’s course for training librarians for popular libraries was begun at the Moscow University of A. L. Shaniavskii in 1913 on the initiative of L. B. Khavkina. Optional teaching of book and library sciences was introduced in 1912 at St. Petersburg University and in 1916 at Moscow University (N. M. Lisovskii) and the St. Petersburg Pedagogical Academy (A. M. Belov).

The forms and methods of state training of personnel for Soviet libraries were first defined by N. K. Krupskaia in the article “The Library Seminar” (1918). In 1918 a library seminar was organized on her initiative under the auspices of the People’s Commissariat of Education of the RSFSR. This laid the foundation for the state organization of library and bibliographical education. The Institute of Extracurricular Education, which had a book and library department, was founded in Petrograd in 1918. (Later, such institutes were established in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Kostroma, and other cities.) Library courses were initiated in many cities in the RSFSR. In order to train people to work in scholarly libraries, advanced library courses were organized in 1919 in Petrograd and in 1924 in Moscow. In 1921 a course in library science became a required subject in the departments of social science at the universities. (At Moscow University the course was conducted by Professor B. S. Bodnarskii.) During the 1920’s librarians with advanced education were being trained at more than 20 library divisions at political education and pedagogical institutes, as well as at the Academy of Communist Education.

The state system of advanced library and bibliographical education began to develop in the early 1930’s. In 1930 the first independent institution of advanced library education was founded, the Moscow State Library Institute. The institutions of advanced political education at Kharkov (1934) and Leningrad (1941) were reorganized as library institutes. During the postwar years new institutions of higher learning for the training of specialists with advanced library and bibliographical education were organized at Ulan-Ude (1960), Krasnodar (1963), and Cheliabinsk and Khabarovsk (1968). In 1964 the institutions of advanced library education were renamed institutes of culture. Advanced library and bibliographical education is also provided in the library divisions of certain universities (Tartu, Vilnius, Tallin, Baku, Yerevan, and others) and pedagogical institutes (Minsk, Tbilisi, Alma-Ata, Tashkent, and others). Book scholars and bibliographers are trained by the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. In 1969 there were more than 20 higher educational institutions in the USSR for the training of specialists in library science and bibliography, including ten institutes of culture (with approximately 30,000 students).

The training of librarians and bibliographers with intermediate qualifications began in 1922 at the political education divisions of Soviet Party schools and later at the political education and library divisions of pedagogical technicums. Special library technicums began to be founded in 1929 in Yaroslavl, Leningrad, Samara, and other cities. In 1969 there were 12 library technicums in the USSR, as well as more than 100 cultural education schools and other secondary specialized educational institutions with library divisions (with approximately 30,000 students).

Library and bibliographical education provides for broad general academic, philological, pedagogical, and special (theoretical and practical) training of future specialists. The curriculum of library departments (divisions) of institutes of culture, universities, and pedagogical institutes includes the history of the CPSU, Marxist-Leninist philosophy, political economy, principles of scientific communism, principles of Marxist-Leninist ethics and aesthetics, principles of scientific atheism, principles of the Marxist-Leninist theory of culture, pedagogy, psychology, the history of the USSR and foreign countries, literature (Russian literature as well as that of the peoples of the USSR and foreign countries), general library science, the history of library work, library collections and catalogs, work with readers, the organization of a Soviet library, the history of books, general bibliography, bibliography of separate fields of knowledge, and general foreign bibliography. In the division of technical libraries additional study is required in the history of the national economy, history of technology, basic problems of modern natural science, principles of modern industrial production, and technical propaganda and information.

Scholarly personnel in the field of library science and bibliography do postgraduate work at the Moscow and Leningrad institutes of culture. During the academic year 1968–69 about 15,000 students received advanced and secondary library and bibliographical education in the USSR. (Of these, about 4,000 were in higher educational institutions.) In 1969 the popular libraries alone employed 65,400 librarians with advanced and secondary library and bibliographical education.

The system of training library personnel in other socialist countries is also directed by the state. Specialists for scholarly libraries are trained in the library divisions of the universities of Sofia, Budapest, Berlin, Warsaw and Wroclaw, and Prague and Bratislava. Personnel with intermediate qualifications for popular libraries are trained at the two-year library institute in Sofia, library divisions of pedagogical schools in the cities of Széged and Szombathely, and library schools in Berlin, Leipzig, Lódź, Wroclaw, Prague, Brno, Bratislava, and other cities, as well as in various courses.

As a rule, in capitalist countries there is no state system of library and bibliographical education. Library training is provided most frequently on the graduate level (for scholarly libraries) and secondary level (for public libraries). For example, in Great Britain library training is given at a one-year school of library and archival work affiliated with the University of London, as well as in nine library schools; in Denmark, at a library school in Copenhagen; and in France, at a one-year library school and at the School of Paleography and Librarianship in Paris. In the USA personnel with advanced qualifications are given a graduate education at approximately 40 library schools affiliated with universities.


Krupskaia, N. K. ‘‘Bibliotechnaia seminariia. Pedagogicheskie sochineniia, vol. 8. Moscow, 1960.
Oleneva, Z. P. “Stanovlenie i razvitie vysshego bibliotechnogo obrazovaniia v SSSR.” Tr. Leningradskogo bibliotechnogo instituta imeni N. K. Krupskoi, 1961, vol. 8.
Kazantseva, L. V. “Razvitie bibliotechnogo obrazovaniia v SSSR.” In the collection 40 let bibliotechnogo stroitevstva v SSSR. Moscow, 1958.


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