Integration of Digital Preservation Knowledge, Skills and Competencies in the Teaching Curricula of Library and Information Studies at the University of Botswana

Keywords: preservation; integration; digital preservation; education, knowledge and skills on digital preservation; teaching curricula

Abstract

In the past few decades, digital technology has found a place in the acquisition, arrangement, description, preservation, and dissemination of information. However, heritage institutions are perturbed by the challenges of digital preservation strategies particularly for education. Despite continuous investment in digital preservation, there are limited skilled professionals to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and competencies required to drive digital preservation in Botswana. Therefore, this paper investigated the knowledge, skills and competencies related to digital preservation in the teaching curricula of the Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS) at the University of Botswana. Data collection was done through intensive structured interviews with specific educators who teach courses on digital preservation in the archives and records management stream. The study revealed that despite the fact that the educators in preservation courses are aware of current trends in digital preservation, most of them have not obtained formal degree certification specific to digital preservation. The findings further revealed that minimal digital preservation competencies are observed in the teaching curricula. A significant number of challenges observed illustrated mainly a lack of resources and limited skills in terms of practical demonstrations by educators. The curricula mostly lacked clarity on long-term and short-term digital preservation. The study recommends that DLIS and other institutions should conduct surveys or curriculum auditing on digital preservation in order to improve the teaching content. A significant number of shortcomings regarding digital preservation that could motivate further studies are also discussed under the conclusion and recommendations section of this study.

Published
2019-10-29