28 Aug 2017

Librarianship in Spain

This is my first post on Libfocus as a member and I am showing you on which librarianship learning at Spanish universities focus. The points I am explaining are a brief history of the field; the official bachelor's degree of librarianship, its competences and where is possible to study it; and some examples of further learning that consist of some masters regarding information and knowledge management, digital libraries, preservation, archives, etc.

Brief history of the field

In Spain, the first schools of Librarianship and Documentation emerged in the nineteenth century to train the archivists and librarians in charge of either governmental archives and public libraries. Later, in 1978, the field was officially established at universities as what we, the Spanish, call Diplomatura and Licenciatura in Biblioteconomía. The former's curricula lasted three years. The latter's curricula lasted two years more (so five in all) and it was required for students to have achieved the Diplomatura previously. With it, the Bologna reforms established in spanish universities, Diplomatura and Licenciatura have been turning into bachelor's degrees and masters. As for Librarianship, the official bachelor's degree was called Grado en Información y Documentación in 2004.

If you are curious and you would like to know more, you should look over this post: Mapa de los estudios de Información y Documentación en España (Carmen Morales, 2016).

Bachelor's degree in Information and Documentation

Core Competencies

Despite the fact that each university have designed their own curricula, they must get learners skilled in a series of competences. These competences are pointed out in Libro Blanco del Título de Grado en Información y Documentación (ANECA, 2004). Two types of competences are taken into account: specialised and generic ones.

The specialised competences are (pp. 60-62):
  1. Interaction with producers, users and clients of information.
  2. Knowledge of professional documentation environment.
  3. Knowledge of both national and international legal framework regarding information management.
  4. Identification, authentication and evaluation of sources of information.
  5. Management of collections and funds.
  6. Preservation, conservation, and physical use of records.
  7. Analysis and representation of information.
  8. Organization and storage of information.
  9. Search and retrieval of information.
  10. Creation and dissemination of information.
  11. Information technology (IT).
  12. Telecommunications.
  13. Production and edition techniques.
  14. Techniques of administrative management.
  15. Marketing techniques.
  16. Commercial techniques.
  17. Acquisition techniques.
  18. Micro economic management techniques.
  19. Techniques of installation, conditioning and equipment.
  20. Planning techniques and project management.
  21. Techniques of diagnosing and evaluation.
  22. Techniques of human resources management.
  23. Training techniques.
As for generic ones, the cited report (p. 56) established three categories to clasify them:
  • Instrumental abilities: to analyze and synthesize, to organize and plan, oral and written communication in the native language, knowledge of a foreign language, computer skills related to the field of study, information management, problem solving, and decision-making.
  • Personal skills: teamwork on interdisciplinary teams, working on international contexts, interpersonal skills, awareness of diversity and multiculturalism, critical reasoning, and ethical commitment.
  • Systemic competencies: autonomous learning, adaptation, creativity, leadership, knowledge of different cultures and their customs, entrepreneurship, quality-oriented motivation, and environmental awareness.

Where is it possible to study it?

Nowadays, Spain has 82 universities and as far as I know people can be enrolled in the Grado en Información y Documentación at 14 of them, which means that this degree is available in the 17% of the Spanish universities. They are:
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • Universitat de Barcelona.
  • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
  • Universidad de Granada.
  • Universidad de la Coruña.
  • Universidad de Salamanca.
  • Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.
  • Universitat de Vic.
  • Universidad de Extremadura.
  • Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.
  • Universidad de Murcia.
  • Universidad de León.
  • Universidad de Valencia.
  • Universidad de Zaragoza.

A new design: Bachelor's Degree in Management of Information and Digital Contents 

Some universities have begun to redesign this degree. Indeed, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has changed it recently. Its new name is Management of Information and Digital Contents and is going to be inaugurated next course. To my mind, it is worth taking a look.

The newly compulsory subjects that have been included are: information architecture, multimedia content, statistical data analysis, digital marketing, social networks and virtual communities, transparency and electronic government, advanced professional skills, metric studies of information, electronic records management, digital preservation, analitics and web positioning, data visualization, and competitive intelligence.

As for elective subjects, they are: digital publishing (seminar), digital paleography, digital information literacy, semantic web, data science, creativity and design, brand and online reputation management, digital entrepreneurship, advanced metadata, open science (seminar), open data, big data, and industry 4.0: direction and management.

Further, deeper learning: masters

Once students and professionals have obtained the bachelor's degree in information and documentation, there are several masters related with the librarianship universe.

Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports published a service within its official website to allow people to know in which universities they can study what they want. This service is called Qué estudiar y dónde en la universidad (QEDU) and is available on:

Thanks to this search engine, we can find the masters I have referred to. You had better search by using some of the following words: información, archivos, archivística, documentos, bibliotecas, or museos.

I have searched for some masters, whose names I have translated here, in order to let you know them:


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