Department of Information Science

 
  1. Background

HU has three basic missions: training, research and extension (outreach services). The university’s academic activities/programs are conducted in various programs which strive to serve the needs of the country in general and those of the surrounding communities in particular.

HU developed a baccalaureate degree curriculum program entitled Information Science in 2007. The Department of Information Science started in 2007 with a nomenclature of Department of Information Studies but now, after reviewed at a national level, it is changed to Department of Information Science. The Department falls under the Faculty of Computing and Informatics.

Department of Information Science’s first task is to create and facilitate the curricula for the degree programs, building on the models available in other Universities in the world with the like-named degrees, and holding on to the goals set by curriculum review initiative in Ethiopia.

 

2.   Objectives of the Curriculum

The objectives of Department of Information Science’ are to:

  • Provide qualified, skilled and competent professionals that would address the qualified human resource needs of the country’s education policy and fulfill the scarce personnel market in the profile;
  • Boost professionals learning, teaching, research and services in the area;
  • Prepare information professionals to have a client-centered perspective to be able to design or adapt information products and services that are responsive to user needs, rather than trying to adapt users to the services;
  • Provide professional education for a wide variety of service and management careers in libraries, information agencies, the information industry, and in business, industry, government, research, and similar environments where information is a vital resource. Providing a curriculum that is based on present and probable future characteristics of information professions, emphasizing the essential knowledge, skill, and professional attitude needed by beginning professionals in these fields;
  • Produce qualified information specialists or librarians with adequate theoretical knowledge and practical skills in applications of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
  • Create the curricula that will provide the profession of Information   Science with graduates clustering as librarians, systems/business analysts, database administrators, computer support specialists, network specialists, telecommunications analysts, and Internet and web specialists.

3.   Objectives of Information Science Discipline

Information is the heart for any development (national, regional, state or individual), an important and powerful commodity in any human community. It is also the basis for innovations and the resources for an informed citizenry. Nations will flourish or fail depending on the availability of leaders, professionals and citizens who have been educated to understand the power of information and have access to it for decision making and solving the problems of their society.

 

Hence, the role of libraries and information centers are to ensure the availability and accessibility of information resources. This is possible only with qualified professional personnel, with a client-centered perspective, with ability to design and adapt information products and services that are responsive to user needs, rather than trying to adapt users to the services.

The Information Science program provides professional education in librarianship for a wide variety of service and management careers in libraries, information agencies, the information industry, and in business, industry, government, research, and similar environments where information is a vital resource. The curriculum is based on present and probable future characteristics of information professions, emphasizing the essential knowledge, skill, and professional attitude needed by beginning professionals in these fields.

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Science is aimed at producing new graduates to satisfy the scarce skilled human power of the country and pay a concern to insufficient emphasis on information resource centers, services and its sciences, which would have played a great role in the country’s academic revolution. The challenge also, is to both broaden horizons and to sharpen skills that will be important as the student matures as a professional and alleviate the country’s skilled human resource in the sector.

The objectives of the Information Science program are to produce skilled professional librarians and information scientist:

 

  • That can plan, design, develop, organize, and manage modern and traditional information resource centers/libraries/agencies in the country;
  • Understand the relationship among society, people, organizations, and technology and identify the implications for managing and using information technology in the information resource centers and information agencies through management skills, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and appropriate for the workplace;
  • Assume a leadership role in traditional and interdisciplinary research and scholarship that address information issues;
  • Educate within and for a rapidly changing technological world and understand how technology is reshaping and affecting information resource centers/agencies and the profession;
  • Prepare students to understand the interactions between social factors and information environments;
  • Create understanding of the historical, social, cultural, educational, political, and economic dimensions of information on information resource centers and agencies;
  • Create understanding of the role of information technologies, services and organizations in globalization;
  • Teach and foster professional attitudes and information service philosophy;
  • Involve in the development activities of the community and community organizations.

4.    Graduate Profile

Libraries or information centers are essential organs for education, information, enlightenment, recreation, research and integral part of Government organizations, Non-Governmental organizations, Government agencies, Institutions of learning (i.e. Universities, Colleges, School libraries etc.). They are known for generating, collecting, organizing, storage and disseminating of up-to-date, accurate, unbiased and relevant information in print or non-print formats in order to motivate and satisfy the needs of their users.

 

The graduates have the knowledge and understanding:

  • In terms of general and specific subjects that can serve as the foundation for Information Science;
  • Be equipped and qualified with the knowledge of various types of information resources, systems and services;
  • Be equipped and qualified with the knowledge of theories, principles, processes and techniques of organization, storage, retrieval, dissemination and utilization of all forms of information;
  • Be equipped and qualified with the knowledge of theories, practices and principles of information systems analysis, design, development and management;
  • Be equipped and qualified with the knowledge of designing, programming, implementing and evaluation of various information systems and multimedia resources including the Internet;
  • Be equipped and qualified with the knowledge of computers and communication systems, including, network design, development, implementation and management;
  • Be equipped and qualified with the basic principles of ICT in information processing techniques.

The major skills and competencies of the graduate include:

·         To analyze, design, develop, implement and manage ICT based information systems, services and solutions (organization and retrieval of information resources);

·         To generate and produce tangible and usable information services and products;

·         To manage information resource centers and agencies system development projects;

·         To provide information system/technology consultancy services;

·         To create and develop practical projects related to information resources and services;

 5.    Program Profile

The curriculum of Information Science program is organized in the context of library and information science; human-interaction; information generation, information organization, information access and information dissemination. The program offers basic general knowledge of the field of Information Science with opportunities to specialize in particular areas of the field in preparation for a variety of career opportunities/outcomes. The following are some examples of career for the Graduates:

 

  1. Chief Information Officer
  2. Information Expert
  3. Information Broker
  4. Information Retrieval Specialist
  5. Information Subject Specialist
  6. Archivist
  7. Knowledge Manager/Organizer
  8. Professional Librarian (Virtual Librarian or Web Librarian or Traditional Librarian)
  9. Information Resource Centers/Organizations manager
  10. Record Manager
  11. Information System Manager
  12. Data Miner
  13. Database Designer
  14. Web designer
  15. Indexer
  16. Intellectual Property Adviser/Lawyer
  17. School Resource Media Specialist
  18. Competitive Intelligence Professional
  19. Teacher
  20. Researcher
  21. Information Scientist

The curriculum provides not only a list of courses or modules offered in a program, but it also gives information on content, purpose, method, time/duration, trainers and location or situation of a program or course – all of which are essential in a successful dispensation of manpower training and education.

From Academic year 2012/2013, Information Science has also started MSc Program for both regular and summer students.