International Association
of School Librarianship

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WINDOW ON THE WORLD (WOW) OF SCHOOL LIBRARIES

School Library Country Profiles


This global project of the International Association of School Librarianship, first completed in 2016 after three years’ work, offers profiles of 230 countries with information of relevance in building a global perspective on school libraries. These profiles are focused around the school library situation in each country, acquired either through contacts with local informed people and/or through research. It is designed as a means of advocacy for school libraries and for IASL, a developing repository for the information IASL gathers about the state of school libraries across the world, a resource for information and connection, a starting point for further research and a framework to centralize this information and make it available.

This project arose from the same source as the PD Library Project, an international Surveymonkey questionnaire conducted in 2011. The IASL Board gave permission in 2013 to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to bring to realization some of the recommendations from this survey coordinated by the IASL VP Advocacy and Promotion. In helping me decide on the fields to include, the advice of Dr Dianne Oberg was very helpful.

Each profile offers:

  • Some statistical data about the country mostly drawn from the CIA World Factbook, relating to population, literacy levels and languages and issues facing the country
  • An overview of the education system, largely summarized from Classbase
  • An overview of the school library situation in the country
  • Links to important associations and contacts, a starting point for further connection
  • Links to literature of the country and the names of some famous authors
  • Links to school library programs and advocacy tools for some
  • Links to news and reports.
  • A link to the information literacy resources related to their country from the UNESCO Overview of information literacy resources, 2nd edn. if available.

More fields could be added at a later date such as historical data, more in-depth information on the training of teacher librarians in each country, links to their school library journals and links to IASL conference papers on school libraries in each country providing a rich historical resource.

While some of the profiles are of better quality and offer more detail than others, it is hoped in time that this will become a substantial, valuable and accurate resource. Consideration has been given to the best format for presenting this information; so many options exist – a wiki, Googledocs, a database. Currently it is organised in PDF documents by country but it is hoped that sponsorship may enable open access and in an alternative form.

There are many people to thank for their efforts in making Window on the World (WOW) come to fruition. People from the following countries have participated directly in creating or critiquing WOW profiles: Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, USA, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

There are others too whose information has been channeled through Regional Directors and further information still expected from a few countries. Your efforts are much appreciated!


In particular, thanks are due to:

The IASL Board for its support under President, Dr Diljit Singh.

REGIONAL DIRECTORS

Dianne Oberg (Canada); Annie Tam (Hong Kong); Madhu Bhargava (India); Hanna George (Indonesia); Luisa Marquardt (Italy); Paulette Stewart (Jamaica); Lourdes David (Philippines); Busi Dlamini (South Africa); Ayse Yuksel-Durukan (Turkey); Nancy Everhart (USA); Jerry Mathema (Zimbabwe)

SCHOOL LIBRARY ACADEMICS & MEMBERS OF SCHOOL LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS:

Karen Bonanno, Elizabeth Greef (Australia); Zakir Hossein (Bangladesh); Bernadete Campello (Brazil); Mihaela Banek Zorica (Croatia); Valérie Glass (France); Karen Ip (Hong Kong); Rachma Wati (Indonesia); Breege O’Brien (Ireland); Raymond Wong (Macau); Shy-Mee Tan (Malaysia); Joseph Boffa (Malta); Albert Boekhorst, Helen Boelens, Joke Boonstra (Netherlands); Fadekemi Oyewusi; Kolawole Akinjide ARAMIDE (Nigeria); Elsa Conde, Jacqueline Duarte, Maria Jose Vitorino (Portugal); Roksanda Ignjatović (Serbia); Tricia Adams (UK); Lesley Farmer (USA); Zakir Hossein (Vietnam)


The IASL Board hopes that this WOW Project will be a useful contribution to the school library community and the field of school librarianship.

Elizabeth Greef
IASL Vice President Advocacy and Promotion
WOW Project Coordinator


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