Libraries and information services are essential for culture, arts, science, education, and other sectors, contributing to the sustainable development of individuals, organisations, communities and nations. Thus, libraries and cultural heritage institutions play a vital role in promoting and co-creating culture and arts education, supporting lifelong and life-wide learning, and providing spaces for intercultural dialogue. They are acknowledged in the draft UNESCO Framework for Culture and Arts Education for contributing to the Strategic Goal of “a. Access, inclusion, and equity in and through culture and arts education”, and to its Implementation Modality as “b. Learning environments”.

The critical services to support culture and arts education are provided by appropriately educated and trained library and information science (LIS) professionals, who study in LIS programmes that teach excellence in professional practice. LIS education programmes are supported by IFLA’s Section on Education and Training (SET) and the recently updated IFLA Guidelines for Professional Library and Information Science (LIS) Education Programmes, authored by members of the Building Strong Library and Information Science Education (, a joint IFLA Professional Unit working group.

An international framework for developing LIS education programmes, the Guidelines can be applied in planning, developing, and assessing the quality of LIS education. They are grounded in and promote the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) in programme development, inclusive of decolonisation and indigenisation, and are informed by eight Foundational Knowledge Areas (FKAs). Five of the 8 FKAs focus on the foundational knowledge to prepare librarians to promote culture and arts education: Information in Society; Information and Communication Technologies; Research and Innovation; Information Needs and User Services; Literacies and Learning. The Guidelines promote quality in LIS education globally to enable, inter alia, the right to participate in cultural life in a diversity of local contexts.

Clara M. Chu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States) and Jaya Raju, University of Cape Town (South Africa)


Chu, C. M., Raju, J., Cunningham, C., Ji, J., Ortíz-Repiso Jiménez, V., Slavic, A., Talavera-Ibarra, A. M., & Zakaria, S. (2022). IFLA Guidelines for Professional Library and Information Science (LIS) Education Programmes. IFLA.