Access to knowledge is a fundamental human need. Due to increased information production and the significance of information technologies and services, it has become ever more essential to provide access to organized information.

The information and knowledge organization field is strongly influenced and affected by changes in the information environment and associated technologies. More specialized expertise in knowledge organization is essential. Subject representation systems, such as vocabularies, classifications, and ontologies, subject analysis and access, and information technologies and services all require high-level professional education and training.

Fewer library positions require the specialized knowledge and skills to understand and create quality knowledge representations, resource descriptions, and adequate access to information. Simultaneously, staffing and funding shortages in the broader information sector have directly impacted the ability to hire information professionals with the necessary specialized knowledge and skills.

Goals of the IFLA SAA Training and Education in Subject Access (TESA) working Group

The IFLA Subject Analysis and Access (SAA) Working Group on Training and Education in Subject Access (TESA) was formed to review and assess the scope and depth of necessary knowledge for quality subject representation, analysis and access,  and how these areas and associated competencies are being accommodated by educational programmes, professional development and training opportunities offered by professional organizations. In doing so, TESA will liaise and collaborate with other professional fora and projects within IFLA and beyond.

The WG’s goals are to create awareness, recommend, promote and inspire training and education in areas relating to knowledge organization systems, subject analysis, and subject access to information.  TESA’s end goal is to contribute to the improvement of knowledge access in libraries and other information institutions.

The TESA WG plan covers broadly the following areas of work:

  • Research SAA education in the areas of knowledge representation and subject access to information
  • Identify competencies & skills
  • Liaison with experts and other fora
  • Gap analysis & recommendations