African librarians need to embrace enormous changes in technology
and in social and economic circumstances during the course of their
careers, but the methods that the profession should use to renew
itself are not clear. At present the emphasis is on the possession of
diplomas and degrees, but there is no special reason to believe that
adding a second (master’s) degree to a bachelor’s in LIS appreciably
increases the professional expertise of an individual library worker.
Furthermore, the PhD (now increasingly sought) is a research degree
and of debatable relevance for most kinds of higher library posts.
It is argued in this paper that continuing professional development
(CPD) is more capable of delivering the necessary new skills and
professional orientation. The profession, through its library associations,
needs to discuss the problems of career development with
policymakers; persuade employers to modify their qualification-based
appointment and promotion requirements; and encourage and support
professional associations in providing more CPD opportunities.