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Educating the Central Asian Librarian: Considering the International MLIS in Kazakhstan


Why do Central Asian librarians enter the profession, and how do they decide which educational strategies to pursue in developing their careers? Using 13 conversations and 10 qualitative interviews with Kazakh and Kyrgyz librarians, this chapter finds that librarians enter the profession due to personal interest, by happenstance, or for university funding and continue when they perceive an opportunity for career growth as well as salary mobility. Central Asian librarians evaluate their educational options, including local bachelor's degrees; distance education from Russia; MLIS programs in Asia, Europe, or America; and short-term online training, while balancing family responsibilities and career prospects in and outside of librarianship. Prospects for creating a local MLIS or other improved professional training programs are discussed.

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