A careful blend of general and vocational education: is this still necessary in the education and training of the modern LIS professional?
In the context of a rapidly evolving discipline almost completely dominated by digital technology, this paper revisits the long-standing debate on the value of general education in higher education in which professional information and library science (ILS) education and training is located. In doing so it reviews the literature to draw out the dominant discourses on general education as well as refers to findings on the subject in a recent study of library and information services (LIS) employers, employees and ILS educators in South Africa. The purpose of the paper is to examine whether general education is still necessary for the modern information context. The paper concludes that general education is as essential as vocational preparation for the current LIS work environment. It recommends that the modern ILS curriculum must capture a careful blend of general and vocational education.