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Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan


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The changing environment of academic libraries in Pakistan demands new competencies for future academic librarians. This study defines and validates competencies for entry-level professionals keeping in view the needs of the next five years. Top-level library managers of selected universities and post-graduate level colleges participated in the study. A scale of perceived importance of each competency was used for validation of competencies organized in six categories: management, resource development, technical service, reference & information services, information technology and general. A distinct preference is noted for information technology competencies. A significant overlap between the opinion of public and private sector librarians is also observed. The validated competencies can be used for the evaluation and revision of the curricula of formal education programs.
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Education for Information 20 (2002) 27–43 27
IOS Press
Competencies needed for future academic librarians in
Khalid Mahmood
Department of Library & Information Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Received 11 June 2001
Revised 3 August 2001
The changing environment of academic libraries in Pakistan demands new competencies for future
academic librarians. This study defines and validates competencies for entry-level professionals keeping
in view the needs of the next five years. Top-level library managers of selected universities and post-
graduate level colleges participated in the study. A scale of perceived importance of each competency
was used for validation of competencies organized in six categories: management, resource development,
technical service, reference & information services, information technology and general. A distinct
preference is noted for information technology competencies. A significant overlap between the opinion
of public and private sector librarians is also observed. The validated competencies can be used for the
evaluation and revision of the curricula of formal education programs.
1. Introduction
With a growth of 100 to 200 percent during the last 20 years, presently there
are 43 universities and about 1600 general, professional and vocational colleges in
Pakistan [1]. A library with professionally qualified staff is a legal requirement for
establishment as an educational institution. Therefore, each university or college,
both in the public and private sectors, has a library with the necessary facilities
and at least one qualified librarian. Post-graduate (a post-bachelor one or two year
qualification) library and information science education is a pre-requisite for the
position of librarian throughout the country. Academic libraries appear to be the
primary consumer of graduates of library and information science departments in
the seven universities that offer education in the field. These seven universities,
Iqbal Open University has started its MLIS program through distance education
in Spring 2001), and most of them call their first year program a postgraduate
diploma/bachelor’sdegreein library and informationscience. The estimated number
of annual graduates is in the range of 250 to 300.
0167-8329/01/$8.00 2002 – IOS Press. All rights reserved
28 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
2. Changing environment of academic libraries in Pakistan
In the last two decades, academic libraries throughout the world are undergoing
great change. Pakistan is no exception. The most revolutionary change libraries face
is the speedily growing information and communication technology. In a country
with a very low per capita income of $480, which is not even sufficient to survive,
the use of information technology is increasing rapidly. The growth rate in the use
of personal computers is 30 percent per year while the annual growth rate of the use
of the Internet in Pakistan is 60 percent [2]. In Pakistan, the ISPs started to provide
Internet services in 1996. Now there are 122 ISPs in the country. By 2000, there
were 250,000 Internet subscribers in Pakistan [3].
Although, according to a survey, educational and research institutions in Pakistan
ranked last in using computers [4], the government is taking special interest in this
matter. It has started to implement its new IT policy. The major points of this policy,
applicable to academic institutions, include: 1) Provision of free leased line Internet
access to the public-sector universities; 2) establishment of a wide-band Intranet, the
Pakistan Educational Intranet (PEI) consisting of all public and private educational
institutions, for sharing teaching and research resources; 3) establishment of IT
labs at major public and private sector universities, colleges, government training
institutes and schools; and 4) inclusion of a compulsory course on IT in programs in
all subjects [5].
According to a survey, 26% of the university libraries in Pakistan were using
technology in their housekeeping routines [6]. Another survey revealed that half
the university libraries in Pakistan were using the Internet [7]. Although the new
kinds of information technologies such as computer, multimedia and CD-ROM are
bringing unprecedented opportunitiesto Pakistani libraries, these same technologies
are also bringing greater responsibility to current library staff. The automation and
networking of libraries demand a group of librarians with some command of the
software and hardware aspects of information technology.
Economic recession is another problem facedby academic libraries throughoutthe
developing world. The federal and provincial governments are the major fundersof
tertiary education in Pakistan. Academic libraries have never been properly financed.
Lack of staff, lack of updated reading material and lack of other facilities are the
common problems among academic libraries. To gain their share in the parent
institution’s meager budgets, libraries have to compete with other academic units.
With decreasing budgets, accountability is increasing.
Good governance is also a problem for all public sector organizations including
educational ones. Government institutions are victims of corruption, sluggishness,
red tape and nepotism exercised by the bureaucracy [8]. Keeping in view their poor
performance, the government has started to privatize public sector organizations.
The government found decentralization of public institutions another alternative to
achieve good governance [9]. A number of large educational institutions have been
given administrative autonomy. To overcome the problem of poor quality education,
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 29
the recent education policies have recommended private/industrial participation in
the decision-making processes of public sector educational institutions [10].
On the recommendation of the IMF and the World Bank, and to put the country’s
economy back on track, the Pakistan governmenthas started a massive downsizing in
public sector organizations. Starting with financial institutions this policy is rapidly
spreading to all ministries and departments. The government has planned to get rid
of an estimated 200,000 employees [11]. To cope with the financial pressure, the
government compelseducationalinstitutions to becomeself-reliant. The government
has allowed public sector universities to raise their fees at the rate of ten percentevery
year. Moreover, they are allowed to offer ten percent admissions on a self-finance
basis. This is also a step towards privatization of public sector institutions.
The growing education industry in the private sector is another issue librarianship
is facing. In the 1990s, a large number of universities and colleges were opened in
the private sector. The government has planned to shift the public-private ratio of
higher education institutions from 85:15 to 60:40 by 2010 [9]. Moreover, foreign
universities have established their campuses at various big cities in the country. This
growing education industry demands a large LIS work force competent enough to
fulfill the client’s needs in a changing informationenvironment.
3. Competencies for library and information professionals: A literature review
According to Corbin, the definition of competency is controversial. In earlier
times (a decade or so ago), competence was considered in terms of the personal
characteristics one had; competence was judged on the basis of the quality of one’s
character, virtue, innate abilities, and underlying attributes [12]. Today, however,
competence is considered more in terms of skill-oriented behavior and observable
actions measured against quantitative standards; competence is judged on the basis
of whether or not learned mental and physical tasks can be performed. Current
thinking, however, asserts that competencycan be taught and measured. One current
definition is that competency is havingthe capacity, skills, and knowledgeto function
in a particular way; another is that competency is what a person knows; while still
another is that competency is evidence that one can produce desirable outcomes [12].
The Council of Europe defined competency as “the set of knowledge and skills that
enable an employee to orient easily in a working field and to solve problems that are
linked with their professional role” [13]. The literature of library and information
science is full of studies on competencies needed for various types of librarians. A
number of competency lists are available.
The guidelines from the International Federation of LibraryAssociations and Or-
ganizations(IFLA)forprofessionallibrary/informationeducationalprograms recom-
mendedthat thecoreelementsinaLIScurriculumshouldinclude: 1) Theinformation
environment, information policy and ethics, the history of the field; 2) Information
generation, communication and use; 3) Assessing information needs and designing
30 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
responsive services; 4) The information transfer process; 5) Organization, retrieval,
preservation and conservationof information; 6) Research, analysis and interpreta-
tion of information; 7) Applications of information and communication technologies
to library and information products and services; 8) Information resource manage-
ment and knowledge management; 9) Management of information agencies; and
10) Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of outcomes of information and library
use [14].
The American Library Association’s Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Pro-
grams in Library and Information Studies described the curriculumas encompassing
information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, ac-
quisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis,
interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management [15]. In a
congress on professional education, the American Library Association resolved that
the core of librarianship includes: information access skills; the ability to deal with
information technology; communication skills; management skills; and the ability to
deal with change [16].
The Association of College and Research Libraries recommended that library
schools should train graduates in the theory,principles, and history of librarianship;
in-depth knowledge of the higher education environment; preparation for scholarly
work; understanding technologicalissues; conductinginformationliteracy programs;
planning and management; assessing library effectiveness; knowledge of legal and
policy issues; consideration of ethical issues; and understanding and appreciation of
diversity [17]. The Library & Information Technology Association recommended
thatLISgraduatesshouldpossess variousskillsregardingeffectiveuseofinformation
technologies in libraries and communication with users [18].
Some state library associations in North America have developed their own lists
of required competencies. The California Library Association adopted a list of
core competencies for its member librarians including professional competencies
(customer-centered, assessment, organizational skills, knowledge of information
sources, information management, advocacy, collaboration, political awareness, ad-
ethics, vision, communication, and self-motivation) [19]. The New Jersey Library
Association (NJLA) adopted an updated version of competencies designed by the
Canadian Library Association and the Special Libraries Association. Technical
competencies designed by the NJLA include online catalogs; electronic resources
and databases, Internet; instruction; e-mail; applications software; computer trou-
bleshooting/preventive maintenance; and awareness of evolving technology [20].
The New Hampshire Library Association classified its list of core competencies into
philosophies and ethics; personal attributes; administration; collection management;
public services; technical services; and technology [21]. Yale University Library
has set core competencies for future job performanceof its staff, covering five areas:
resources, interpersonal skills, information, systems, and technology [22].
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 31
The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries prepareda list of competen-
cies required for research librarians. The major issues covered are: developing and
managing effective services that meet user needs and support the research library’s
mission; supporting cooperation andcollaborationto enhance service; understanding
the library within the context of higher education and the needs of students, fac-
ulty, and researchers; knowing the structure, organization, creation, management,
dissemination, use, and preservation of information resources, new and existing, in
all formats; and demonstrating commitment to the values and principles of librarian-
ship [23].
The Special Library Association recommended competencies for future special
librarians that are equally useful for academic librarians working in professional
institutions. They include: 1) Professional competencies related to the special li-
brarian’s knowledge in the areas of information resources, information access, tech-
nology, management and research, and the ability to use these areas of knowledge
as a basis for providing library and information services; and 2) Personal competen-
cies representing a set of skills, attitudes and values that enable librarians to work
efficiently; be good communicators; focus on continuing learning throughout their
careers; demonstrate the value-addednature of their contributions;and survivein the
new world of work [24].
Corbin classified competencies required for providing electronic information ser-
vices into personal characteristics, basic skills, general knowledge, and specialized
knowledge [12]. Koenig noted that the information industry was seeking candidates
who not only have the requisite technical and operational skills, but also possess the
language skills, interpersonal and communication skills, and the breadth of back-
ground and knowledge that allow them to operate effectively in the new international
marketplace. Library and information education programs must consciously prepare
themselves to educate students to work in the marketplace [25].
Morgan grouped competencies future academic librarians should possess, in ad-
dition to core library skills, into four areas: credibility with academic staff; teaching
and training; IT-related skills; and management skills [26]. Buttlar and Du Mont
asked 736 alumni of library schools what competencies were most valuable in their
professional lives. The five competencies most highly rated by academic librarians
in the sample were: Knowledge of sources in all formats; Conducting an appropriate
reference interview; Applying critical thinking to library problems; Communicating
effectivelyinwriting;and Utilizing oral presentation skills to make presentations[27].
In a focus group, twenty-five students, LIS faculty, and academic librarians deter-
mined the role of academic librarians as informationprofessionals. They must: 1) Be
good communicators, 2) Use good judgment to determine what kind of information
and how much information each client needs, and 3) Either serve as or construct a
“bridge” linking the information and the user [28]. Woodsworth emphasized that
nowadays every professional must be equipped with Internet skills and evaluation
skills, and be familiar with the basics of computing, networking and information
science concepts. Professionals also need to develop competency for leading change
32 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
within their organizations and to develop a systems approach for reassessment of
their roles and reexamination of their values [29].
According to Griffiths, new information professionals should: guide in the face
of an uncertain future; collaborate; prioritize and maintain agility and flexibility in
the face of changing goals; empower; and understand the core capabilities of one’s
organization, work group and colleagues [30]. Bates listed skills an MLS degree
holder should possess. Her list includes basic librarian skills; proficiency in the
traditional online services; Internet skills; selection and use of information sources;
value-added services; teaching skills; working in teams; marketing library services;
entrepreneurship; leadership skills; change management; and innovation [31]. In an
American Libraries article, Intner provided a list of characteristics of future good
professionals. According to her, a new kind of good professional who will be effec-
tive in the 21st century will be someone who: gets the most patron service for the
library’s buck, meets deadlines, acts objectively, shoulders responsibility, keeps an
open mind, welcomes learning from others, seeks new ideas, reads widely, wants to
experiment, empowers staff, and inspires trust [32]. While discussing the prepara-
tion of information professionals for the next century, Stueart recommended that, in
addition to basic professional skills, such as cataloging, reference and bibliographic
searching, there should be information-related skills. These may include: informa-
tion and referral services; information seeking behavior; information systems; and
standards and standardization [33].
Giesecke and McNeil provided a list of core competencies for university librar-
ians. This includes: analytical skills/problem solving/decision making; commu-
nication skills; creativity/innovation; expertise and technical knowledge; flexibil-
ity/adaptability; interpersonal/group skills; leadership; organizational understanding
and global thinking; ownership/accountability/dependability; planning and organi-
zational skills; resource management; and service attitude/user satisfaction [34].
Bonnice recommended a mandatory internship (practicum) for MLIS students [35].
In a survey of the course contents of 44 MLIS programs accredited by the Amer-
ican Library Association, Beheshti found that the main knowledge and skill-based
competencies taught were: technology management; organization of information;
and research; sociocultural aspects; non-print media; rare materials and conserva-
tion; sources of information; reference materials; archives; children’s literature and
services; and professional issues [36].
In a survey, Thomas determined computer skills required by academic librari-
ans. Searching OPAC and searching Web interface databases were the most highly
demanded skills of entry-level academic librarians [37]. Weir suggested that, in ad-
dition to the traditional library skills, future information professional should posses
the following skills: adaptability; creativity; willingness to take risks; self-starting;
project management; change management; interpersonal and communications skills;
and a sense of humor [38].
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 33
In a recent article, Curran listed tasks librarians and information scientists do.
These include acquisition, classification, organization, storage, retrieval, interpreta-
tion, dissemination and use of information [39]. Park and O’Connor emphasized the
need of research methods as a core competency for LIS programs [40].
In the Asia/Pacific region, we can also find works dealing with needed compe-
tencies. Rehman, Majid and Baker interviewed 60 top and middle level managers
of academic libraries in Malaysia to validate a list of competencies (knowledge and
skills) required of entry level academic librarians. They divided the list into six
operational areas: foundation, cataloguing, circulation, information services, collec-
tion development, and serials [41]. According to Rehman, Baker and Majid, middle
and top managers of the large libraries of Malaysia perceived that inadequacyin IT
skills was the most deficient area in Malaysian librarians [42]. Rehman, Chaudhry
and Karim carried out a survey to see if there were significant differences between
competencies accepted at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Senior library
managers (50 total respondents; 41 working in academic libraries) in the Arabian
Gulf region identified 48 higher level competencies (performance evaluation, policy
development, designing databases, planning for automation) out of a total of 70 –
the remainder not being significantly different for either level, except for ‘acquir-
ing materials’ that was favored at the undergraduatelevel. The competencies were
classified into six functional areas: management; information technology; resource
development; information service; technical service; and general competencies [43].
Keeping in view the needs of the Asia-Pacific region, Moore et al prepared a de-
tailed curriculum for information education. They covered three elements – knowl-
edge, skills and tools – for the creation, collection, communication and consolidation
of information [44]. A recent survey of library graduates in Australia, conducted by
Middleton, identified 189 skills grouped into nine categories: collection building and
management; communication; facilities and equipment; information organization;
information services; information systems; management; marketing; and research.
The findings show that seven of the top ten ranked skills were in the information
service category [45].
In Pakistan, no study has been conducted about the competencies needed of li-
brarians. However, an analysis of recent job advertisements of academic librarians,
particularly in the private sector, shows that competencies mostly needed consisted
of managing automation of libraries, using electronic databases, having knowledge
about library software packages, using the Internet, and having good interpersonal
4. Methodology of the study
Rehman et al. [41] emphasized the need for a study on needed competencies in
these words:
34 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
Competence identification and validation processes provide an objective frame-
work for the design of education and training programmes. They also provide
guidelines for determining appropriate educational and training levels for intake
and graduation. Education and training programmes can be evaluated against
validated sets of competencies. In this context, competencies provide a sound
base for manpower planning in a given field (p. 384).
Naylor mentioned eight advantages of developing and improving core competen-
cies in libraries: better human resource planning; more effective training programs;
a list of critical technological capabilities; an opportunity for a strength-weakness
analysis; help with outsourcing options; guidance for development or change; vision
of the whole organization; and innovation [46]. According to Ceppos, failure to
consider market demand was one of the reasons for libraryschool closures in North
America [47]. In Pakistan, the LIS curriculum has always been criticized as it has
been implemented without any feedback from the library community [48].
The present study was conducted with the following objectives:
1. To prepare a list of competencies needed by entry-level academic librarians.
2. To validate the list of competencies based on the perceptions of top-level
academic library managers in Pakistan.
To achieve the objectives of this study, it was decided to conduct a postal survey of
senioracademiclibrarians. Forthispurposealistof 150universitiesandpostgraduate
level colleges/institutes was prepared using the latest available directories [49–51].
A list of 75 competencies was prepared based on an extensiveliterature review. Spe-
cial attention was given to those competencies that were already validated in Asian
countries (i.e., Malaysia and the Arabian Gulf region). This list was divided into six
categories: 1) Management Competencies; 2)ResourceDevelopment Competencies;
3) Technical Service Competencies; 4) Reference and Information Services Com-
petencies; 5) Information Technology Competencies; and 6) General Competencies.
Chief librarians of selected institutions were asked to indicate the competencies a
holder of an MLIS degree should possess, keeping in view the needs of academic
libraries in Pakistan during the next five years. Perceptions of the respondents were
identifiedusinga scale of 1–9,where1wasfor“not needed” and 9 for “mostneeded”.
For validation purpose,the scale value 5 was fixed as the cut-off point, meaning that
a competency would be considered ‘needed’ if it received an average score greater
than 5.
5. Findings
For validation, the questionnaire (list of competency statements) was sent to 150
heads of university and postgraduate-level college libraries. In spite of a reminder,
only seventy-twolibrarians (48%) respondedto the survey. Seventy usable responses
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 35
Table 1
Top ten competencies
Rank Category Competency Mean
1 Info Tech Using relevant developments in information technology like
e-mail, Internet, Intranet, multi-media, imaging, interconnec-
tivity, full-text databases, in-house CD-ROM publishing, etc.
2 Info Tech Converting the functionsofcataloging, circulation, acquisition,
serials from manual to an automated mode 8.40
3 Info Tech Planning for library automation: assessing needs, system spec-
ification and procurement of resources, etc. 8.30
4 Info Tech Training staff and users inusing automated systems 8.29
5 Management Leadership skill 8.09
6 Info Tech Comprehending the impact of information technology on
libraries 8.07
7–8 Info Tech Managing automated systems (input, file maintenance, back-
up, security, etc.) 8.06
7–8 General Demonstrating good interpersonal skills and effective verbal
and writing communication skills 8.06
9 Ref & Info Serv Developing a sound knowledge of ready reference sources 8.03
10 Info Tech Designing and developing Web-based materials and documents
for online use 8.00
are analyzed here. Of the respondents, 41 (59%) represented public sector organi-
zations while 29 (41%) were from private sector institutions. The respondents also
well represented all types of general and technical universities/colleges/institutes.
Although, the respondents had differences in their perceptions about each com-
petency statement, they validated all statements given to them, becausethe smallest
mean score a statement obtained was 5.84. The reliability analysis of the list of 75
competency statements showed that it was highly internally consistent (Cronbach’s
Alpha =0.9663).
Ten competenciesgot mean scores of 8 or more (The list is presented in Table 1).
Seven out of the ten most essential competencies validated for academic librarians
belonged to the informationtechnology category. This trend of validation shows that
all managers anticipate the use of information technology in academic libraries in the
near future. With a mean score of 8.53, Using relevant developments in information
technology like e-mail, Internet, Intranet, multimedia, imaging, interconnectivity,
full-text databases, in-house CD-ROM publishing, etc., was rated number one in
the list of 75 competencies. The second most essential competency was Convert-
ing the functions of cataloging, circulation, acquisition, and serials control from
manual to automated mode, with a mean score of 8.40. Three competencies from
other categories in the top ten list were Leadership skill (Management), Demonstrat-
ing good interpersonal skills and effective verbal and writing communicationskills
(General) and Developing a sound knowledge of ready reference sources (Reference
& Information Services) with scores of 8.09, 8.06 and 8.03 respectively.
The validation data of 75 competencies belonging to six categories are presented
in Tables 2 to Table7. As Table 2 shows, the mostimportant competency, from 15 in
the Management category, was Leadership skill. With a mean score of 7.79, Defining
36 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
Table 2
Management competencies
Rank Competency Mean
1 Leadership skill 8.09
2 Defining mission, role and objectives of an academic library 7.79
3 Public relationing to ensure community support (library friends, fund raising, rap-
port development with faculty and administrators) 7.77
4–5 Preparing library budgets and their fiscal management 7.71
4–5 Supervising subordinate staff 7.71
6 Working in teams 7.60
7 Marketing and promotion of library services and products 7.47
8 Collecting library use and performance data, conducting statistical analysis, and
applying it in planning and decision making 7.43
9 Evaluating library performance qualitatively and quantitatively 7.40
10 Managing libraries by developing appropriate organizational structure, communi-
cation patterns, and human resource development 7.34
11 Strategic planning (developing long-range plans and translating them into medium
range and operational plans) 7.24
12 Organizing extension activities for academic community like displays, talks, semi-
nars, etc. 7.20
13 Time management 7.19
14 Comprehending the role of knowledge management inlibraries 7.06
15 Change management by integrating library resources and services with environ-
mental changes 7.00
Table 3
Resource development competencies
Rank Competency Mean
1 Collection development according to academic or research programs of the parent
organization 7.71
2 Using bibliographic systems (OCLC, etc.) and other online tools for acquisition 7.54
3 Developing policies and managing activities for preservation and conservation of
library materials 7.51
4–5 Managing the functions of weeding, storage, and gifts and exchange 7.50
4–5 Acquiring materials (ordering, receiving, claiming, invoice processing, etc.) 7.50
6 Developing policies for collection development 7.43
7 Reviewing documents (information sources) and user requests for selection
decisions 7.13
8 Developing policies for government documents related to collection development,
organization of materials and specialized services 6.81
9 Understanding the processes of printing, publishing and book distribution 5.99
10 Assessing the capabilities of booksellers and distributors 5.90
11 Understanding the international, national and discipline-oriented publishing
industry 5.84
mission, role and objectives of an academiclibrary was the second important skill in
this category. This is closely followed by public relations skill that got a mean score
of 7.77. Library extension activities, time management, knowledge management and
change management were placed at comparatively low ranks.
In the Resource development category, collection development topped the list of
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 37
Table 4
Technical service competencies
Rank Competency Mean
1 Managing serials (acquisition, subscription, union lists, services, preservation, etc.) 7.80
2 Conceptualizing philosophic foundations for retrieval, classification, indexing and
cataloging 7.74
3 Developing mastery over information analysis and cataloging systems, rules, and
tools (codes, schemes, thesauri, etc.) 7.66
4 Cataloging resources available through Internet 7.46
5 Analyzing content of documents to determine class numbers andsubject terms 7.34
6 Original cataloging of materials 7.17
7 Cataloging government documents, organizing collection, and providing services 6.97
8 Cataloging of non-print and specialized materials (like serials, AV,electronic media,
maps, manuscripts, etc.) 6.90
9 Developing authority files for cataloging 6.71
10 Cataloging archives, managing archival collection and providing services 6.44
11 Copy cataloging (by using bibliographic utilities like OCLC, Bibliofile, etc.) 6.36
Table 5
Reference and information services competencies
Rank Competency Mean
1 Developing a sound knowledge of ready reference sources 8.03
2 Developing literature searching systems and services (manual and electronic in
online or CD-ROM media) 7.99
3 Acquiring mastery on computerized searching for conducting search interview,
formulating search strategy, using search tools, conducting and evaluating searches 7.93
4 Assessing information needs and interests of users 7.90
5 Understanding the primary concepts and terminology in the areas of specialization
of a special academic library 7.77
6 Helping users in searching catalog and other bibliographic sources/utilities 7.71
7 Developing policies for reference and information services 7.63
8 Developing specialized information services like SDI, vertical file, content page,
clippings, bulletin boards, referral, etc. 7.56
9 Developing policies for resource sharing and cooperation with other libraries (Using
documents delivery services) 7.44
10 Preparing plans for effective space utilization and furnishing 7.43
11 Developing circulation and collection management policies and managing
operations 7.40
12 Developing user education literature and products (brochures, handbooks, pathfind-
ers, videos, slide-tape show, etc.) 7.30
13 Indexing and abstracting 7.13
14 Designing and conducting user education programs 7.01
15 Managing conducive conditions for in-house use (temperature, lighting, seating,
etc.) 6.86
16 Information manipulation and repackaging 6.77
17 Providing library services to distance learners 5.94
11 competencies, with a mean score of 7.71 (Table 3). The other important validated
skills were using bibliographic systems for acquisition, and policy formulation for
preservation and conservation of library materials. Knowledge about printing, pub-
lishing and book-selling was not givenmuch importance, receiving mean scores even
38 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
Table 6
Information technology competencies
Rank Competency Mean
1 Using relevant developments in information technology like e-mail, Internet, In-
tranet, multi-media, imaging, interconnectivity, full-text databases, in-house CD-
ROM publishing, etc.
2 Converting the functions of cataloging, circulation, acquisition, serials from manual
to an automated mode 8.40
3 Planning for library automation: assessing needs, system specification and procure-
ment of resources, etc. 8.30
4 Training staff and users in using automated systems 8.29
5 Comprehending the impact of information technology on libraries 8.07
6 Managing automated systems (input, file maintenance, back-up, security, etc.) 8.06
7 Designing and developing Web-based materials and documents for online use 8.00
8 Evaluating the performance of the existing automated systems 7.94
9 Designing and participating in larger information systems and networks (LAN and
WAN) 7.77
10 Designing and maintenance of in-house databases 7.73
11 Using word-processing, graphics, spreadsheets and similar software packages for
office management 7.70
12 Utilizing digitization technology to create documents for online use 7.66
Table 7
General competencies
Rank Competency Mean
1 Demonstrating good interpersonal skills and effective verbal and writing communi-
cation skills 8.06
2 Demonstrating a knowledge and commitment to the ethics and values of the
profession 7.73
3 Having practical experience of working in an academic library 7.59
4 Participating in professional activities outside the library 7.53
5 Understanding information theory and dynamics related to information generation,
organization and delivery; structure and formats of information in various types of
materials and media
6 Comprehending library and information legislation (national andinternational) 6.93
7 Editing library publications 6.64
8 Understanding historical background of library and information services in the
world 6.37
9 Developing desk-top publishing capability 6.21
less than six.
Table 4 reveals that serials management topped the list of technical service compe-
tencies. This was closely followed by philosophic foundations for technical services.
Competencies with lower mean score were developing authority files, managing
archives and copy cataloging.
Of 17 competencies belonging to the reference and informationservices category,
Developing a sound knowledge of ready reference sources got a high mean score
of 8.03 (Table 5). Next came Developing literature searching systems and services,
Acquiring mastery on computerized searching, and Assessing information needsand
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 39
Table 8
Top five competencies for public sector (n=41)
Rank Category Competency Mean
1 Info Tech Using relevant developments in information technology like e-mail,
Internet, Intranet, multi-media, imaging, interconnectivity, full-text
databases, in-house CD-ROM publishing, etc.
2 Info Tech Training staff and users in using automated systems 8.32
3 Info Tech Converting thefunctions of cataloging, circulation, acquisition, serials
from manual to an automated mode 8.22
4 Info Tech Planning forlibraryautomation: assessing needs, system specification
and procurement of resources, etc. 8.20
5 Info Tech Comprehending the impact of information technology on libraries 8.05
Table 9
Top five competencies for private sector (n=29)
Rank Category Competency Mean
1 Info Tech Converting the functions of cataloging, circulation, acquisition,
serials from manual to an automated mode 8.66
2 Info Tech Using relevant developments in information technology like e-
mail, Internet, Intranet, multi-media, imaging, interconnectivity,
full-text databases, in-house CD-ROM publishing, etc.
3 Info Tech Planning for library automation: assessing needs, system specifi-
cation and procurement of resources, etc. 8.45
4 General Demonstrating good interpersonal skills and effective verbal and
writing communication skills 8.41
5 Management Leadership skill 8.38
interests of users. Competencies that got a low mean score (below 7) included
Managing conducive conditions for in-house use, Information manipulation and
repackaging, and providinglibrary services to distance learners.
As Table6 shows, all 12 competencies in the Informationtechnology category got
high mean scores (i.e., 7.66 to 8.53). Relevant developments in IT, automation of li-
brary housekeeping routines, planningfor library automation, andtraining for library
automation topped the list. Competencies that were given comparatively less im-
portance were using office management software packages and utilizing digitization
Good interpersonal skills and effective verbal and writing communication skills
were given most importancein General competencies (Table 7). Next came profes-
sional ethics/values, and a practicum in academic libraries. LIS history and desk-top
publishing got minimum attention in this category.
A comparative preference of competencies was analyzed for public and private
sector librarians. The results, presented in Table 8 and Table 9, show that the top five
technology category. On the other hand, for private sector librarians, only three out
of the top five competencies belonged to this category. Two competencies that they
ranked at fourth and fifth positionswere interpersonal/communicationand leadership
40 K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan
Table 10
Significantly different mean scores for public and private sector librarians
Competency Public Private t-Value 2-Tail
mean mean sign.
Working in teams 7.22 8.14 2.181 0.033
Time management 6.83 7.69 2.108 0.039
Change management by integrating library resources and
services with environmental changes 6.68 7.45 2.017 0.048
Developing mastery over information analysis and cata-
loging systems, rules, and tools (codes, schemes, thesauri,
8.02 7.14 2.436 0.018
Designing and conducting user education programs 6.66 7.52 2.146 0.035
In order to identify those competencies that are associated with statistically sig-
nificant differences in their desirability by public and private sector librarians, a
two-tailed t-test was performed. The criterion of 0.05 was used to identify such
statements. The results show that there was a very strong overlap in ratings of com-
petencies by both groups of librarians. The mean scores of 70 out of 75 statements
had no significant difference in them. Only the five competencies that showed a sig-
nificant difference in their means are presentedin Table 10. Working in teams, time
management, change management, and designing and conducting used education
programs were more preferred more by private sector librarians than the other group.
On the other hand, developing mastery over information analysis and cataloging
systems was more preferred by public sector librarians.
6. Conclusion
This study has identified sets of competencies for entry-level professionals of
academic libraries in Pakistan. The results of this study show that a list of needed
countries, is absolutely acceptable for academic librariansin Pakistan. The responses
of this survey aremostly in linewith the previous studies conducted inother countries
(forexample[27,41–43,45]). Thelistoftop-rankedcompetenciesshowsthepreferred
expectationsoftop-levelacademiclibrarymanagersaboutfutureLISgraduates. Most
of the respondents, whethertheyposses these competenciesthemselvesornot, expect
skills like information technology, interpersonal communication andleadershipskills
from future academic librarians. Academic librarians are clear that future library
services will not be possible without the use of technology. Another noteworthy fact
revealed from this study is the agreement among librarians working in public and
private sectors. No significant difference is found in the opinion of the two groups on
70 out of 75 statements. However, good interpersonal/communicationandleadership
skills are slightly more demanded by private sector librarians. On the other hand,
public sector librarians prefer information technology to all other competencies.
K. Mahmood / Competencies needed for future academic librarians in Pakistan 41
The sets of competencies prepared and validated in this study provide the ground-
work for a redefinition of the curricula of LIS education programs. They can also be
objectively applied for the evaluation of current education programs. The future is
uncertain, but subjecting our present curricula and programs to a systematic review
may help us in setting directions for framing the future. Adequate appreciation of
competency data is crucial for the preparation of future information professionals in
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... There were only a few studies that identified general competencies for university librarians. Mahmood (2002) surveyed senior academic librarians to identify and validate the needed competencies required by entry-level academic librarians. Out of ten essential competencies reported, seven competencies belonged to information technologies. ...
... The selection of survey methods was made, as it allowed researchers to collect data from a large and geographically scattered population by systematically choosing a small sample (Dane, 1990;Gay and Airasian, 2003;Powell and Connaway, 2004). In addition, this method was successfully used by several existing studies intended to develop and validated competencies for information professionals (Abu Bakar, 2005;Ameen, 2009;Mahmood, 2002;Rehman, 2000Rehman, , 2008Ullah and Anwar, 2012;Rehman, Al-Ansari and Yousef, 2002). ...
... These statements were internally consistent as the reliability analysis yielded a very high value of Cronbach's Alpha, that is, 0.872 (Table 1). These results were also supported by Ullah and Anwar (2013) and Mahmood (2002) who reported similar competencies related to basic computing as familiarity and skills of emerging information communication technologies were very important librarians for the provision of efficient and effective information resources and services to library users. The study of Shahbazi and Hedayati (2016) also reported the knowledge of basic concepts of computers and operating systems, skills in office automation such as word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software, paint software and publishing software as important for a digital librarian. ...
Purpose: This study aimed to develop and validate a list of core technology competencies for systems librarians in Pakistan. Design/Methodology/Approach: A survey method was used to conduct this investigation. A structured questionnaire, consisting of 52 competency statements categorized into six core technology areas, was developed based on an extensive literature review, experts' scrutiny, and pilot testing. The administration of the survey questionnaire was done through online environments such as related listservs and Facebook pages. The received 62 responses were imported into SPSS and analyzed by computing means, standard deviations, Pearson correlation, and t-test. Findings: The results indicated six core technology areas where competencies of systems librarians needed to be developed, namely, 1) basic computing, 2) programming and web publishing, 3) computer networks, 4) cloud computing, 5) database management systems, and 6) information systems. The respondents validated 50 statements with an average mean score of more than three. Only two statements received mean scores of less than three. The results also indicated higher consistency of these statements as the values of Cronbach’s alpha was .973. Research limitations: This research attempted to identify and validate core technology competencies needed for systems librarians in Pakistan. It neither attempted to determine the weightage each competency should have if it was to be included in the curriculum not it intended to identify a detailed content for each core technology competency. In Pakistan, System librarian develops their knowledge and skills with the specialized computer subject by studying on their own, attending training workshops, and on the job experience. It is, therefore, worth mentioning here that the knowledge of the needed competencies may be limited. Practical Implications: The LIS schools need to consider these competencies in developing and designing information curriculum concerning the management of library systems. This set of competencies help academicians in designing need-based curricula and training programs for existing and prospective system librarians in Pakistan. Originality/Value: This study would be a worthwhile contribution to the literature on competencies of information professionals especially systems librarians as no such study appeared providing pragmatic, evidenced, and field-based insights towards the proposed research area.
... In Pakistan, eleven universities impart LIS education. However, LIS graduates of these universities are deficient in employer-valued skills and thus are incapable to manage entry-level jobs (Mahmood, 2002). According to Ameen (2009), in Pakistan librarians' poor skills has become a critical issue. ...
... One of the reasons may be that employer demands, and graduates' skills are incongruent. According to Mahmood (2002), employability skills of the current graduates are unsatisfactory and not matching with the job demands. This mismatch has adversely affected performance and thus made training mandatory after the selection of LIS graduates. ...
... Their findings revealed employers' dissatisfaction with the current LIS curriculum which is not contemporary and mismatches with the job market demands. Several important concepts such as communication skills (Warraich & Ameen, 2011a), leadership skills (Khan & Begum, 2016), emotion intelligence , optimism and teamworking (Khan & Ullah, 2014), presentation skills, data analysis and practical research activities (Mahmood, 2002) do not exist in the current LIS curriculum. According to Mahmood (2012), in Pakistan graduates trained through the current LIS curriculum are not suitable for an entry-level job. ...
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This study aimed to suggest an employability skills framework based on perceptions of library and information science (LIS) Interns and librarians serving in the university of Peshawar, Pakistan. Adopting a quantitative approach and using the census population, this study was undertaken on librarians and LIS interns in the University of Peshawar, Pakistan. For data collection, self-administered questionnaires were distributed. Using Excel-based Mean Weighted Discrepancy Scores (MWDS), the Borich Need Assessment Model determined skill-discrepancies. Further, Quadrant Analysis Model was used for skills clustering that combined the perceived importance with the competence level of employability skills. This study established communication skills as the most important while time management as the least important constructs for employability and LIS curriculum. Additionally, out of seventeen, twelve skills were revealed mandatory for the employability of prospective LIS graduates and integration in the current curriculum. Further, cognitive abilities and data management skills were rated as low by both LIS graduates and librarians. Finally, an employability skills framework was proposed that clustered all validated skills into four categories namely generic, self-management, functional and auxiliary. This study assumes that skill-acquisition is the shared responsibility of educators, trainers, and graduates. The findings motivate LIS faculty to incorporate the validated skills in their lesson plans and organize training programs to impart such skills. Similarly, findings inform about employer-valued skills essential for entry-level jobs and encourage its acquisition. This study also attempts to align the LIS curriculum with job market demands that possibly diminish skill-mismatches.
... The findings of the study revealed that expert usage of information technology is a trending practice adopted by library professionals to develop personal and professional competencies for the provision of value-added library services [47,48]. Combining libraries with IT to transform library services, use of emerging technologies, blended learning, and the Centre for Instructional Technology have been shown to strengthen librarians' personal development and professional growth [25,48,49]. ...
... Traditional librarianship courses, old curricula, lack of integration of digital library technologies in library and information science curricula, and outdated syllabi being taught in library schools are barriers to the development of modern skills among librarians [14,30,44,47]. ...
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The objectives of the study were to identify the relationship between the personal traits and sustainable competence development of library professionals, explore trending practices for the development of the personal and professional competencies of librarians, and find out the challenges affecting the development of modern skills in librarians. The authors applied the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines as a research methodology. Thirty-five peer-reviewed articles were selected to conduct the systematic literature review. The results revealed that there is a strong positive correlation between personal traits and the professional development of librarians. The trending practices for the development of personal and professional skills included expert use of IT, continuous training sessions, teamwork, usage of social media forums, and a customer-oriented approach. The results also showed that old curricula, leadership problems, economic issues, and lack of personal interest were barriers to the development of modern skills in librarians relating to the implementation of value-added services in the networked world. The study contributes theoretically by adding valuable knowledge to the existing literature. It outlines practical implications to help devise strategies for capacity building among librarians related to the implementation of user-centered services in libraries.
... In view of this, a library with professionally trained librarians is a prerequisite for the accreditation and establishment of tertiary institution in Ghana. Therefore, all tertiary institutions in Ghana; whether in the public or private sector, must have a library with the necessary facilities and at least one qualified professional librarian or information professional [10]. Librarians are increasingly required to possess a variety of skills and competencies that are required to enable them effectively execute their job functions [11]. ...
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This study seeks to examine the perception of academic librarians on the acquisition of ICT skills and customer service competencies in order to meet the diverse and increasingly complex information needs of library users in the digital environment. The study adopts the qualitative approach to research by using content analysis of job advertisements and semi-structured interviews with purposively selected academic librarians. Fifty (50) job advertisements published in newspapers and online portals from 2010-2019 were collected and studied. Ten (10) academic librarians were selected from five (5) academic libraries in Ghana to identify existing skill sets and customer service competencies within academic libraries. The findings of the study showed that ICT skills and competencies are an integral requirement for job placement within academic libraries. However, there is more to be done on the use of ICT skills to deliver excellent customer service online. The findings of the study would be useful for librarians, managers of tertiary institutions and policy makers who seek to address the issue of staff competency, skill sets and training for improved service delivery within academic libraries.
... The literature in LIS in Pakistan focused on professional competencies in general and on the ICT skills in particular for the information professionals. Mahmood (2002Mahmood ( , 2003 termed ICT, leadership, interpersonal communication and reference services as the most desirable competencies for the university librarians. Ansari (2007) studied the emerging role of librarians in digital perspective. ...
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Purpose-The purpose of this paper is twofold: to find out the perception of university librarians about the current and required competencies and to identify the current rank and to point out the benchmark for competencies of library professionals at public universities in Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach-Quantitative research design is used for the conduct of the current study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The Special Libraries Association instrument "Competencies for Information Professionals of the 21st Century" was used to design the questionnaire. A paired sample t-test is used to establish whether there is any noteworthy distinction between the current and required levels of skills. Inferential statistic was also used and independent sample t-test and ANOVA was used to identify the difference in perception on the basis of different demographic variables. Findings-There is a significant gap between the perceptions of university librarians about their present skills and required skills. The present level of skills is lower than the desired level of competence. There is no significant relationship between the length of job (i.e. experience), grade and skills of academic librarians. But in the case of gender, male have a higher score on the current level of competencies while female have a higher score on the required level of skills. Originality/value-The findings of this study are helpful for universities in the recruitment, management and training of their librarians on the basis of required skills. Furthermore, it will be useful for librarians in their career planning and continuing education and library schools to revise their curriculum in accordance with needs.
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This paper attempted to explore the ICT competencies and training needs of public librarians in Kano State, Nigeria and to implication for counselling education programme. To achieve these objectives four objectives were formulated which focused on identification of ICT competencies, ICT training needs, challenges faced by public librarians among others. Descriptive survey research design was adopted in this study. The population of the study consist up of 45 public libraries and 1,672 public librarians, where 20 public libraries and 368 public librarians were sampled, simple random sampling technique was used for selecting public libraries and stratified sampling techniques was employed in the selection of public librarians. A self-designed questionnaire was used in the process of data collection and it was validated by experts from library and information science and counsellors. A reliability of 0.74 coefficient was obtained using test re-test technique. The findings of this study include among others that most of the public librarians lacks skills in knowledge resources particularly internet resources lack skills for creation of ICT awareness among users, lacks ICT skills related to operating systems like windows, UNIX, LINUX, word processing excel, word processing, it was found that challenges faced by public librarians include economic problem lead to inaccessible to subscribe to e-books, e-journal and other e-resources related to ICT facilities, equally the poor funding affect grossly the provision of internet service, epileptic power supply in public libraries, dilapidated infrastructures with resources and building are among the challenges faced by the public librarians. The study recommends among others that there is need to introduce in-house training, refresher courses, seminars, workshop and other services to meet the training to the public librarians; Library boards need to establish counsellors' office who liaise the training of the public librarians at state levels.
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The main objective of this study was to assess the status of ICT competencies of LIS professionals, methods of acquiring ICT skills and suggestions to survive in this digital era. A quantitative method was used and a self-administrated questionnaire distributed among 206 university library professionals working in Punjab through google form, and email. Collected data was analyzed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings reveal that most of the LIS Professionals had advance level competencies in library management systems, simple searching techniques, proficiency in social media and search engine usage. They also possessed moderate skills in basic hardware and software installation, office management, and required computer programming skills, Linux OS and cloud computing. The majority of the university library professionals preferred personal practices, workshops, seminars and conferences for the acquisition of ICT competencies along with the role of LIS Schools. The results of this study will be useful for LIS schools, professional associations and groups for future planning and policy making to inculcate ICT competencies in the LIS professionals in the Punjab, Pakistan.
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The study aimed to assess the self-perceptions of university information professionals regarding the status of their soft skills. The survey method, using a questionnaire as data collection instrument, was employed to achieve the objectives of this study. The population was information professionals working in all the central libraries of the public sector general universities in Pakistan. The findings, based on 372 responses, revealed that information professional perceived themselves 'competent' in overall soft skills. The values of mean score further revealed that they considered themselves 'competent' enough in performance management skills, interpersonal skills, and political/cultural skills, while 'moderately competent' in communication/persuasion skills and self-management skills. The findings established need for training in this regard. To improve various soft skills, Library and Information Management education at Master level should include courses on soft skills. Moreover, training on soft skills is also required for in-service information professionals.
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Purpose Continuous professional development is an essential in-service and on-going learning process that provides an opportunity to young and mid-career professionals to update and align their skills in connection with the contemporary needs of library users. This study aims to identify and synthesize the literature on continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities for Pakistani librarians and information professionals. Design/methodology/approach This study is based on descriptive literature review published by Pakistani researchers with specific reference to Pakistani librarians and information professionals. Findings The findings revealed that albeit many initiatives have been taken by library and information science (LIS) schools and professional associations for developing the capabilities of librarians and information professionals, however, these initiatives remained spasmodic and limited to developing surface-level skills. Some emerging areas need to be addressed including information/digital literacy, research data management, data analysis and visualization and the skills to establish institutional repositories. Research limitations/implications The study was limited to CPD literature contributed by Pakistani researchers and the efforts taken by LIS schools and professional associations. Originality/value There is an immediate need to initiate a cohesive approach involving key stakeholders and to establish a platform purely working for CPD of librarians and information professionals focusing on current and future needs. The finding will be helpful for drawing foundation guidelines by library associations, LIS schools and librarian’s parent’s organizations regarding CPD opportunities.
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Defines and validates competences for entry-level professionals of academic libraries in Malaysia keeping in view the needs of the next five years. Top and middle managers of all the university libraries and two other academic libraries participated in the study. A scale of perceived importance of each competence was used for validation of competences organized in the six areas of foundation, cataloguing, circulation, information services, collection development, and serial control. A distinct emphasis is noted for contextual, managerial, technological and service competences. The validated competences can be used for the evaluation and revision of the curricula of formal education programmes.
Unplanned expansion of library education facilities has affected the quality of library manpower. Various constraints encountered by library schools in their effort to improve the situation are discussed and suggestions are offered. Bright students are not attracted to library schools because of low status according to librarians in the society. Traditional courses dominate the curriculum, with very little emphasis on computer and media courses. The existing faculty lacks competence for the teaching of courses relating to information technology. The teaching methodology is primarily characterized by traditional class-room lecture, supported by practical work. The existing facilities for conducting practicals are not satisfactory with few bibliographical and reference tools available together with a lack of equipment. The most recently published books are seldom available, while there is an absence of periodical literature. Continuing education is confined to the organization of courses in computer applications by the Pakistan Library Association and its branches. The distance education programme needs improvement in order to avoid further criticism. Both M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes are still in their initial phases and are under scrutiny constantly by academics.
A study was conducted to identify sets of competencies which could become the basis for the design of information study programs for the two levels of undergraduate and graduate education. A list of 70 competencies was used to gather responses from the middle and top managers of the Gulf libraries about the manpower needs of the profession in the next five to ten years. The perceptions of the respondents were also collected about different aspects of information studies at the two levels. The results have indicated that the respondents prefer to have the two levels of programs designed differently around specific sets of competencies with an appreciation of the distinct roles the graduates from the two types of programs have to play.
This study ascertains the attitudes of library school alumni regarding the value of including various competencies in an M.L.S. program in order to facilitate curriculum planning. A total of 736 alumni rated a list of fifty-five competencies. Twenty-five percent of alumni had been out of library school less than three years; 60 percent had been out less than ten years. The largest category of respondents is represented by public librarians (39 percent), followed by academic librarians (20 percent), school librarians (19 percent), special librarians (10 percent), and those in nonlibrary settings (12 percent). There was a significant relationship between the type of library course taken during library school and the type of library in which the respondent found employment. Children's and young adult literature was the most popular "type of literature" course taken. The five competencies ranked most frequently as essential include: knowledge of sources, collection management skills, conducting a reference interview, communicating effectively in writing, and the ability to apply critical thinking skills to library problems. Rating of competencies was also analyzed by beginning librarians. Competencies valued also differed as a function of setting. Findings were compared to those of an earlier study conducted by the authors in 1987.
A survey of professional leadership of library and information organizations in Malaysia was conducted to gather their perceptions about the trends in the field during the next 10 years, the extent of preparedness of entry-level professionals and the strategies they proposed for an improvement in education and development programmes. A total of 148 top- and middle-managers from 30 organizations, equally divided among the three strata of academic, public and special libraries, were interviewed for filling in an open-ended questionnaire. A qualitative analysis of the responses revealed that the participants strongly felt that future libraries would be electronically inter-connected, would have a variety of media to access and would undergo organizational changes. They noted major discrepancies in the demands and preparedness of the entry-level professional in the areas of information technology, management capabilities and behavioural dimensions. A number of measures were proposed for improvement in formal education, continuing education activities and the role of the professional association.
The rapid changes in higher education in the UK are prompting library and information professionals to reflect on the nature of the services they provide and on the appropriateness of their skills. Explores the kinds of skills which will be required by academic - and, in particular, subject - librarians in the foreseeable future. Notes that, while technological developments clearly have important implications for libraries, they should not overshadow the more people-oriented skills which are equally essential for organizing and providing effective services. Makes practical suggestions concerning specific groups of skills including improving credibility with academic staff, giving guidance on teaching information skills, focusing on particular IT-related skills and acquiring key management skills such as managing change, finance and strategic awareness. Finally, addresses the responsibilities of the library’s management and the individual to ensure that skills are harnessed through co-ordination and continuity. In this way they will benefit both individual staff and the wider academic community.
Prepared under a contract between UNESCO and IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations), this modular curriculum is intended as a resource from which curricula can be constructed by individual departments of information studies to meet local needs and circumstances. Following an introductory discussion and explanation of the modules, outlines of 12 core modules are presented: (1) information in its social and communications context; (2) information users; (3) quantitative methods; (4) research methods; (5) information sources; (6) information storage and retrieval systems; (7) information services; (8) electronic data processing; (9) application of information technology; (10) telecommunications and networking in information systems; (11) management of information systems and services; and (12) economics and marketing of information. Outlines are also provided for eight elective modules: (1) design of computer-assisted information systems; (2) sectoral/subject-oriented information sources and systems; (3) planning and design of buildings and facilities for information centers and libraries; (4) online searching; (5) health and welfare library and information services; (6) agricultural library and information services; (7) audiovisual studies; and (8) printing, bookbinding and conservation. Titles of other possible elective modules are also provided, as well as objectives, content, teaching methods, comments, and a brief bibliography for each module. An abbreviated curriculum, a specialized curriculum in information technology, and a selective list of journals are appended. (KM)
Presents a list of 11 skills that every library school graduate should possess: basic librarian skills; basic proficiency in traditional online services and CD-ROM products; basic Internet skills; grasp of when to use which source; ease with various tasks; teaching skills; people skills; an entrepreneurial mindset; leadership skills; desire for change; and ability to reinvent themselves. (AEF)
Information policies and economic development worldwide combined with political and societal demands require greater access to information in whatever form and wherever located. This raises many educational issues and professional challenges related to legal access, physical access, affordable access, intellectual access and organized access of information. These pressure dictate on-going broad-based planning and evaluation of the preparation of those entering this exciting profession encompassing libraries, archives and other information agencies and organizations. It impacts the curricula of graduate and undergraduate programs, the recruitment of qualified, research-oriented faculty, the placement of graduates into positions of significance, the education of users of information in many formats, and the continuing education and staff development of current professionals who feel disenfranchised. The key component is the preparation of future professionals who know and understand the nature of information, how it is used and managed, and the systems, mechanisms, institutions and tools which facilitate that use - all set in the larger political, economic, social and technological context. A curriculum conceived in terms of: knowledge, skills; and tools can advance that goal.
These curriculum guidelines are intended to offer some quality control for: programs just beginning with their curriculum development and other academic considerations; programs already in existence which are struggling to upgrade the content of their programs; and agencies which are administratively and financially responsible for implementing and supporting information policy and information services development. The document begins by considering the nature and characteristics of the information societies that are emerging in the Asia and the Pacific Region. From this it is possible to identify the range of skills and competencies that will be required in the future. The present education and training arrangements within the Region are briefly reviewed, and weaknesses and deficiencies in the present system are identified. Finally, a draft curriculum is outlined that can be regarded as the starting point for discussion and development of syllabi that reflect the local conditions. (AEF)