Education and training for digital librarians

David Bawden (Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
Polona Vilar (Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Vlasta Zabukovec (Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Publication date: 1 February 2005



To determine and compare approaches to the education and training of librarians for work in digital libraries. More precisely, to identify – in general terms, rather than specifically – the important competencies required by information professionals in creating and managing digital libraries, and in facilitating their use, and to assess how these competencies are treated in LIS education and training, and therefore how the capacities of the information professions are being developed.


Literature analysis of the skill sets required by librarians working with digital materials. Evaluation of formal education and of professional development programmes in the UK and in Slovenia, to assess how these needs are being met.


Both formal education and continuing development training are adapting to cover aspects of the digital library environment, both in the UK and in Slovenia. This is happening as part of the normal process of the redesign of degree programmes and of training courses. Digital library skills and knowledge – embodying conceptual, semantic, syntactic and technical aspects – are being included in existing courses, for the most part, rather than in entities labelled “digital library”. This approach has strengths and also weaknesses. While there is some agreement on core topics, there is much variation in how they are presented, and in the relative importance given to them.

Research limitations/implications

Based on comparison of education and training programmes in two countries, the UK and Slovenia.

Practical implications

Recommendations for curricula are made.


Provides an insight into education and training needs in a developing and important area.



Bawden, D., Vilar, P. and Zabukovec, V. (2005), "Education and training for digital librarians", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 57 No. 1, pp. 85-98.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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