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Emerging challenges in academic librarianship and role of library associations in professional updating

V.K. Thomas (West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India)
Chitra Satpathi (Muralidhar Girls' College, Kolkata, India)
J.N. Satpathi (Indian Association of Special Libraries & Information Centres, Kolkata, India)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 26 October 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the challenges posed by the contemporary library environment, which are the results of ICT and the digital revolution, and call for developing new competencies and skills as well as a new set of proficiencies. It also seeks to analyse the role of professional bodies, especially in India, in preparing librarians to meet these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Part I of this paper on emerging trends in academic librarianship at the global level has been consolidated from the literature that has discussed this problem in various forums, and from personal experience. Part II principally assesses the role played by library associations in preparing professionals to face the challenges offered by trends that emerge from time to time. This is done with the aid of a case study of the Indian Association of Special Libraries & Information Centres (IASLIC), Kolkata (India). A questionnaire and personal interviews were utilised to gather information and opinions.

Findings

It is found that the modern academic librarian, besides the common attributes, should be technology‐savvy and eager to learn and adopt any technology development for the benefit of users. Regular updating of professionals is sine qua non. In the Indian context, it is found that professional bodies like IASLIC did play a yeoman's role in bringing India to the forefront of global librarianship. It is concluded that India does need a well‐laid out policy and programmes of updating and equipping its librarians continuously and can benefit from the experiences of ALA and CILIP.

Originality/value

This is the first time a study of IASLIC has been conducted from the angle of its role in meeting the new challenges posed by ICT. This study should benefit all professional bodies in India in their education programme.

Keywords

Citation

Thomas, V.K., Satpathi, C. and Satpathi, J.N. (2010), "Emerging challenges in academic librarianship and role of library associations in professional updating", Library Management, Vol. 31 No. 8/9, pp. 594-609. https://doi.org/10.1108/01435121011093379

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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