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The role of the academic Library Information Specialist (LIS) in teaching and learning in the 21st century

Lee E. Allen (University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
Deborah M. Taylor (University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)

Information Discovery and Delivery

ISSN: 2398-6247

Article publication date: 20 February 2017




This study aims to examine the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) usage with mobile technologies and e-learning in academic libraries.


Selection of appropriate resources using the Communication and Mass Media, EBSCO, Web of Science and Library Literature and Information Science Fulltext databases.


The “Library as place” concept requires libraries to explore and re-purpose its physical space while redefining its virtual, online space to align with the needs of those who are native to the digital age. Library information specialists (LIS) must also be knowledgeable of – and comfortable with – the use of the new technologies introduced. As mobile technologies continue to evolve and advance in developing countries, libraries and LIS may be best positioned to assist students and researchers in accessing information required to be proficient and productive in scholarly pursuits without physical boundaries.

Practical implications

The existing research literature surveyed here implies that the growth of ICT and evolving concepts of libraries require the need for LIS training and greater understanding of the use of mobile technologies in providing academic library services.


Academic librarians are at the forefront of providing aspiring academics and professionals with access to digital collections and e-learning courses using mobile information communication and technology devices; the implications of the research discussed in this survey of the current literature discloses a need for diverse skills for the appropriate and continuing effectiveness to support students and academic researchers.



Allen, L.E. and Taylor, D.M. (2017), "The role of the academic Library Information Specialist (LIS) in teaching and learning in the 21st century", Information Discovery and Delivery, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 1-9.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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