One Person Libraries and Information Units: Their Education and Training Needs

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Publication date: 1 May 1988


The problems of One‐Man‐Bands (OMBs) began to be taken seriously in the early 1980s when the Aslib OMB group was formed. The group received considerable attention in the professional press, and became the object of a study by Judith Collins and Janet Shuter who identified them as “information professionals working in isolation”. Many of the problems identified in the Collins/Shuter study remain — not least of these being the further education and training needs of OMBs. These needs are studied in this report. The author has firstly done an extensive survey of the literature to find what has been written about this branch of the profession. Then by means of a questionnaire sent to the Aslib OMB group and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (INVOG), training and education needs have been pinpointed. Some of these needs have then been explored in greater detail by means of case studies. The author found that the most common deterrents to continuing education and training were time, cost, location, finding suitable courses to cover the large variety of skills needed and lastly, lack of encouragement from employers. The author has concluded by recommending areas where further research is needed, and suggesting some solutions to the problems discussed.



Williamson, J. (1988), "One Person Libraries and Information Units: Their Education and Training Needs", Library Management, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 2-72.

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Copyright © 1988, MCB UP Limited

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