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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: New Library World, Volume 112, Issue 11/12
The second year (2010-2011) of the “Researchers of Tomorrow” study (http://bit.ly/oK4JKd) included focus on the use of technologies, including Web 2.0. It found that although 72 per cent of the Generation Y (those born between 1982 and 1994) student sample had used at least one kind of technology, it was likely to be citation or reference management tools but 27 per cent had used no technology at all. A “slight” increase in the use of some social media and networking tools since 2009-2010 was reported. Web 2.0 tools are the topic of two articles in this issue. One article, from Virkus and Bamigbola, presents the results of a study into the conceptions and experiences of the use of Web 2.0 tools by Erasmus Mundus students (Digital Library Learning Master programme). The study found that these students had realised the various potentials of Web 2.0 tools and that they could be used not only as communication and educational tools but also as professional and multi-purpose tools. The other article, from Garoufallou and Charitopoulou, presents the results of a study into the use of Web 2.0 tools with focus on their use by Greek Library and Information Science Systems students. This study found that these students did not recognise the importance of these tools to their studies and professional lives, which was apparent in the poor ways that these students exploited Web 2.0 features. Although very different, both of these articles indicate the potential of Web 2.0 tools to support teaching and learning.
At the recent Umbrella 2001 conference, John Quinn, Head of Business Solutions for the Chief Information Officer Group at the Department for Education, commented that his team have been there to deliver projects and programmes (traditionally the IT department’s role) but that it is still about the same vision of connecting people and information so that they share knowledge and make better decisions. Information and communication (ICT) skills is the topic of the article from Buarki et al. They point out that ICT skills have been recognised as essential for Library and Information Science (LIS) graduates seeking employment, and they consider the ICT skills of LIS students and compare them with the skills needed by the job market in Kuwait. They comment that as new ICT applications emerge, any LIS curriculum needs to be revised to provide students with the skills required by the job market.
Many libraries in the UK are under threat of closure in order to save money. A potential route to saving some libraries is in the form of a merger of the library services of three London boroughs. Drawn up by Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea councils, plans would protect all twenty-one of their public libraries from closure. Tanackovic et al. focus on the role of public libraries in their article. They consider minorities in Europe and their information needs and the role of public libraries in fulfilling those needs. They present the results of a study of major long-established national minorities in Croatia. Their study found that the respondents needed diverse information and material in their mother tongues and, for that purpose, used public libraries less than some other information sources.
In response to a consultation, CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) has advocated that school libraries should be inspected by Ofsted. The response (http://bit./ly/tFh8BT) states that the “school library should be seen as an integral part of a school’s level of achievement and should be part of the Ofsted inspection process”. Shenton’s article explores the complex relationship between education and LIS. He comments that there are various ways in which the function and duties of teachers and information professionals coincide and while they support each other in several respects, there are also disparities. These disparities relate to attitudes to the school library, how resources should be provided for learners and educational priorities.
CILIP’s response to the National Curriculum Review (http://bit./ly/tFh8BT) has highlighted the central role that school libraries should play in teaching information literacy. The response states “we would argue that Information Literacy skills should become a compulsory element to child’s learning and not an advisory ‘add on’”. The response also argues that the participation of key professionals, such as school librarians, in the delivery of content and skills could improve the current National Curriculum. Information Literacy is the topic of the paper from Baro and Zuokemefa, but at university level. They report on a study carried out in university libraries in Nigeria and identify both the variety of practices and the barriers to effective provision. They suggest ways in which provision can be improved both in Nigeria and in other developing countries.