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The purpose of this paper is to introduce the notion of a collaboratory as a virtual learning community and discuss its significance to support collaboration between…
The purpose of this paper is to introduce the notion of a collaboratory as a virtual learning community and discuss its significance to support collaboration between library and information science (LIS) researchers and practitioners.
The LIS literature describes various forms of inter‐institutional collaboration involving librarians and information professionals, but there is an apparent lack of documented cases of collaboratories involving LIS practitioners and researchers. The paper draws from the literature about collaboratories in the fields of social informatics and information systems and describes the notion of collaboratory, its characteristics and main functions.
It is argued that a LIS collaboratory in the form of a virtual learning community has the potential to provide researchers and practitioners the opportunity to bring in and integrate their respective knowledge, expertise and connections, as well as expand participation of practitioners in research projects. Another claim is that this virtual learning community may fill a critical niche for small institutions as LIS schools and practitioners, and give them the opportunity to choose and work together on relevant research projects. While the prospect of LIS collaboratory looks promising, the challenges to building one need not be overlooked, in particular working at distance and crossing institutional boundaries. More research is needed on the socio‐organizational issues that can influence collaboration between LIS researchers and practitioners.
The discussion is based on the author's review of the literature and observations.
The notion of collaboratory is still new to the LIS field. This paper offers the opportunity to trigger a new discussion on collaboration between researchers and practitioners and the potential of collaboratories to support new forms of collaboration.
The purpose of this paper is to present current and ongoing research investigating new ways of working across geographic distances and time within library and information…
The purpose of this paper is to present current and ongoing research investigating new ways of working across geographic distances and time within library and information science (LIS).
A total of four studies were conducted focusing on: the design of a virtual research environment (VRE) to facilitate the sharing of data collection instruments among students, researchers and professionals; new ways professionals and researchers can collaborate; collaborative decision making in the context of purchasing a library management system; and collaboration among LIS professionals.
Early results show that VREs within LIS can build on previous VRE research which focused on other domains. However, there are several unique characteristics of LIS that place requirements on VREs and which are not yet implemented within VREs and that offer unique opportunities for VREs to enhance LIS research, education and practice.
This paper reports on ongoing research and preliminary findings of unique studies investigating how VREs could enhance LIS research and professional practice, and how LIS research and practice can inspire the next generation of VREs.
Purpose – Changes in the environment – political, economic, social, educational and technological – have demanded changes in many areas of work, most particularly in the…
Purpose – Changes in the environment – political, economic, social, educational and technological – have demanded changes in many areas of work, most particularly in the roles and tasks of those involved in the preservation and transmission of cultural heritage, and interpersonal information intervention. Sending, storing and receiving digital information are commonplace activities, and now formally constructed digital libraries constitute an important component of this virtual information environment. Similar to traditional physical libraries, digital libraries are constructed for particular purposes, to serve particular clienteles or to collect and provide access to selected information resources (whether text documents or artefacts). Information intermediaries – or digital librarians – in this transformed information environment must learn new skills, play different roles and possess a new suite of competencies.
Design, methodology and approach – Myburgh and Tammaro have, for several years, examined the new knowledge, skills and competencies that are now demanded, in order to design and test a curriculum for digital librarians which has found expression in the Erasmus Mundus Master's in Digital Library Learning (DILL), now in its sixth year.
Findings – The chief objective of the Digital library program is to prepare information intermediaries for effective contribution to their particular communities and societies, in order to assist present and future generations of digital natives to negotiate the digital information environment effectively. This includes, for example, the necessity for digital librarians to be able to teach cultural competency, critical information literacies and knowledge value mapping, as well as understanding the new standards and formats that are still being developed in order to capture, store, describe, locate and preserve digital materials.
Research limitations – In this chapter, we propose describing the work we have done thus far, with special reference to the development of a model of the role of the digital librarian, including competencies, skills, knowledge base and praxis.
Social implications – Amongst the various issues that have arisen and demanded consideration and investigation are the importance of a multidisciplinarity dimension in the education of digital librarians, as information work is orthogonal to other disciplinary and cultural categorisations; that a gradual convergence or confluence is being identified between various cultural institutions which include libraries, archives and museums; the new modes of learning and teaching, with particular regard to knowledge translation and the learner-generated environment or context; and possibly even a reconsideration of the role of the information professional and new service models for their praxis.
Originality/value – The chapter tries to evidence the present debate about digital librarianship in Europe.