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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Shakeel Ahmad Khan and Abida Parveen

The purpose of this study is to identify the core competencies for librarians working in special libraries. It also measures the competencies of librarians working in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the core competencies for librarians working in special libraries. It also measures the competencies of librarians working in special libraries of the Punjab Province against the checklist developed by the Special Library Association (SLA) Task Force. The study also identifies the training needs of librarians working in special libraries and the problems they face in acquiring SLA competencies.

Design/methodology/approach

A peer-reviewed questionnaire based on the list of competencies for special librarians prepared by the SLA Task Force was used to collect quantitative data from a targeted population. An online survey was administered to approach the population working in special libraries of Punjab Province. Collected data was analyzed statistically through SPSS software.

Findings

A review of literature highlighted the various competencies for librarians working in special libraries (Figure 1). The findings of the study showed that the competencies identified by SLA Task Force are imperative for librarians working in special libraries of Punjab Province. The results showed that librarians working in special libraries of Punjab possessed an intermediate level of competencies identified by the SLA. However, they had a good level of basic professional and interpersonal skills. The study highlights the training needs of librarians working in special libraries to enable them in acquiring relevant competencies.

Research limitations/implications

The study measures the competencies of librarians in special libraries of the Punjab Province. During the data collection phase, it was observed that there were some libraries where the non-professional/supporting staff was deputed, and due to this, data could not be collected from these libraries.

Practical implications

This study has practical implications for librarians and information professionals working in special libraries to acquire the relevant competencies identified by the SLA. This study has identified various competencies areas that are essential for librarians working in special libraries.

Social implications

Librarians working in any special library can use the results of this study as a checklist to improve their competencies level and work efficiently.

Originality/value

In contrast to other studies conducted on professional competencies of library professionals working in academic libraries, this study particularly identifies and measures the competencies of librarians working in special libraries.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 38 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Marsha-Gay Robinson

The purpose of this article is to examine what employers seek when recruiting library and information professionals for a special library environment in Jamaica.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine what employers seek when recruiting library and information professionals for a special library environment in Jamaica.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of a sample of 47 advertisements for information professionals in a special library environment in Jamaica from 2013 to 2019 was collected.

Findings

The findings indicated that a variety of professional, generic and personal attributes were in demand for these professionals. There was a strong emphasis on advanced computer skills as well as communication and interpersonal skills.

Research limitations/implications

While job advertisements offer some insight into skills requirements and qualifications for employment, it may not reflect the actual person employed.

Practical implications

This paper will provide useful information for library school educators, existing information professionals and those interested in entering the field as it provides an overview of the skills and requirements for jobs in the special library environment in Jamaica.

Originality/value

Despite there being a plethora of job advertisements studies in librarianship, few studies examine advertisements for information professionals in a special library environment. To the best of the author's knowledge, there is no study focusing on Jamaica.

Details

Library Management, vol. 42 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Sajjad ur Rehman, Ahamd Bakeri Abu Baker and Shaheen Majid

Special libraries are undergoing some fundamental changes which require redefinition of the competencies of information professionals. The contextual variables necessitate…

Abstract

Special libraries are undergoing some fundamental changes which require redefinition of the competencies of information professionals. The contextual variables necessitate identification of competencies in relation to the peculiarities of a situation. Some methodological improvements were also attempted to arrive at a reliable body of knowledge and skill competencies. Fifty top and middle managers of the ten largest special libraries in Malaysia were interviewed to validate competencies by using a scale indicative of the perceived extent of importance of each competency. The validated competencies have been presented in the following six areas: foundation, cataloguing, circulation, information service, collection development and serial control. Capabilities to relate information facility to the organizational mission and profile, managerial competence, effective exploitation of information technology, subject expertise, and a great deal of emphasis on service aspect figure as the most important arsenal for the future information professionals.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Dave Muddiman

ASLIB – the Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux – was founded in 1924 with the aim of co‐ordinating the activities of specialist information services…

Abstract

Purpose

ASLIB – the Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux – was founded in 1924 with the aim of co‐ordinating the activities of specialist information services in the UK. This article seeks to present a new history of the first quarter‐century of the Association.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a historical study based substantially on two collections of primary documents: ASLIB's own records, held at Aslib Headquarters, London; and the papers of Edith Ditmas, held at the National Library of Wales.

Findings

The paper explores the origins of ASLIB, and its roots in the “science lobby” of the time; it then traces the development of ASLIB as both a “national intelligence service” for science, commerce and industry, and as a quasi‐professional association with international significance. It concludes that the first of these two functions was the Association's fundamental raison d'être.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to study of ASLIB in the period 1924‐1950 and an obvious continuation would be a history of “corporate” ASLIB (1950‐1997). More generally, the paper reveals that the history of UK documentation and information science in the twentieth century is underexplored: there is scope for future research focused on key pioneers and ideas, as well as institutions such as ASLIB.

Originality/value

As far as is known, this is the first historical study of ASLIB to be based on contemporary records: it should therefore be of value to both historians of information and library science and practitioners interested in their professional heritage.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Heather Michele Moorefield-Lang

The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of podcasts, online radio broadcasts, YouTube channels, and other technology medium to deliver information and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of podcasts, online radio broadcasts, YouTube channels, and other technology medium to deliver information and professional development to peers in the field and professionals in librarianship.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores five case studies of librarians and library professionals who have created online programs specifically geared to the field using technologies such as podcasting, YouTube channels, Twitter Chats, and Google Hangouts. The case studies include librarians in the public, academic, and school settings as well as one professional from The American Library Association. Interviews via Google Hangouts took place to gather information for each narrative. NVivo 10 qualitative data analysis software was used to pull out themes and commonalities among narratives. Some examples include, intended audience, program focus, platform topics, technology, and challenges.

Findings

Face-to-face delivery of information and professional development can be difficult with librarians and professionals located across the USA and the world. These five interviewees share new opportunities and examples in the delivery of training and information in the field of librarianship without ever needing to leave an office or desk.

Originality/value

Podcasting in librarianship is a topic of modest popularity but it is typically used with students and at the academic library level where the topics of podcasts and libraries are addressed. The topics of podcasts, online radio broadcasts, and other technologies in librarian peer-to-peer instruction and professional development are uncharted territory in the field of scholarly research. This piece opens research to multiple opportunities in both practice and scholarship in how technology can aid in professional development and information delivery to peers and practitioners in the field.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1967

T. WHITEHALL

One result of being a ‘small’ librarian has been that, although hired to provide a current awareness service and write reviews for a research staff, I must spend a…

Abstract

One result of being a ‘small’ librarian has been that, although hired to provide a current awareness service and write reviews for a research staff, I must spend a proportion of my time in arranging for the buying, cataloguing, lending, borrowing and binding of books and other material. However, I do not see these two sorts of activity as separate in any way, but as both containing elements of two fundamentally different approaches to human effort, which I shall call the professional and the clerical. If I was entirely on my own, my professional hat would be worn when deciding what book to buy, what words to use as indexing labels, what ideas in a paper were relevant, what advantages a newly available reproduction process would have over the system in use in my library. My clerical hat would get an airing when I passed on a request for a book purchase, typed and filed the index cards, or arranged for a record of a loan to be made.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 19 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2009

Laurie J. Bonnici, Stephanie L. Maatta and Muriel K. Wells

The paper seeks to determine the state of library services to people with disabilities in the USA. It aims to use social capital theory to provide a lens to…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to determine the state of library services to people with disabilities in the USA. It aims to use social capital theory to provide a lens to reconceptualize equal access in a global context, and to offer insights on the effects of new information technologies for re‐envisioning universal access.

Design/methodology/approach

Librarians serving the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS/BPH) were surveyed. Questions addressed clientele, services, technologies, career opportunities, library and information science education, and librarian demographics.

Findings

Human resources and information technologies are identified as major challenges to the future of information access for disabled persons. Professional perspective suggests there is strong potential for technologies and the internet to bridge the information access divide if libraries commit to providing access through assistive technologies.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was limited to librarians serving NLS/BPH. A similar survey distributed in other nations could expand the possibilities of future research.

Practical implications

Information from this survey can aid librarians planning delivery of information services to disabled patrons. Suggestions for shifting from special access to universal access philosophy assure access for all. Results can also help library educators prepare graduates to serve an aging population that will challenge standard methods of information access.

Originality/value

The literature review demonstrates that this survey is the most recent in three decades to determine the state of library and information services to disabled people in the USA. It is the first to address the topic in relation to new technologies, leading to better service through better understanding.

Details

New Library World, vol. 110 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-881-0

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Book part
Publication date: 15 July 2009

Zsuzsanna Toszegi

This chapter summarizes the library history of Hungary, with the main focus on the decades preceding the regime change in 1989. The country has been a member of the…

Abstract

This chapter summarizes the library history of Hungary, with the main focus on the decades preceding the regime change in 1989. The country has been a member of the European Union since 2004. One of the consequences of joining the EU was that Hungary had to implement the three-tier system of higher education defined by the Bologna Declaration. This new system of library and information professional education and training that began in the 2006–2007 academic year is discussed in detail. The first students to begin their studies in the new, two-tier system of higher education will be awarded the BA degree in the first half of 2009. The best of them will be able to continue their studies at the MA level at one of the four universities that were approved for new MA programs in 2008.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-710-9

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2020

Waqar Ahmad Awan and Kanwal Ameen

The job market of library and information professionals has expanded from academic to industrial, special and business libraries. The unique nature of the organizations…

Abstract

Purpose

The job market of library and information professionals has expanded from academic to industrial, special and business libraries. The unique nature of the organizations, their data and clientele demand a different set of competencies. The purpose of this study is to explore the competencies of information professionals from the perspectives of business employers – a comparatively new job place for the library and information management professionals.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Exploratory sequential mixed methods approach was used to meet objectives of this study in two phases. In the first phase, qualitative data was extracted from panel discussion. Themes were extracted from this qualitative data. In the second phase, a questionnaire was designed which was based on qualitative themes. The instrument contained the nine-point Likert type scale and was filled by the business and industry human resource managers. The quantitatively gathered data were analysed while using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences SPSS version 22.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that work coordination, knowledge of intellectual property rights, online searching ability, leadership qualities, trustworthiness and background knowledge of the prospective organizations are the basic competencies required by the business employers.

Practical Implications

This study will guide the students on which qualities they are required to obtain to qualify for jobs of information professionals in the current employment sector. Additionally, it will provide guidelines to the continuous education programme designers, prompting them to include in their trainings the vital qualities of candidates required by the current job market.

Originality Value

This is the maiden study that has explored the competencies of library and information management professionals through exploratory sequential mixed methods.

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