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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

David Ratledge and Claudene Sproles

The purpose of this paper is to analyze technology-related librarian advertisements to examine the changing role of the systems librarian in today’s modern…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze technology-related librarian advertisements to examine the changing role of the systems librarian in today’s modern, technology-filled libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examined 70 advertisements for technology-focused librarians posted on ALA’s JobList in 2014. The ads were examined for area of focus and required knowledge and experiences.

Findings

The ads revealed three main areas of focus: traditional systems, digital initiatives, and web services. In addition to traditional computer and library systems skills, employers were seeking candidates with project management, digital collection, customer service, technology implementation, and problem solving skills and experience.

Practical implications

This study highlights how the adoption and expansion of library technology has altered the roles and responsibilities of systems librarians. Instead of solely focusing on maintaining library databases and ILSs, technology librarians have branched out and become more integrated within the library.

Originality/value

This study has implications for those entering the library field and LIS programs, as well as gaining insight into the expanding role of technology librarians today’s library.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Mack Lundy

The systems office, at the College of William and Mary’s Swem Library, evolved from a hierarchical department to a modified team structure. Along the way, the role of the…

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Abstract

The systems office, at the College of William and Mary’s Swem Library, evolved from a hierarchical department to a modified team structure. Along the way, the role of the systems librarian has changed from a department head to a member of a team. A unique blend of timing and personalities made this transition both possible and practical. While the systems librarian now works on the same administrative level as non‐librarians, there is still a fundamental difference in how the systems librarian functions within the library. This role of the systems librarian has changed in complexity but still comes down to bridging the worlds of library and technology.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Micaela Chávez‐Villa and Abelardo Herrero Perezrul

This article aims to describe library automation development in Mexican universities, particularly the role of systems librarians in this process, together with the…

1231

Abstract

This article aims to describe library automation development in Mexican universities, particularly the role of systems librarians in this process, together with the creation of new services. Systems librarian positions in Mexico do not officially exist. The activities that comprise the role practiced in American libraries were analyzed to define the equivalent profile in Mexican institutions and contrast the different approaches. Background information on Mexican library and information science programs is included. The results and conclusions of a survey applied to 66 Mexican institutions examine the role of systems librarians. There is a brief case study of a Mexican library confronting complex technological change. Finally, some considerations about the relationship between systems administrators and librarians are included.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Muhammad Asif Naveed, Nadeem Siddique and Khalid Mahmood

This study aimed to develop and validate a list of core technology competencies for systems librarian in Pakistan.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to develop and validate a list of core technology competencies for systems librarian in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey method was used to conduct this investigation. A structured questionnaire, consisting of 52 competency statements categorized into six core technology areas, was developed based on an extensive literature review, experts’ scrutiny and pilot testing. The administration of the survey questionnaire was done though online environments such as related listservs and Facebook pages. The received 62 responses were imported into statistical package for social sciences and analyzed by computing means, standard deviations, Pearson correlation and t-test.

Findings

The results indicated six core technology areas where competencies of systems librarians needed to be developed, namely, basic computing, programming and Web publishing, computer networks, cloud computing, database management systems and information systems. The respondents validated 50 statements with an average mean score more than three. Only two statements received mean scores less than three. The results also indicated higher consistency of these statements as the value of Cronbach’s alpha was 0.973.

Research limitations/implications

This research attempted to identify and validate core technology competencies needed for systems librarians in Pakistan. It neither attempted to determine the weightage each competency should have if it was to be included in curriculum nor it intended to identify a detailed content for each core technology competency. In Pakistan, System librarians develop their knowledge and skills with the specialized computer subject by studying on their own, attending training workshops and on job experience. It is therefore worth mentioning here that the knowledge of the needed competencies may be limited.

Practical implications

Library and information science schools need to consider these competencies in developing and designing information curriculum with regard to management of library systems. This set of competencies help academicians in designing need-based curricula and training programs for existing and prospect system librarians in Pakistan.

Originality/value

This study would be a worthwhile contribution to the literature on competencies of information professionals especially systems librarians as no such study appeared providing pragmatic, evidenced and field-based insights toward proposed research area.

Details

Digital Library Perspectives, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5816

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Hong Xu and Hsin‐liang Chen

An investigation of 133 job advertisements for systems librarians in American Libraries in 1996‐1997 was conducted to examine the increasingly important role that systems

Abstract

An investigation of 133 job advertisements for systems librarians in American Libraries in 1996‐1997 was conducted to examine the increasingly important role that systems librarians play in the ever‐changing information environment, and to identify the knowledge, skills and qualifications of systems librarians expected by employers in various types of libraries. The results show that although systems librarians in different types of libraries may play different roles and have different emphases in their duties, the responsibility and knowledge requirements for them are generally expanding. Systems librarians are not only technology experts but also managers and coordinators. Positions for systems librarians in most academic and public libraries require at least one year of work experience. Employers expect systems librarians to have a strong computer and network background. Over two‐thirds of the position in public and academic libraries and more than half of the openings in other libraries require MLIS/MLS degrees.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Hong Xu and Hsin‐liang Chen

This follow‐up report of 133 job advertisements for systems librarians in American Libraries during 1996‐1997 compares the results of a content analysis of job…

Abstract

This follow‐up report of 133 job advertisements for systems librarians in American Libraries during 1996‐1997 compares the results of a content analysis of job advertisements and a survey of employers and newly hired systems librarians. The report shows that, although a majority of employers are satisfied with their newly hired systems librarians, they indeed have higher expectations for the positions in terms of qualifications and responsibilities. There is a great gap between job advertisements and reality in regard to systems librarians’ education requirements, work experience, job responsibilities, and areas of knowledge and skills. The types of libraries, to a certain extent, influence systems librarians’ actual qualifications and job responsibilities.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Lisa Goddard

The library systems office is under increasing pressure to support not only the integrated library system (ILS), but a proliferation of systems, servers and technologies…

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Abstract

The library systems office is under increasing pressure to support not only the integrated library system (ILS), but a proliferation of systems, servers and technologies. Some systems librarians have the advantage of a computer science degree, but many have acquired their technical knowledge on‐the‐job. The technological complexity of current systems work prohibits new librarians from entering the field without some existing expertise. Canadian library schools are not adequately preparing new librarians for systems work, and there are simply not enough librarians with a computer science background to meet the demand for computer savvy librarians. This article proposes a third option – the combination of a Masters of Library and Information Science (MILS) with a one year Information Technology Diploma. It discusses the author’s experience moving into systems by way of IT, and outlines the benefits of cultivating librarians with IT knowledge, rather than relying on non‐librarians to perform technical work in the library.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Hong Xu and Hsin‐liang Chen

The investigators examined 133 job advertisements with job title “systems librarians’‘ and other similar job titles in American Libraries from January 1996 to December…

Abstract

The investigators examined 133 job advertisements with job title “systems librarians’‘ and other similar job titles in American Libraries from January 1996 to December 1997. Information about full‐time positions available in the United States only was collected. For examination, four variables and their components were studied: degree requirements, work experience, job responsibilities, and knowledge and skills. Based on the classified job advertisements three types of libraries were identified: academic, public and other libraries. Two follow‐up questionnaires were distributed to library directors and newly hired systems librarians of the 133 libraries. The follow‐up survey based on the two questionnaires reflects that the majority of employers are satisfied with their newly hired systems librarians. However, they have higher expectations from the positions in terms of qualifications and responsibilities. The investigators also examined the curricula of seven American LIS schools which concentrate on educating “systems librarians” to provide recommendations to the curriculum design.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2009

Abdol Hossein Farajpahlou and Farshid Danesh

The aim of this paper is to prepare and propose a job description for and identify the organizational position of systems librarians in university libraries in Iran.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to prepare and propose a job description for and identify the organizational position of systems librarians in university libraries in Iran.

Design/methodology/approach

The required data were collected in two ways: literature review and survey of opinions. The respondents completed a questionnaire designed by the researchers in order to specify the skills, duties, characteristics and other qualifications of the librarians in Iranian university libraries. The material covered by the questionnaire was extracted from the existing cultural and organizational structure systems librarianship texts and their recruitment advertisements. Differences between Iranian university libraries and those of developed nations are noted. The research population included all administrators and supervisors of information sections in university libraries of Iran.

Findings

It was found that in Iran information sciences librarians require assistance from computer experts, since the IT training programme on offer does not meet the required standard. This has resulted in a reduced ability to perform their duties adequately, prompting the proposed survey for the purpose of producing a revised job description.

Practical implications

Based on the findings of this research, a job description is formulated for systems librarians in Iranian university libraries. The job description thus presented includes: responsibilities, skills, job features, factors, tools of work, condition of work environment, intellectual capabilities required, body posture, and required technologies.

Originality/value

The survey is unique in that the focus is on an Iranian systems librarian's job description based on requirements resulting from the opinions expressed by the managers and the librarians of the Iranian university libraries. Its structure therefore corresponds to the occupations widespread in Iran.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

Graeme A. Muirhead

Many library and information workers — the majority, even — use technology in some way or other. Only a relatively small number, however, have come to regard IT management…

Abstract

Many library and information workers — the majority, even — use technology in some way or other. Only a relatively small number, however, have come to regard IT management or library systems administration as a full‐time specialism. The terms used to designate these posts are many and varied, but perhaps the job title which has gained the widest usage is ‘systems librarian’. Chan (1987) defines systems librarians as ‘the people responsible for managing computerised library systems.’ However, it is possible to differentiate between staff for whom this is the principal responsibility and those who carry out the function of systems management as one task among many, and whose main duties are elsewhere. In practice there is often no clear dividing line, but for the purposes of this article the former category only will be considered to be systems librarians. The latter group, in so far as they are discussed at all, will be referred to as ‘system administrators’ or ‘system managers’.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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