Awareness of the expected skills sets and development requir

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Awareness of the expected skills sets and development requir

  1. 1. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME SCIENCE (IJLIS) ISSN : 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN : 2277 – 3584 (Online) IJLIS Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013), pp. 26-38 © IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijlis.html Journal Impact Factor (2013): 5.1389 (Calculated by GISI), www.jifactor.com ©IAEME AWARENESS OF THE EXPECTED SKILLS SETS AND DEVELOPMENT REQUIRED BY NEW ERA LIBRARIANS IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN SOUTH EAST GEO-POLITICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA UGWUANYI CHIJIOKE FERDINAND, EJIKEME ANTHONIA NWAMAKA Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria Nsukka ABSTRACT PURPOSE: The paper tries to determine the extent to which academic librarians in South East Nigeria are aware of the changing roles of new era librarians. Precisely, it identifies the competencies/skills sets required and their development by the current information professionals. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY: This is a research paper which identifies the competencies/skills set, required and their development by the current information professionals in creating and managing information and facilitation of their use in digital environment. Questionnaires were distributed, collected and the result analyzed using descriptive statistics. FINDINGS: It was found that the level of awareness is very high due to the earlier adoption of ICT. Various ways of acquiring these skills set include: on the job practice, assistance from fellow professionals, and attendance to conferences, workshops, seminars, and joining online professional group. PRACTICAL IMPLICATION: Traditional librarians are disadvantaged by their work environment in the present digital era. The paper proposes ways of updating their skills for efficient and effective service delivery. 26
  2. 2. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The originality of the paper lies on the provision of insight into the changing roles of academic librarians in the present digital era and their capacities and ways of overcoming the adverse circumstances by moving from traditional roles to the new roles. INTRODUCTION Librarians need some skills, knowledge and attitudes to survive and flourish in the new era of librarianship. However, the competencies or skills available to Librarians in their current and future job remain a problem to be solved. The information landscape is changing and is requiring some skills different from the traditional skills of librarianship of acquisition, organization, dissemination and preservation of library materials. Khoo (2011) noted that the awareness of the competencies, the acquisition and application of these competences is proportional to the talent, aptitude, personality and interest of the individual professional. Competencies according to Griffiths and King (1993) comprise of knowledge, skill and attitude related to effective behaviours and work performance. They stressed that knowledge refers to having information about, knowing or understanding something, skill is the ability to apply knowledge effectively and attitude refers to the individual’s interest mental or emotional approach to something. Khoo (2011) enumerated some of the skills need by library and information professionals to include the following: traditional librarianship skills in acquisition cataloguing, reference and information search skills and value added skills which includes, research skills and skills in synthesizing and packaging information to support clients’ work and decision-making. Transferable skills that are generic cut across disciplines especially skill in communication management, leadership, teaching and training, and team work, as well as the ability to emphasize with users and understand their information needs, appropriate attitudes, values and personal training traits, especially those of users orientation and service orientation, flexibility and willingness to handle a wide range of tasks, adaptability and ability to handle change, continual learning and entrepreneurial attitude, domain knowledge (subject knowledge) that are specific to the type of information they are working in. Library and information professionals in the present era should engage in “value added ‘work. This can be done by evaluating, filtering, interacting, analyzing, summarize, synthesizing and packaging into a form that is ready for immediate use by their clients for decision making and other purposes instead of just identifying the source of information and providing documents. Through this, they will move from information work to knowledge, thereby having direct impact on their users’ work and the effectiveness and competitiveness of their parent organization. The new era librarians in public and private organizations may be called upon to participate in a lead knowledge management projects and initiatives in their organizations. Information professionals also need to be semi-professionals. They have to keep tracts of developments in technology and new information products to assess them for use in their libraries and to exploit them to improve their services. They also need sufficient IT knowledge to supervise IT projects in their library and to draw up specifications for these projects. These information professionals play the teachers roles and serve as IT trainers, providing workshops and short courses on the use of new technologies and new information 27
  3. 3. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME products, and on interest and technology-oriented topics (Ashcroft, 2004 Braun, 2002, musher 2001) . They equally need transferable and soft skills, especially communication, management, leadership, training and team work skills. Information professionals have to be effective in oral written and electronic communication with users, colleagues and supervisor/ manager. They effectively promote and market their services, as well as promoting the value of their services to the parent organization. A good interpersonal and networking skill is necessary to interact with their users and collaborate effectively with their colleague. Social and communication building skills are for information professionals ---both for building a community of colleague, community of practice or special interest group) and communities of users. Behavioural traits are indispensable as employers keep emphasizing appropriate attitudes and personal traits. Information professionals have to be user-oriented, servicesoriented, adaptable and the flexible, quick to pick up new skills, and have an entrepreneurial or enterprising spirit. For more service, information professionals are expected to have subject knowledge and knowledge of the industry they are working in for easy navigation through the political terrain of the parent organization. Khoo (2011) asserted that such a professional should have industry awareness and the knowledge of industry trends, as well as the trends and political undercurrents in the parent organization. He went further to say that this helps them to understand their clients needs, interact and network with their clients more easily, and tailor and promote their services to their clients more effectively. The role and expectations of the librarians and information professionals have changed over the years as a result of the introduction of ICT (information, communication and technology). Hashim (2005) had the fear the librarians and information professionals will be left behind if it still insists on the old role of the traditional librarians. He insisted that some of the core skills can be adapted into the new global library environment such as training and facilitating skills, evaluation skills and concern for the customers. All these are embedded in cataloguing, classification, indexing enquiring work and user education. Librarians and information professionals need to be aware of the new skills to change and adapt to the new electronic environment. As new roles and skills emerge, new era librarians are expected to be technology application leaders who work with other members of the information management team. Therefore, management and interpersonal skill (communication skills) will make them effective manager of networks resources and services by managing the digital information system, creation of web pages which helps to promote their services to internal customers and choosing automated library management systems. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM With the Current development in information communication technology generally and the internet in particular there is need for librarians to move along with change. The acquisition of the expected skills needed to operate in this digital environment of the present academic libraries in Nigeria is indispensible. This is why librarians are said to be posed with a lot of challenges which is bringing treat to the duties, services and relevance of librarians in the digital age. 28
  4. 4. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME Librarians of the 21st Century are expected to have all that will help in the redefinition of what library and its services ought to be in this era, as this is rapidly evolving into something that look quite different from what it was a few years ago. This seems like a herculean task as Librarians cannot afford the technological wonders at their disposal because the advances are made so quickly that new technologies and ideas come almost in succession. Acquisition of these new skills are not one day affair, and due to the dynamic nature of the information technology which requires a continuous update for the new era librarians to be able to move with the trend of the digital age, unfortunately, the acquisition of these skills cannot be made manifest when the management of Academic environment are not capable of training and retraining of librarians to possess the skills and competencies expected of them in the new era. However the new trend in librarianship is in dire need of men and women in the profession who are skilled in ICT operation. There is need for cross displinary knowledge and skill to remain relevant and serve the present information users better. This is because the new era librarians are not seen by the traditional or old librarians as people who have come to bring change, rather they are seen as people who have come to disrupt their seamless, dynamic, interactive job, therefore embracing the new idea is impossible. In the light of this, the paper seeks to ascertain their awareness of the social changes brought by ICT introduction to librarianship and how to adapt to the changes through skills acquisition. Therefore, awareness of the skills and development of such skills among the new era librarians is the crux of the study. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY In view of the stated problem, the paper tends to address the following issues: 1. Ascertain the extent of awareness of the emerging roles of the new era librarians. 2. Identify ways of facilitating the capacity building of the librarians in order to remain relevant in this 21st century. 3. Identify the possible challenges likely to be encountered in achieving this manpower development of academic librarians in this new era. 4. Find out various efforts that should be made to avert the challenges traditional librarians encounter in acquiring the expected skill sets. LITERATURE REVIEW Librarians are working in a changing environment where technologies and organizational approaches have changed the roles and functions of the library organization. The big question are librarians aware of these emerging roles of the new era? which involves the creation of databases, information system, digitization, creation of virtual libraries metadata, and development of intranets, extranets and portals which will help them in making a successful, relevant and dynamic profession in this change in paradigm. After going through several literatures, it reveal that librarians in the new era are aware of the emerging roles. According to Anil Kumar (2010) a librarian is a technology application leader who works with other members of the information management team to design and 29
  5. 5. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME evaluate systems for information access that meet user need. To buttress this point, Nageswara Rao and Babu (2001) mentioned various roles of librarians in digital environment as search intermediary, facilitator, end-user trainer/educator, knowledge manager/professional and website builder or publisher, interface designer, sifter of information resources. They acknowledged that with these there are numerous opportunities for librarians in digital environment, particularly in Internet and web environment in providing information services easily timely and appropriately to the users. Researchers are very much concerned over librarians of the new era, this is why Anil Kumah (2010) went further to say that in the digital environment libraries and librarians are needed more than ever before in other to make effective use of information that is available. Librarians are very much aware that acquisition of knowledge and skills is very effective in providing services that are expected of, from the clientele of the new environment. Skill in information organization are more necessary in this age of information explosion. Librarians and information professionals have a key role to play in this era. Librarians are well equipped to take intranet projects through the various stage of design and maintenance as they understand their users and their organizations information needs and have the range of skills to manage knowledge effectively. In preparing librarians to remain relevant in this 21st Century, the library school has a role to play in this changing task. Hashim and Mukhtar (2005) pointed out that the faculty or library school does not have much choice but to take account of the changes and development while developing the program of studies and the curriculum. The curriculum has been geared towards preparing students to become new era librarians and information professionals. Gulati (2006) on this note acknowledged that regular LIS courses must focus on training on IT applications in libraries. Continuing education will help to maintain job effectiveness in a changing information environment and to meet the demands put upon them by the society. Information professionals need to continue to learn, update and refresh their knowledge to prevent the onset of professional alienation in performance and to adjust to the culture and change prevalent in a new information environment (Odini ,2006). LIS professionals are to be continuously exposed to new technologies, regular professional updating and greater control over the information resources. Khoo (2011) in his conclusion advocates that the library associations can help to organize conferences, continuing education programs, special interest groups, listervs, forums (both real and virtual) and informal sharing sessions to help professionals acquire needed competencies as well as obtain advice and assistance from fellow professional to be effective professional in the new era. One of these challenges is staff resistance to change.Senyah (2002) admits that many members of staff in academic and research library tend to resist the introduction and use of ICT’s because they have not been adequately trained to appreciate their usefulness in this technological age. There is problem on what is to be taught Makara (2002) says, the library association have no control on the skills that their human resources should acquire, there is also limited opportunities. This is because training outside the country is very expensive than training within the country. This is why there are limited number of people who are sent for training at the same time, this may pose a problem in skills development. To select the right ICT technologies is major management issue. It is very difficult in a world where hardware and software changes at a phenomenal rate Hooper (2001). Unreliable power supply is also an impediment in achieving the manpower goals of the new era. Senyah (2002) laments that unannounced power cuts and fluctuations in supply clearly undermine ICT management in the country. 30
  6. 6. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME He went further to say that budgetary allocations of libraries suffer drastically in the face of mounting costs of ICT equipment, training of staff. Senyah (2002 ) in his suggestion believes that efficient and effective management of new technologies depends largely on availability of skilled manpower and the level of literacy of the society. Therefore, academic and research libraries must cooperate with other units of their institutions, particularly the Computer Centres, to train personnel for ICT deployment. Chiware (2007) believes that for African University libraries to make it in the digital age, they must make sure that staff is adequately trained to initiate and manage the digital resources. He further suggests that they should be addressed both through formal education in library and information science programmes and as part of continuing education for staff. Koo (2011) emphasized that library schools need to reconsider their curriculum and teaching methods. Some generic skills, such as interpersonal skills, entrepreneurial skills and leadership, and professional attitudes and personal traits are difficult to impact to students via traditional lecture-based causes and exam-oriented learning. Group learning, project work, open-ended learning, internships, seminar courses, e-learning etc., may be more effective. Roggema Van Heusda (2004) reported a trend in LIS education towards “Competence-oriented learning” which focuses not on acquiring factual knowledge but on problem solving, responding to changing professional situations, teamwork and life-long learning. METHODOLOGY Descriptive survey method was used to ascertain the opinion of the subjects on the awareness of expected skill sets and development by new era librarians in academic libraries in South East Nigeria. The population of the study consists of the academic librarians in four federal governments owned universities in the South East of Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection. The number of the academic librarians in the four universities is 88 out of which 74 subjects returned their questionnaire giving a return rate of 84.09% considering the number of the librarians, there was no sampling. Out of the 47 administered questionnaires to University of Nigeria (UNN) library 40 were returned; out of 24 questionnaires to Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), 22 were returned; 7 out of 9 were returned from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (NAUA) and 5 were returned out of 8 distributed to Michael Okpara University Agriculture Umudike (MOUA). To facilitate the analysis of the responses, values were assigned to the responses, in a four-point scale. A cut-off point of 2.5 was used to determine which of the items was regarded as accepted or in agreement with the statement. Item on the questionnaire with a score lower than 2.5 was regarded as not being accepted or not in agreement with the statement in the questionnaire, while any item with a mean of 2.5 or above was regarded as being accepted or in agreement with the statement in the questionnaire. 31
  7. 7. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME FINDINGS: Table 1: mean responses on the extent of awareness of the emerging roles of the new era librarians S/n 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Items Creation of databases Digitization Creation of Virtual libraries metadata Development of intranets, extranets and portals Design of information systems Evaluation of information systems Search intermediary Search facilitors End-user trainer/educator Knowledge managers/professionals Website builders or publishers Interface designers Sifter of information resources Cluster mean UNN X 3.2 3.4 2.8 FUTO X 3.2 3.1 2.5 NAUA X 3.8 3.5 3.2 MOUA X 2.4 1.8 2.2 A/m DEC 3.2 3.0 2.7 Accept Accept Accept 3.0 2.5 3.1 2.6 2.8 Accept 2.6 2.8 3.2 2.0 2.7 Accept 2.7 2.9 3.2 2.4 2.8 Accept 2.7 2.8 3.0 3.1 2.7 3.0 2.8 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.4 3.4 2.8 2.6 2.6 2.2 2.8 2.9 3.0 2.9 Accept Accept Accept Accept 2.6 2.5 3.1 2.2 2.6 Accept 2.4 2.5 2.2 2.2 3.7 3.4 1.8 2.2 2.5 2.6 Accept Accept 2.8 2.7 3.3 2.3 Grand Accept mean 2.8 Table 1 above shows that the items received a responses average of 3.1 and above which is greater than the criterion mean of 2.5. It can then be deduced from the table that most of the academic librarians are aware of the emerging roles of the new era librarians to a very high extent and High extent. This shows that our society is information literate society that is both information technology and media aware. The library and information professionals (LIPs) are not equally left out. The individual cluster means and the grand mean equally showed that most of the librarians in the universities have appreciable knowledge of the current changes and the emerging roles of the librarians with the cluster means of 2.8 for UNN, 2.7 for FUTO 3.3 for UNIZIK, with only MUAU having 2.3 which is below the criterion mean of 2.5. However, the grand mean of 2.8 is above criterion mean 32
  8. 8. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME Table 2: mean responses on the ways of facilitating the capacity building of the librarians in the 21st century S/n Items UNN X X X X 1 Through training on IT applications in libraries Continuing education Attending conference/workshops Involvement of special interest group(both real and virtual) Joining online-professional forum Through formal sharing sessions such as blogs Joining listerv Formal education Cluster mean 3.7 3.6 4.0 3.3 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.4 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 FUTO NAUA MOUA A/m DEC 4.0 3.8 Accept 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.6 3.7 3.7 Accept Accept 3.1 3.5 3.2 3.3 Accept 3.4 3.5 3.4 3.2 3.4 Accept 3.3 3.1 3.1 3.4 3.2 Accept 3.1 3.4 3.4 3.1 3.5 3.4 2.5 3.8 3.5 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.0 3.6 Grand mean 3.5 Accept Accept Accept From table 2, it can be observed that all the items in the four universities have their average mean rating from 3.0 and cluster mean of 3.4 for UNN, 3.4 for FUTO, 3.5 for UNIZIK, 3.5 for MUAU and a grand mean of 3.5. This shows that all the universities agreed with the statements on various ways of facilitating the capacity building of librarians in the 21st century. Table 3: Mean responses on the perceived challenges to the acquisition of manpower development by academic librarians in the new era S/n Items UNN X X X X 1 2 Staff resistance to change Lack of the knowledge of what to teach Limited opportunities on skill acquisition Selection of right ICT technologies Unreliable power supply Mounting cost of ICT equipment High cost of training staff Lack of ICT literacy Constant change of software and hardware Cluster mean 2.4 3.1 2.1 2.1 3.5 3.4 3.4 2.8 3.3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 FUTO A/m DEC 1.6 2.4 2.4 2.8 Accept Accept 3.2 2.6 3.0 Accept 3.0 3.2 3.0 3.1 Accept 3.5 3.5 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.7 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.7 Accept Accept 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.1 2.7 2.9 3.2 3,2 2.8 3.4 3.0 3.6 3.2 3.0 3.1 Accept Accept Accept 3.2 2.9 3.3 3.0 Grand mean 3.1 Accept 33 NAUA MOUA
  9. 9. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME The results in table 3 indicate the responses of academic librarians on the perceived challenges to the acquisition of manpower developments by academic librarians in the new era. From the table, it is revealed that the average mean rating for all items are greater than the criterion mean of 2.5. The cluster mean of 3.2, 2.9, 3.3 and 3.0 with the grand mean of 3.1 indicate that the responses on the perceived challenges to the acquisition of manpower developments are accepted. Table 4: Mean responses on the strategies to avert the challenges faced by traditional librarians in acquiring the expected skill sets S/n Items UNN X X X 1 Cooperation of academic 3.6 libraries with computer centres for staff training on ICT 3.7 3.7 4.0 3.8 Accept 2 Review of the curriculum and 3.5 teaching methods by the library schools 3.5 3.7 3.6 3.6 Accept 3 A shift toward competence 3.3 oriented learning The use of public awareness 3.3 platform such as newsletters, website, poster, university fm radio 3.4 3.5 2.8 3.3 Accept 3.2 3.4 2.8 3.2 Accept Self-reliant training 3.3 Designing of specific training 2.5 program ICT advocacy 3.4 Cluster mean 3.3 2.7 3.4 3.0 4.0 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.2 Accept Accept 3.6 3.4 3.8 3.6 4.0 3.3 3.7 Grand mean 3.4 Accept Accept X 4 5 6 7 FUTO NAUA MOUA A/m DEC Table 4 revealed that the average rating for all the strategies to avert the challenges faced by traditional librarians in acquiring the expected skll sets in the present environment are all greater than the criterion mean value of 2-5.It can be inferred from the table that all the items are necessary strategies to employ for the enhancement of the acquisition of the skill sets by the academic librarians. DISCUSSION The result in table 1 revealed that all the items have their average mean rating from 2.5 to 3.2. It can be concluded that the librarians are aware of the emerging roles of the new era librarians. This calls for the development of an agreed framework of skills for professional practice to represent the existing and perceived needs of the employers of library and information professionals. This is in line with the statements of Fisher (2004) that early adoption and use of IT within information work, provides an excellent foundation to forge new roles with strong emphasis on quality and accountability. Therefore, the perceived 34
  10. 10. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME awareness is related to the early adoption and use of Information and Communication technology (ICT) within the information Work. Aligning this to diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory of Everett Roger (1995) who theorized that innovations spread through society based on access to knowledge. Gundu (2009), pointed out that individuals posses different degree of willingness to adopt innovations from earliest to latest adoption. He went further to note that diffusion research is focused on how the major elements of dissemination and access to knowledge by individuals determines their awareness of the innovation or current trend. In the same vein, it also indicates their degree of willingness to adopt innovation or the new skills expected of them. Dispersion related to facilitate or hinder embracing of new era products or practice among social system of adopters explains the variation in acceptance and application of emerging skills in library and information science due to the introduction of ICT.The relevance of DOI to the variables of this study stems from the fact that expected skills (emerging skills) are innovations necessary to remain relevant in this digital age. This study tried to find out if the awareness of the expected or the new skills has implication to the application of the skills by librarians In recent times there has been tremendous developments in the information landscape due to the information and communication technology. In other words, ICT has come as a change agent evolving new skills for library and information professionals. Therefore, the acceptance and development of these skills depends on the awareness created and received by the new era librarians. Diffusion and innovation are the two variables critical to this DOI theory of Everett Rogger elucidated from well- established theories in sociology, psychology and mass communication.In it, he developed a precise and comprehensive approach to consumer acceptance of new era technologies. He pointed out that the dissemination of technology, given its inevitable unanticipated, unintended and undesirable consequences, for some and sometimes for all entails a strong commitment to ethical standards of professional practice. He went on to define diffusion as a process of communication by which an innovation is spread via certain communication channels to a specific community over time. The four major facts of diffusion theory are innovation, communication channels, time and community to which the innovation is introduced. Rogers (1995), emphasized that innovation is born out of a problem arising and the realization that an innovation might provide a solution. He noted that problem is a performance gap between the current and the expected performance of an organization, individual or community. In this study, an innovation may not necessarily be a new idea but may be also the continuation of an existing idea. The emergency of new roles by the new era librarians as a result of ICT created a gap between the current and the expected performance. This gap is a problem and it is the skill sets required to give the expected performance in the digital library environment. Therefore, the knowledge of the expected skills will help new era librarians to give maximum performance in discharge of their duties as information professionals in the digital platform. With regards to the ways of facilitating the capacity building of the librarians of the st 21 century, the study revealed that all agreed that professional development among library and information science professionals is indispensable as the new roles is less routine and more innovations. Gundu (2009) stated that relative advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being better than the preceding idea measured in economic terms, social prestige, convenience and satisfaction. 35
  11. 11. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME The study established that there is an awareness of the new role as indicated by the respondents. The perceived awareness is related to the early adoption and use of information and communication technology ICT within the information work. The problem then remains the acquisition of expected skills to perform these new roles. The new roles and the attendant skill sets are welcomed by the respondents irrespective of its complexity which is a degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. Therefore, there is a need for capacity building among librarians to completely adopt the new roles by acquiring the necessary skills. With regards to the ways of facilitating the capacity building of the librarians of the 21st century, the study revealed that all agreed that professional development among LIPS is indispensable as the new roles are less routine and more innovations. It is compactable with the culture of librarianship (existing values, past experience, and needs of potential adopters. There are five basic attributes of an innovation which affect its diffusion and adoption in society. These are real advantage, compatibility complexity and observability of the innovation The implication is that librarians and library and information professionals are to be encouraged through target research and funding opportunity. This will in no doubt make them attend conferences/Workshops, engage in continuing education (formal and informal), self development. They should also be involved in training on ICT applications in libraries as library is one of the highly ICT influenced service profession. This corresponds with what Dhiman (2010) stated that empowerment of library and information professionals with IT skills is aimed at providing services that are expected of, from the clientele in the new environment. The analysis of table 3 in respect of research question 3 indicates that all the items are accepted as challenges to manpower development with the exception of staff resistance to change which had a mean response of 2.4 which is below the criterion mean. All others are above the criterion mean of 2.5. This implies that the librarians are open to change and not resistance to it, though the other factors are limiting factors to their acquiring the emerging skill sets. The implication is that more efforts should be geared towards encouraging the librarians and information professionals to change by acquiring the new roles. In line with DOI, there is no resistance to change by the librarians due to earlier adoption of ICT. However, lack of resources, ICT illiteracy and low economic status culminate to hinder skills acquisition in line with DOI theory factor of time where there are early adopters, early majority, late majority and the laggards. The early adopters and the early majority are those that are not resistance to change while the late majority and the laggards are those who does not readily acquire the skill sets due to lack of knowledge, ICT illiteracy, unreliable power supply, high cost of ICT equipment and the cost of training. In line with DOI, there is no resistance to change by the librarians due to earlier adoption of ICT. It can be seen from examining table 4 that the average mean rating value for all the items is more than the criterion mean of 2.5 suggesting that these strategies when applied accordingly will solve the problem of non-acquisition of the perceived skill sets. As library is one of the highly ICT influenced service profession, cooperation for staff training on ICT, review of the library and information science curriculum to reflect the new roles, designing of specific training programmer and ICT advocacy are regarded the most strategies to be adopted as they tilt towards ICT. The result also suggests that public awareness platform helps to sensitize the librarians on the emerging role of the librarians and the skill sets required of them. Social system is a factor in innovation according to DOI. Librarians are social group operating a social system that engage in problem-solving to accomplish a 36
  12. 12. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME common goal of information acquisition, organization, preservation, retrieval and dissemination. It engages in solving the problem of skill acquisition. Therefore, cooperation for staff training, review of the curriculum by library schools towards competency-based learning, publicity helps in encouraging continuous professional education programme by the employer. This is immeasurably necessary to provide regularity and stability and be able to predict others behaviors with some degree of accuracy. The Nigerian Librarian Registration Council (NLRC) is a social structure in Nigeria that regulates, and stabilizes the practices of librarians and predict others behavior with some degree of accuracy. Continuous Professional Development is a structured approach to learning to ensure competence to practice, taking in knowledge, skills and practical experience. It includes formal, informal and self-directed means of acquisition. RECOMMENDATIONS • • • • • • Efforts should be made to accommodate known and perceived emerging roles in modern professional practice. There should be a development of an agreed framework of skills for professional practice according to employers of Lips. Collaborations, research publications and professional self development should been encouraged among librarians through fund opportunities. There should be total evaluation of library school curriculum to accommodate the recent changes in information management and service delivery. Academic librarians are advised to acquire skills and also understand their roles within an organization if they are to meet the Challenges from knowledge managers in the new era of ICT. Skills development should not be only ICT skill acquisition but must include knowledge management, project management, user focus and supports leadership management and strategic thinking. CONCLUSION From the analysis and discussion of the findings, It can be said that librarians are aware of the emerging roles of the new era librarians, that capacity building is a panacea to professional development, that even though the academic librarians are not resistance to change, their acquisition of the perceived skill sets is jeopardized by many other factors including limited opportunities, lack of power supply, high cost of ICT equipment and staff training , lack of ICT literacy and constant change of software and hardware. Various strategies should be employed to facilitate skill development acquisition. REFERENCES 1. 2. Ashcroft, L. 2004, ‘Developing Competencies, Critical Analysis and Personal Transferable Skills in Future Information Professionals’, Library Review, vol.53 no.2, pp 82-88 Braun, L.W.2002, ‘New roles: A Librarian by any name’, library Journal, vol. 127, no.2 , pp. 46-49. 37
  13. 13. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 2, Issue 2, July- December (2013) 2013, © IAEME 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Chiware, E.R.T. 2007, ‘Training Librarians for the Digital age in African University Libraries’. A pre-IFLA Meeting held at Durban in August 2007. Retrieved from: http://www.ifla.org/iv/ifla73/satellite/programme-n.pdf accessed on (25/3/2011). Dhiman, A.K. 2011, ‘Librarian to Cybarian: Changing Roles and Responsibilities of Library Professionals’. A Convention held at Tezpur University, Assam on February 18 – 20. Fisher, B. 2004, ‘Workforce skills Development: the Professional Imperative for Information Services in the United Kingdom’. A Paper Presented at ALIA, London. Griffiths, J. and King, D. 1993, Special Libraries: Increasing the Information edge, Special Libraries Association, Washington D.C. Hashim, L.B. and Mokhtar, W.H. 2005, ‘Trends and Issues in Preparing New era Librarians and Information Professionals’. A Conference held at Malaysia on 14 – 16th March. Hopper, T. 2001, ‘Management issues for the Virtual Library’, The Electronic Library, vol. 19 no.2, pp. 71-72. Gulati, 2004, ‘Use of Information and Communication Technology in Libraries and Information centres: an Indian Scenario’, The Electronic Librarary. Retrieved from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com Accessed on (10/10/2010). Khoo, C.S. 2011, ‘Competencies for new era Librarians and Information Professionals’, Retrieved from: http://www//ico%20paper%202%20christopher%20khoo.pdf accessed on (2/3/2011) Makara, M. 2002, ‘Skills and Competencies for the 21st Century Information Professionals: a case of Lesotho’. A Conference held in South Africa from 30th September – 4th October. Musher, R.2001, ‘The Changing role of the Information Professional’, Online, vol. 25 no.5, pp. 62-64. Nageswara and babu 2001, ‘Role of Librarian in Internet and world wide web Environment’, Information Science Journal, vol. 4 no.1, pp.25-34 Odini,C. 1999, ‘Training and Development of Skills in a Changing Information Environment’, Library Management, vol.20 no.2, pp.100-104 Retrieved from: http://www.emevaldinsight.com Accessed on (10/102010). A.Chinnaraj, “Knowledge Based Information Resources from Libraries to Higher Education Professionals and Information Managers”, International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012, pp. 37 - 47, ISSN Print: 2277 – 3533, ISSN Online: 2277 – 3584. Dr.K.Sridhar, “Perspectives of Digital Libraries in Medical Education”, International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012, pp. 29 - 36, ISSN Print: 2277 – 3533, ISSN Online: 2277 – 3584. Roggema, V.H. 2004, ‘The Challenge of Developing Competence-Oriented Curriculum: an Integrative Framework’, Library review, vol.53 no.2, pp.98-103. Senyah, Y. 2002, ‘Management issues in ICT Adoption in Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana’, Information Manager, vol.10 no.1&2, pp. 40-47 http://dspace.knust.edu.org/dspace/bitstream/123456789/2011/1/senyah, mgt in ict.pdf.accessed on (10/2/11). 38

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