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  1. 1. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE (IJLIS) ISSN : 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN : 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), pp. 17-31 © IAEME: Journal Impact Factor (2013): 5.1389 (Calculated by GISI), IJLIS ©IAEME SKILLS REQUIREMENTS OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIANS FOR THE DIGITAL LIBRARY ENVIRONMENT IN NIGERIA: A CASE OF UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA Ifeanyi J. Ezema (Ph.D), C.F Ugwuanyi, Cyprian I Ugwu (Ph.D) Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka ABSTRACT This study was conducted to examine skills requirements of librarians for the emerging digital library system in University of Nigeria Nsukka.A case study research design was adopted for this study. A total of 50 librarians from Nnamdi Azikiwe Library University of Nigeria were used for the study. The paper identified interpersonal, leadership & management and information technology skills required by librarians for the emerging digital library environment. Findings also show that the librarians’ skills in interpersonal, leadership and management are higher than in information technology. The study found out that none of the personal attributes are major inhibitors to up-dating of the librarians’ skills. Findings also identified funding as the greatest challenge in up-dating librarians’ skills. Similarly, internally organized training programmes and sponsorship to workshops and conferences are identified as most critical in the strategies for up-dating the skills of the librarians. This study will be useful to the management of University of Nigeria libraries and other universities administrators and librarians who are interested in improving the digital skills of their librarians for the development of digital libraries. It will also be of great value to project managers who are engaged in the digitization of their libraries. The originality of the paper is anchored on the identification of skills required by librarians and in relation to the skills they already have. The findings of the study are reliable guide for university libraries that intend to upgrade the digital skills of their staff. Keywords: Digital library skills, skill acquisition, Training of librarians, academic libraries, digital library environment, Nigeria, University libraries, INTRODUCTION Library is an organization for the acquisition, organization and dissemination of information for specified users. It is a link between the user and the information that has 17
  2. 2. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME been created. Academic library is a library in higher institution of learning such as that of university, polytechnic, monotechnics and the colleges of education. Edoka (2002) explains that these are largely tertiary educational institutions, usually available after secondary education. Librarians as information gate keepers are in charge of selection, development, organization and maintenance of library collections and provide advisory services for users. Rubin (2004) noted that they are involved in the acquisition, and organization of library materials and dissemination of same to library users. Librarians are professionally trained persons responsible for the care of a library and its contents, including the selection, processing and organization of materials and the delivery of information, instruction, and loan services to meet the needs of its users. Digital libraries emerged as a result of information explosion and the use of ICT in management and organization of information. These are libraries with digital resources and specialized staff for the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. Fox (2012) pointed out that digital library is an organization, which might be visual, that comprehensively collects, manages and preserves for posterity digital contents and offer to its users communities specialized functionality on that content of measurable quality and according to codified policies. Egun (2006) pointed out that the 21st century library is described s a digital library, but emphasized that high illiteracy and very low ICT literacy jeopardizes the library as a digital library. Rather the 21st century library is a combination of digital and traditional library collections or rather what is often regarded as a hybrid library. Screenivasulu (2000) defined digital librarian as one who manages large amount of data, preserve unique collection, provide faster access to information, facilitates dealing with data from more than one location and enhance distributed learning environment. Rao and Babu (2001) identified the role of librarians in internet and web environment as intermediary facilitator and end – user trainer, website builder, researcher, interface designer, knowledge manager and sifter of information resources. Choi (2006) noted that digital libraries are the future of academic and research institutions. Therefore, digital professionals are required to have more breath and depth of knowledge and skills access the dimensions of traditional library knowledge, technology and human relations. Sreenivasulu (2000) inferred that the overall competencies in digital library management are called Digital Information System Management. This involves issue such as knowledge, know-how, skills and attitudes necessary to create store, analyze, organize, retrieve, and disseminate digital information (texts, images, sounds) in digital libraries. He recognizes digital librarian as guardian of information super high way, global digital library, as a symbiotic human machine guru (intermediary) navigation /browsing and filtering, multimedia search and retrieval coordination, as interface functions and digital information access. The roles of digital librarians determine the skills to be acquired for the digital environment. Egun (2006) citing Zhou enumerated some of the roles of a digital librarian in the 21st century as: selection, acquisition, preservation, organization and management digital collections; designing the technical architecture of digital library; planning, implementation and supporting digital services such as information navigation, consultation and transmission. The digital librarian also establishes friendly user interface over network; sets up relative standards and policies for digital library; designs, maintains and transmits added- valued information produced and services at right time and right place. In addition to this, he protects digital intellectual property in network environment and insures information security. These roles require several interpersonal, leadership, management and technological skills as library services transit into a global digital environment. 18
  3. 3. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME The digital environment is creating a new platform for librarians to operate on. Arif and Mahmood (2010) noted that the digital environment is also a world of web 2.0 technologies as an emerging trend. They maintain that web 2.0 is used to provide library services especially in public service division. Such services include instant messaging and social networking (blogging electronic group, Wikis, RSS and podcasting) services. The new environment requires librarians to acquire new skills and abilities to succeed in the environment. For example, internet skill is required for the adoption of web 2.0 technologies for the library services. Information communication technology (ICT) literacy skill is indispensable to functioning effectively in the environment. ICT literacy skill comprises of computer and internet literacy skills. Therefore, librarians need to be trained to be creating and updating library websites, working successfully with co-workers and interacting with users. LIS service delivery had shifted from the traditional modes to electronic and web based formats to carry out some job functions successfully in a shortest time without exerting much energy. Goodrich and Singer (2009) in the same vein noted that skills are the manual and mental capabilities acquired through training and work experience, the application of knowledge gained through education or training and practical experience. Skills can be grouped into general and domain specific skills. Some general skills include time management, team work and leadership, motivation and others, whereas domain specific skills would be useful only for a certain job. CARL (2010) enumerated skills to be possessed by the librarians in the digital environment as foundational knowledge interpersonal skills, leadership and management collection development, information literacy research and contribution to the profession, and information technology skills. CARL (2010) emphasized that academic library is constantly challenged to remain vital part of the changing environment. However, the change in the nature and role of libraries vis-à-vis the digital environment has brought about the need for the development and acquisition of new skills. Updating of librarians’ skills include all the processes and mode of teaching, training, skill acquisition and learning, (Formal, informal and in-service training). Fadehan and Ali (2006) citing Hayes indicated that libraries must move from resources centered, institutionalized and physically bound to network based environment. This invariably brings with it the challenge of re-orientation, retooling and re-skilling of librarians. Human resources are an indispensable aspect of every establishment. It is central in planning, managing and delivery of library services. In academic libraries of today, new areas of expertise are developing, the same with new opportunities to provide innovative value- added services for the students and researchers. Therefore, librarians’ roles should transit to meet the evolving needs. The process of bringing the skills of librarians in the emerging digital environment demands updating of librarians skills. It involves improving their librarianship skills and gaining new skills in order to discharge their duties effectively in the digital environment. Updating of librarians skills also encompasses the development and training of librarians to align their skills with the involving job in the digital environment. The goal of updating is to develop and sustain an adequate supply of skilled professionals who are motivated to provide effective digital library services. Such enhances job performance of staff and opens one to new approaches products and technology for finding, organizing and managing information resources. It reawakens reviews and refreshes one’s thinking and at the same time enhances professional development. There are various methods of transmitting those skills. These are on the job training and off -the – job training. On – the- job training is a training done while still on the job. It is unstructured with no proper preplanning, very cost effective and learning and doing goes on at the same time, off- the- job training takes place outside the normal working environment. 19
  4. 4. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME However, the growths of skills of librarians in developing countries are usually stifled by digital divide between the digitally rich and the digitally poor countries which Nigerian is a part. The digitally rich are operating at a higher level of digitization while others are still developing or trying to meet up. The transition from traditional library services to the evolving skills for the digital environment is indispensable. Fadehan and Ali (2010) citing Oduwole, Adedoyin, Igun emphasize that the digital environment of the 21st century is lacking experienced library staff that could meet the new demand. The Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka may not be an exception in the paucity of experienced and skillful librarians. The library was established in 1960 to support teaching learning and research in Nigeria’s first indigenous university. University Library System has about 735,157 volumes of books and about 99,760 bound volumes of journals It also has a growing collection of publications by international bodies/organization such as: The United Nations, The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nation; and The United Nations Educational Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other UN agencies. The Library has also special collection documents published by the various governments of Nigeria as well as the Biafrana Collection (publications on the Nigeria Civil War) and African Collection (publications on Africa, about Africa and by Africans). Within the last five years, the university library has made tremendous efforts for the adoption of electronic library services by establishing electronic library system (one of them sponsored by Telecommunication Giant MTN). The library also began the digitization of theses and dissertations and other institutional publications hosted on the library website. In addition to this the library catalogue is now online and so many other projects are on-going for full adoption of electronic services to the teaming clienteles. This study seeks to identify the necessary skills needed in digital library environment, how to acquire them and the strategies to bypass all odds to acquire these skills. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The objectives of the study are to: 1. Identify the skills required for digital library implementation in Nigeria; 2. Determine the interpersonal skills possessed by the librarians; 3. Determine the leadership and management skills possessed by the librarians 4. Determine the technological skills possessed by the librarians 5. Identify personal attributes that inhibits up-dating of librarians’ skills 6. Identify the problems associated with up-dating the librarians’ skills; 7. Examine the strategies to be used in updating the librarians’ skills; 20
  5. 5. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME LITERATURE REVIEW The 21st century academic library is experiencing a remarkable change as a result of introduction of information communication technology (ICT) into library services. This transitional change has led to the emergence of digital environment. Singh and Pinki (2009) noted that the new technology is influencing the academic libraries to focus more on the new technology innovation , technical complexities, social and legal issues, cost, risk, competencies, skills of staff and technology itself. As the librarians skills are affected, they have to act in a proactive manner in order to support the 21st century educational challenge. In their own view, Thomas, Satpathi and Satpathi (2010) emphasized that the emerging challenges posed by the contemporary environment are digital repository, open access, user centric services ( e- learning- teaching, information literacy, orientation program ),Web based library services, application of social networking, Library co-operation including consortia and legal issues among others. SKILLS REQUIREMENT FOR THE DIGITAL LIBRARY ENVIRONMENT These services are pushing the library to adjust from print era to digital era thereby creating a landscape in terms of services and activities. Devi, Vikas and Devi (2006) pointed out that in the emerging digital environment, the library and information workers are required to possess enhanced managerial, professional and technical skills, adequate knowledge and right kind of experience. Digital environment makes use of web 2.0 technologies to provide library services especially in public service division. Online reference service is a service prevalent in digital environment propelled by web 2.0 services such as social networking (blogging, electronic group, Wikis, RSS and podcasting) services and instant messaging. Arif and Mahmood ( 2010) stated that the adoption of web 2.0 technology for library services require internet skill. Partridge, Lee and Munro (2010) noted that librarian 2.0 requires transferable skills and interpersonal skills together with attitudinal change and way of thinking towards ICT. They also identified technology, communication, teamwork, user focus, business savvy, evidence based practice, learning and education, and personal traits as essential skill attributes to be possessed in a digital environment. Hsieh-yee (2002) advocated for leadership and management, mission and value skills, co-operation and collaboration, communication and interpersonal skills, problem solving skills (analytical, creative and flexible), managerial skills, growth and change. Librarians in the digital environment are expected to adapt to the dynamic changes of the environment. Therefore, to align with the current trends in the emerging environment, Singh and Pink (2009) recommended the combination of generic skills, traditional and ICT related skills like digital archiving, content development, developing metadata, electronic database searches, networking, consortia access etc. In respect of this, skills required in digital environment can be grouped into generic skill managerial skills and professionals skills. Sridhar (1998) also tried to group these skills into technical skills, IT skills and managerial skills. The groupings took cognizance of the library process, the use of technologies in the environment and the management of the entire digital library. Obviously, skill is the application of the knowledge gained, therefore, the awareness of necessary knowledge or development with the attendant ability to use them to satisfy the users’ information needs is the basic concern of a digital librarian. CARL (2010) maintains that for librarians to thrive well in digital environment they must have traditional knowledge of librarianship and management skills and information technology skills. This was also supported by Gulati and Raina (2006) when they argue that LIS profession in digital 21
  6. 6. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME environment need to have the traditional core skills of librarianship, know the basics of IT, particularly in the area of computer, communication and networking technologies. Four essential qualities of skills required are communications, flexibility, and ability to work under pressure and dealing with a range of users. These are also personal characteristics required of professionals in a digital environment. Along the same line Feret and Marcinek cited in NonthacumJane (2011) categorized digital library skills into five namely: communication and training skills, IT skills, managerial skills, commitment, subject knowledge or profiling, teamwork skills, public communication skills, project management skills, leadership qualities, knowledge of the international standards, commitment to the profession and the flexibility. He went further to summarize the skills needed in digital environment into personal skills (enthusiasm, flexibility, self motivation) : generic skills ( interpersonal communication, general computing, teamwork) and disciplines specific knowledge or professional skills (professional related experiences customer services, chartered librarian, cataloguing, classification and metadata). Khoo (2005) elaborates these skills as follows: personal skill which has to do with appropriate attitudes, values and personal traits generic skills represents skills which cut across disciplines such as communication, critical thinking, information literacy, teamwork etc. Discipline specific is knowledge learned in LIS program in undergraduate and postgraduate levels such as collection development, digital library architecture, digital library software, metadata etc. UPDATING LIBRARIANS’ SKILLS FOR SERVICES DELIVERY IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT The evolving nature of the new environment and the attendant skills made Choi (2006) request that in addition to their traditional library skills and knowledge, digital librarians are expected to possess additional knowledge and skills to work within the digital information world. Therefore, educating digital librarians who are competent to work in the dynamic and complex digital environment has become a high priority. Updating of librarian skills/competencies include all the processes and mode of teaching, training, skill acquisition and learning. It takes the form of formal, informal and in service training in information technology vis – a- vis information management and library services. Updating of librarians’ skills is an aspect of professional development and human resource development. Education and training are forms of updating. Education takes place at a library school and lays the foundation on which the training on the job takes place. The main focus of library school is pre- service training. Specific job training is the chief responsibility of the employer. It starts when one starts working on – the - job training and continues throughout the work life (continuous education).According to Gorden cited in Macphopha (2001), the distinction between formal education and training is becoming blurred because more specific knowledge and skills are integrated into the curriculum. Sometimes, in job situations employees also need to engage in formal education for self development. Maphopha (2001) emphasizes that there are two basis forms of training which are on – the -job training and of the job training based on where the training takes place. It has various methods of transmitting learning. On- the -job- training takes the form of demonstration, lecture, discussion, programmed instruction, simulation, mentoring, literature research, job exchange, regular staff meeting, project and task management and technology assisted training. Off – the – job training takes place outside the normal working environment in form of simulation, further education and career development, interest group, professional contribution, experimentation, conferences/ seminars, short courses and meeting. 22
  7. 7. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME In effect, the skills of librarians need to be updated toward digital librarianship. Misco and Ocholla (2013) are of the opinion that core knowledge and core skills for information providers ought to be reviewed regularly incorporating various organs of library Associations in updating skills of librarians. Supporting the need for updating librarians’ skills, Egun (2006) recommends a radical structuring of training of librarians to produce librarians suited to deliver services in digital library in knowledge based society. She emphasized that on –the job training is very important in the acquisition of real skills for digital environment. Chiware (2007) stressed that there are two ways of approaches to training in the present digital age. She noted that formally digital library education should be incorporated into LIS course contents for the sound theoretical knowledge and formally through continuing education programmes (workshops, short courses and conferences) visit to other libraries and on- site visits by experts. Skill goes with knowledge, therefore, the awareness of the available online resources and services through promotion and marketing will help in bridging and removing the digital gap. Choi (2006) noted that digital libraries are the future of academic and research institutions. Therefore, digital professionals were required to have more breadth and depth of knowledge and skills across the dimensions of traditional library knowledge, technology and human relations. In his survey on what it is needed to educate future digital librarians, he found out that education needs to pay attentions to additional education in interpersonal and communication skills and of practical skills and experience with digital collection management and digital technologies into the curriculum. PROBLEMS OF UPDATING LIBRARIANS’ SKILLS FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICES IN THE DIGITAL LIBRARY ENVIRONMENT Igun (2006) in her opinion pointed out that the 21st century academic library is described as a digital library. But she emphasized that illiteracy is still high in Nigeria and ICT literacy is very low and as a result, the 21st century library is a library with a combination of digital and traditional library. She further noted that training of librarians must be mainly in the mode of digital librarian. Ocholla and Bothma (2013) pointed out that knowledge and diversification of LIS job market, funding of LIS schools and development of technology infrastructure hinders the development of continuing education and short courses to provide new knowledge, skills and attitudes to LIS worker. Chiware (2007) pointed out that funding, human resources, training and retention of skills, internet connectivity, and telecommunication infrastructure and copyright issues are the challenges facing the African University libraries in the implementation of digital library projects. She also noted that there is lack of competent trainers for digital environment as even the library school educators required opportunities to upgrade their knowledge and skills prior to designing and teaching the new courses. She maintained that non- availability of digital library courses, lack of funds and lack of commitment from management to send trainers for these course and attendance to short courses and workshops and sending of wrong people hinders updating of librarians for the digital environment. Similarly, Ezeani and Ezema (2011) found out that major challenges of digital skill acquisition among Nigeria librarians are poor ICT infrastructure, poor funding of libraries and irregular power supply. They recommended a synergy between university computing centres and the university libraries for adequate updating of librarians’ ICT skills. 23
  8. 8. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME STRATEGIES FOR UPDATING LIBRARIANS’ SKILLS FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICES IN THE DIGITAL LIBRARY ENVIRONMENT Many authors have tried to put up some measures to help enhance the training of librarians for the digital environment. Ocholla and Bothma (2013) noted that re- orientation, curriculum review and revision to include ICT for LIS education for increased use and access to ICT for library services is a veritable means of updating the skills of librarians in the digital environment. Chiware (2007) suggested that ICT should be integrated into the LIS curriculum, and ways of retraining staff sought, and the collaboration of Africans in Diaspora with donors for training in digital library. This will be a bold step to bridge the digital divide. African government institutions, private sector, civil societies, funding agencies, library and information centers should contribute to capacity building by working together. In this respect, government should facilitate the accessibility of ICTS infrastructure and promote the use of online resources. It also emphasized that LIS curriculum should be strengthened on the use of online resources and services and hand on- the experience on how to use them in doing research. Various strategies are employed to avert the challenges of updating by drawing a training program. Maphopha (2001) noted that this training program takes the form of trial and error, unsystematic and unplanned training, and purposeful and well planned training. He pointed out that in a planned training process you need to consider the following: determination, setting training objectives, course content, selection of participants, scheduling of training process, facilities needed and appointment of instructors. From the literature review it can be found that generic skills, personal skills and discipline specific skills and IT skills are the basic skills requirements in a digital environment. The use of formal and informal means of education and continuing education helps to bring out and inculcate these skills in the librarians. Many problems interlock to frustrate efforts to update librarians’ skills through the above means. Among these are the diversification of LIS job market, funding, availability of technology infrastructure, lack of competent trainers and others. RESEARCH METHODS This study adopted a case study research design. The population of the study was made up of 50 librarians from Nnamdi Azikiwe Library University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A set of questionnaire using Core competencies for the 21st century CARL librarians was developed to elicit responses from the librarian on three broad areas of interpersonal, leadership & management, and information technology skills. A total of 45 questionnaires were returned and found valid for analysis of data. The response rate was 90%. The responses to the items in the questionnaire were based on a 4-point scale of 1 – strongly disagree, 2 – disagree, 3 – agree, and 4 – strongly agree. Also a rating scale of 0 – 4 points was used to determine whether the librarians possess the skills required. In order to effectively analyze responses, nominal values were assigned to the response categories in the scale and computation carried out, while decisions on the cut-off points were made based on Gregory and Ward (1978) formula for determining the lower and upper limits in means ( X ) thus: 0.50 to 1.49 = strongly disagree; 1.50 to 2.49 = disagree; 2.50 to 3.49 = agree; 3.50 to 4.49 = strongly agree. The lower limit ranges from 0.50 to 2.49 while the upper limit ranges from 2.50 to 4.49. The data obtained were analyzed using frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviations and presented in tables. 24
  9. 9. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME RESULTS Table 1: Interpersonal skills required for digital library implementation in Nigeria Required S/ N Interpersonal Skills Possessed X St. Dev X St. Dev df t Dec. 1 Adaptability, flexibility and eagerness for new experience and knowledge 3.5 0.77 3.1 1.14 46 2.01 S+ 2 Communication and advocacy (can market library objectives and mission to the funding bodies) 3.4 0.87 3.0 1.00 46 2.09 S 3 Negotiation (working with others to arrive at mutual solutions to problems) 3.4 0.92 3.1 1.07 46 1.47 NS* 4 Change management (open minded to changes) 3.4 0.77 3.1 1.08 46 1.57 NS 5 Decision making (ability to make informed decision to achieve library goals) 3.3 0.74 3.2 0.87 46 1.21 NS 6 Problem solving (can identify problems and articulate solutions to them) 2.8 1.17 3.2 0.87 46 1.91 NS 7 Initiative (capacity to identify issues and develop solutions to address them) 3.3 0.95 3.1 0.85 46 1.07 NS 8 Innovation (apply imagination to devise solution to problems) 2.8 1.06 3.1 0.87 46 1.50 NS 9 Collaboration (can work with diverse groups to achieve a goal ) 3.1 0.89 3.2 0.87 46 0.56 NS 10 Marketing (can promote the expertise, collections and the services of the library) 2.9 0.74 3.0 1.08 46 0.53 NS 11 Mentoring (can provide useful advice and guides to younger colleagues) 3.1 0.96 3.1 1.10 46 0.00 NS 12 Writing skills (can prepare persuasive grant proposals or reports) 3.3 0.80 2.9 0.98 46 2.19 S 13 Presentation skills (ability to speak in the presence of audience with or without technology) 3.3 0.82 3.0 1.02 46 1.06 NS + Significant *Not Significant Table 1 presents data on the interpersonal skills required for digital library implementation in Nigeria. The result indicates that the most critical interpersonal skill librarians require is adaptability flexibility and eagerness for new knowledge. This ranked first with a mean of 3.5 followed by communication and advocacy skill which ranked second with a mean of 3.4. Other important interpersonal skills are negotiation and decision making skills with a mean of 3.4 each. 25
  10. 10. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME Table 2: Leadership and Management skills required for digital library implementation in Nigeria Required 3.7 3.5 0.71 3.0 0.91 46 3.00 S 3.2 0.75 3.1 0.94 46 0.58 NS 2.7 1.07 3.1 0.91 46 -1.97 NS 3.0 0.80 3.0 0.99 46 0.00 NS 2.4 1.19 3.0 1.01 46 -2.66 NS 2.8 0.81 3.1 0.98 46 -1.63 NS X 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Leadership (ability to influence and motivate others) Financial management (understands the principles of planning & budgeting) Human resource management (can organize the personnel to achieve goals) Risk management (ability to take informed decision with minimal risk) Project management (planning organizing and managing resources) Assessment and evaluation (can handle resource and project evaluation) Partnership and collaboration (understands the reason and strategies for developing collaboration) Possessed St. X Dev 3.2 0.93 St. Dev 0.55 df t Decision 46 3.21 S In table 2, the result of leadership and management skills required by librarians is presented. Evidence from the result indicates that leadership skill ranked highest with a mean of 3.7, followed by financial management skill with a mean of 3.5. Human resource management is also an important skill for the librarians. It ranked third with a mean of 3.2. Table 3: Information Technology skills required for digital library implementation in Nigeria Required St. X Dev S/N Information Technology Skills 1 Electronic resource management (knowledge of how digital resources are acquired, managed and accessed) Networking skill (can use search engines for online search) Hardware/soft and networking (can use computer for basic operations ) Scanning techniques (ability to use scanning machine to preserve document) Institutional repository (Understands the basic structure, content and use of institutional repositories) Internet skills (ability to use internet for e-mail, research, etc ) Use of Library management soft ware (koha, lib+, alice 4 window, etc.) Desktop publishing (can create and publish documents using computers ) Learning management system (knowledge of the structure and use of LMS) Database management ( understand how databases are designed & structured) Digital curation (understands the practices of selection , preservation and description of digital collections) Web page development (understands the principles of web site design and maintenance ) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 26 Possessed St. X Dev df t Dec. 3.1 0.89 2.5 1.28 46 2.65 S 3.0 2.8 0.89 0.95 2.9 3.0 1.12 0.98 46 46 0.48 -1.01 NS NS 2.8 0.88 2.5 1.22 46 1.38 NS 2.8 0.84 2.7 1.07 46 0.51 NS 2.7 1.01 3.2 1.02 46 -2.41 NS 2.6 0.91 2.8 1.12 46 -0.96 NS 2.5 1.05 1.9 1.44 46 2.33 S 2.5 1.01 2.2 1.29 46 1.27 NS 2.4 1.01 2.5 1.18 46 -0.45 NS 2.4 0.99 2.5 1.13 46 -0.46 NS 2.2 1.13 2.1 1.32 46 0.40 NS
  11. 11. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME In table 3, the data presented show that the most important information and technology sills for librarians are electronic resources management skills which ranked first with a mean of 3.1 and networking skills with a mean of 3.0. Other skills that also ranked high are hardware and software networking and scanning skills which ranked third and fourth respectively with mean score of 2.8 each. Table 7: The strategies for updating librarians’ skills? S/N 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 Strategies SA D SD X 34 32 26 22 25 21 23 24 19 22 21 17 Internally organized training programmes Sponsorship to workshop/ conferences Sponsored courses in library schools Short –term courses Scholarships for programmes Train the trainer Orientation programme to new staff Mentoring from senior colleagues Training tour to establishments Through colleagues in the library Online training programmes Self-sponsored training programs A 8 12 18 17 19 18 17 15 21 14 14 17 5 3 4 5 3 8 6 7 7 8 7 7 1 1 0 4 1 1 2 2 1 4 6 7 3.7 3.6 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.2 3.1 3.0 2.9 St. Dev 0.77 0.71 0.65 0.67 0.71 0.74 0.84 0.87 0.77 0.98 1.05 1.04 The results of the strategies to be adopted in the up-dating the librarians’ skills are presented in table 7. From the table it can be seen that the use of internally organized training programme ranked first with a mean of 3.7, followed by sponsorship to workshops and conferences (3.6). Other strategies that ranked high are sponsored courses in library schools (3.5), short-term courses (3.4) and award of scholarships (3.4). Table 8: Rating of personal attributes that inhibit updating of librarians’ skills Rank 4 3 2 1 0 X 7 15% 8 17% 5 10% 9 19% 19 40% 1.5 2 My rank in the office reduces my training opportunities Phobia for computers 6 13% 7 15% 6 13% 6 13% 23 48% 1.3 3 My age affects the use of computers 5 10% 8 17% 5 10% 7 15% 23 48% 1.3 4 Family problems give me little time 4 8% 5 10% 8 17% 10 21% 21 44% 1.2 5 I have health challenges 3 6% 7 15% 9 19% 6 13% 23 48% 1.2 6 My gender provides little opportunity for training I am rarely promoted and there is no need to update my skills My marriage reduces my training opportunities My religion forbids the use of computers 3 6% 3 6% 4 8% 7 15% 31 65% 0.75 0 0% 3 6% 6 13% 11 23% 28 58% 0.7 0 0% 3 6% 5 10% 7 15% 33 69% 0.5 0 0% 2 4% 0 0% 0 0% 46 96% 0.1 1 7 8 9 Personal attributes as inhibitor Table 8 presents the results of personal attributes that inhibits the up-dating of librarians’ skills. Evidences from the table indicate that none of the personal attributes is a serious inhibition of up-dating of librarians’ skills. However rank of the librarians provides 27
  12. 12. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME the highest inhibition with a mean of 1.5, followed by phobia for computers with a mean of 1.3. Religion appears to provide any inhibition since it ranked last with 0.1 mean score. Table 9: Rating of the problems associated with updating of librarians’ skills? S/N Problems 4 3 2 1 0 X 1 Funds are not provided for training 27 56% 10 21% 6 13% 5 10% 0 0% 3.2 2 Library management favour some staff Libraries are generally neglected by parent institutions Facilities to organize training are often not available Paucity of experienced and highly skilled personnel to handle the training Library management rarely make case for training of the staff Librarians are usually busy to attend training programmes Librarians have phobia for new technology 13 27% 16 33% 8 17% 7 15% 4 8% 2.6 14 29% 11 23% 11 23% 8 17% 4 8% 2.5 15 31% 11 23% 10 21% 9 19% 3 6% 2.5 10 21% 15 31% 14 29% 7 15% 2 4% 2.5 10 21% 13 27% 13 27% 7 15% 5 10% 2.3 7 15% 12 24% 7 15% 10 21% 12 24% 1.8 3 6% 5 10% 10 21% 11 23% 19 40% 1.2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Table 9 provides data on problems associated with up-dating the skills of the librarians. The results show that the most critical among the problems is funds (3.2) followed by favouritism on the part of the library management with a mean score of 2.6. The result indicate that techno-phobia librarians’ busy schedule do not prevent librarians from up-dating their skills. DISCUSSION The result of this study provides useful insight on the skills and training strategies for the development of digital libraries in University of Nigeria libraries. It is evident from the findings that librarians require several interpersonal, leadership & management and information technology skills. Findings reveal that the most important interpersonal skill is adaptability, flexibility and eagerness for new knowledge. Apart from this, librarians highly require advocacy and negotiation skills. This finding is in line with the requirement of the new information environment. It also corroborates the opinion of Singh and Pinki (2000) who argued that academic libraries should focus attention in the development of new technologies. The trend in the library practice is changing on a daily basis and there is a need to develop the skills that would follow these changes and possibly canvass support for the changes. The leadership and management skills that librarians required as seen in the findings are leadership, financial management and human resource management. These skills are really important for a sustainable control of the library system in the emerging information environment. This is because no matter how sophisticated the new technology is, it requires a crop of well managed staff and a librarian with good knowledge of application of funds. This is also in line with the argument of CARL that traditional library skills are very important in the emerging digital library environment. Findings of this study also show that the most critical information technology skills are electronic resource management, and networking skills. This is not surprising because, the new era library relies heavily on electronic information resources which are propelled by 28
  13. 13. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 1, January - June (2014), © IAEME ability to search the internet and other major data bases. Without these skills, it would be difficult for librarians to cope in the emerging digital library environment. Librarians were asked to rate themselves on the possession of the skills they identified. Interestingly, their ratings in most of the skills are high. However, they scored higher in interpersonal, leadership and management skills than information technology skills. This finding appears to be linked with fact that information technology skills are still new in most libraries in Nigeria. Under the information technology skills the librarians scored highest in internet skills, hardware and software networking and the use of library management software. Their score in these areas appear to be linked with the efforts the University of Nigeria library in 24 hours internet services within the university. This may have positively influenced the internet and networking skills of the librarians. Similarly, the library recently, implemented Online Public Access Catalogue using koha as the management software. The training received during the process appears to have improved the skills of the librarians in the use of library management software. Librarians were equally asked to rate some personal attributes that inhibit up-dating of their skills. The findings indicate that none of the listed attributes is a serious inhibitor. However, rank appears to be the greatest inhibitor. The finding is in line with our observations and personal discussions with colleagues who believe that up-dating of skills are more important with senior colleagues than the younger librarians. This belief however, appear to be faulty for in the real sense of it, the younger librarians would require new skills to build and grow in the career. Apart from this, they are even more amenable to the new technology than the senior colleagues. Finally, the respondents’ ratings of the problems associated with up-dating of librarians’ skills show that availability of funds is the most critical problem. This not surprising as funding has been a recurring problem in the development of libraries all over the country. In fact literature is replete with funding related problems in all the categories of libraries in Nigeria. Similarly, favouritism on the part of library management is also identified as a major problem in updating the librarians’ skills. This finding may need further investigation for there has not been any established case of favouritism in the library studied. CONCLUSION From the results of the findings of this study, one can conclude that the skills required for digital library projects are enormous and wide ranging. It is evident that some traditional library and management skills are very important in the emerging digital library environment. Evidences from the study indicate that the librarians in University of Nigeria library posses critical information technology skills for the emerging digital library services. However, there is the need to improve in most of the IT skills particularly electronic resource management, desk top management and learning management system. The management of the library and other university libraries in Nigeria need to address develop training programmes that would address these areas of need in full adoption electronic library system in Nigeria and other developing countries. For librarians to remain at the cutting edge of the profession the acquisition of these skills is very pertinent. These can only be made possible through training and retraining of librarians. A major challenge of skill acquisition in the university libraries is funding. This is evident from the findings. The university administrators should see the development of the library as a priority and release the library votes as at when due. In addition to this private-public partnership (PPP) should be adopted to address funding related challenges in the university libraries. 29
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