New Roles & Skills for the New Normal: The multi skilling academic librarian in action


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Presentation at the Internet Librarian International, 26-28 October 2011, London

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New Roles & Skills for the New Normal: The multi skilling academic librarian in action

  1. 1. Internet Librarian International Conference, 28 October 2011, London, UK
  2. 2. IntroductionThe University of Johannesburg came into existence from a merger between the Technikon Witwatersrand, Rand Afrikaans University and Vista Universities in 2005.• Over 45,000 students• 9 Faculties on 4 Campuses• 5 Academic LibrariesChallenges for the SA Education:• 11 Official Languages• Poverty and Crime• Cultural and Language diversity• Urban vs Rural education• Access to Internet and Bandwidth• Information and Computer Literacy
  3. 3. The New Normal defined….• “The new normal isn’t just about austere budgets or doing more with less – it’s also about new technologies.• The new normal is having library patrons, users, customers and clients who know as much or more about technology than we do.• It’s about partnerships and transparency, about new ways to develop and disseminate knowledge, about the increasing importance of communication skills, about opening up access to information, data and knowledge” (ILI, 2011)
  4. 4. The Metamorphosis Life of a Librarian• The 80s – The traditional role• The 90s – The transitional role• The 1st decade of the 21st Century - The growing online access to Information Resources - The implementation of Web 2.0 Technologies - The increase use of Mobile Technologies - The practice of Embedded Librarianship• The 2nd decade of the 21st Century - It is all about Social Media & Networking , Mobile Devices & Applications, eReaders & Tablets, Embedded Librarianship, Open Access…. Adapting to the changing needs of patrons, make it a necessity for the libraries and librarians to embrace the new technologies.
  5. 5. The Traditional Librarian may be out of fashion,but it still lives… and learns new survival skills …. within new environments …. and adopts new roles.
  6. 6. The Traditional Academic Librarian provides:Support to Teaching, Learning & Research:• Information Retrieval• Reference Services• User Education & Information Literacy• Collection Development• Promote Library Services & Collections• Liaison with Library stakeholdersHelp PATRONS within the Library Physical space The Traditional “happy” Librarian
  7. 7. UJ Sciences Librarian Web 2.0 Strategy: The Adventure just started Stage 1: 2007-2008 Stage 2: 2009 (Individual Experiments) (Integration + further experimentation) Created accounts to the following tools: Updated the Wiki Portal (Jan’ 09) - Over 45 web pages- UJ Sciences Librarian Blog (Oct’07) - IM/Chat account: MeeboMe (Feb’09)- UJ Librarian News Blog (Oct’ 07) - Embedded Widgets on the Portal (IM; Blogs;- Delicious: tag articles (Oct’ 07) Twitter; Delicious; Google widgets, etc.)- Flickr account (Nov’ 07) Some more experiments:- YouTube account (Dec’ 07) - iGoogle web profile (Apr’ 09)- Wiki portal (Early’ 08) - Netvibes portal (May’09)- Facebook profile (May’ 08) - Custom Search Engine for the Portal- Second Live account (May’08) - Library Google Maps (Aug’ 09)- Mind Maps (Mid’ 08)- Twitter (Sep’08) Stage 3: 2010 +- Library Thing account (Sep’ 08) It all comes together within the:- UJ Science Library News Blog (Oct’08) - Virtual Learning Environment- Technorati; Snap Shots; Share This; - Embedding Library ServicesScribd, LinkedIn, many more ….. - Mobile Technologies
  8. 8.
  9. 9. Embedded widgets on the UJ Sciences Wiki Portal
  10. 10. The Technological & Social Skills/Roles/Tools for Academic Librarians
  11. 11. The Mobile world at the palm of our hands Source
  12. 12. The Mobile Academic Librarian provides:• Library Services on the GO!• 24/7 Access to the Library catalogue, websites, services & resources• Social Interactions via Mobile Web 2.0 Applications• Current Awareness to Services and Resources• Information Retrieval & Reference Services• eBook Readers on loanAt the PALM of your PATRON HANDS
  13. 13. Mobile Skills/Roles/Tools for Academic Librarians
  14. 14. “Embedded librarianship takes a librarian outof the context of the traditional library andplaces him/her in an “on-site” setting orsituation that enables close coordination andcollaboration with researchers or teachingfaculty” (Carlson & Kneale, 2011)
  15. 15. Embedded Librarianship is about …. (1) a Partnership with your Faculty and StudentsBuild relationships & increase the visibility of the Library Services by:• Providing Information literacy instruction away from the Library (Lecture hall; Laboratories; Offices or Research facilities)• Collaborate with the Faculty members on students’ research projects (Library-Subject based assignments)• Make use of Virtual Learning Environment to reach to students in their study space• Attend faculty Workshops, Open Lecturers, Seminars, Classes and Practical tutorials
  16. 16. Embedded Librarianship is about …. (2) a Partnership with your Faculty and StudentsBuild relationships & increase the visibility of the library services by:• Attend Faculty Board and Departmental meetings to learn about the latest on Research & Teaching, and information needs of its members• Work together with Faculty to enhance the library presence in all the relevant places.• Outreach to users by using Social Networking tools to communicate, share and collaborate.• Make use of Mobile technologies to connect and provide services to patrons
  17. 17. Embedded Skills/Roles/Tools for Academic Librarians
  18. 18. The Embedded UJ Sciences Librarian (1)
  19. 19. The Embedded UJ Sciences Librarian (2) Curriculum Course on Plagiarism: Sciences for Civics 1st year Sciences, October 2011
  20. 20. The Multi Skilling Academic Librarian Competencies
  21. 21. Are “We” The Future Ready Librarians?The “New Normal” is here to stay. The Librarians should focus on adapting to the changing environment and to develop skills that can keep them current.• Be THE TRADITIONAL LIBRARIAN, but adapt to the changing world• Learn how to use the Social & Technological tools to improve relationships and communication with your patrons. Be THE SOCIAL NETWORKING LIBRARIAN.• Help your Library with the implementation of the Mobile Technologies, be THE MOBILE LIBRARIAN.• Practice Embedded Librarianship by establishing trust and partnership with your Faculty. Be the EMBEDDED LIBRARIAN. Traditional + Web 2.0 + Mobile + Embedded Librarian = Modern Librarian We can bridge the GAP in Social Interaction with our Users!
  22. 22. Consulted ResourcesCarlson, J. & Kneale R. 2011. Embedded librarianship in the research context: navigating new waters. College & Research Libraries News, 72 (3):167-170 ( Competencies for 21st Century CARL Libraries. 2010. URL: http://www.carl- (Accessed: 30/9/11)Shumaker, D. 2010. Embedded Librarianship at SLA and ALA. (Blog post, Accessed 21/9/2011). URL: librarianship-at-sla-and-ala/Technical Skills & the librarian. 2006. (Blog post, Accessed 21/9/2011). URL: Thank you! Slide Share Presentations: