ICT Training and Development of the 21st Century Librarian.

Author:Ajie, Ifeoma
Position:2-20-2019 - Report
 
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Introduction

The use of technology for library and information service delivery has undergone various levels of development. An automated cataloguing, circulation and acquisition systems has led to better management of library operations and improved services and for this to be possible there are some challenges that needs to be surmounted. As stated by (Davis 2011),libraries face a host of new challenges, among them finding ways to stay relevant in the Information Age. Libraries are required to do more with less, and the skills library professionals need continue to evolve. Coping with the challenges of the information age or 21st century means integrating and using information communication technology (ICT) facilities in library services delivery. Library users now clamour for electronic services in accessing, retrieving and disseminating of information and so it's the duty of the library management to train and develop their personnel in such areas so that they can be better equipped to carry out their duties. This paper discussed the differences between training and development as well as their types and processes. Library staff training and development is a crucial element in ensuring positive user experiences within libraries. A staff component consistently exposed to relevant training and development interventions should not be underestimated. As stated by (Connor 2009), an academic library's single most valuable resource is its workforce. Without educated, well-trained, and motivated librarians and library staff, an academic library program is ill prepared to meet the needs of its clientele or the challenges that face institutions of higher education. Training here addresses current issues where library personnel in developing countries are lagging behind in 21st century trends while development is more of long term issue addressing the career of the library personnel i.e improving oneself in library trends not just for immediate use but for future purposes as well. Taking a critical look at what is happening in libraries in advanced countries, it is evident that library personnel in Nigeria and other developing countries are lagging behind. For instance, the virtual public library in Denmark makes it possible to gain access to the catalogues of all public libraries plus the biggest research and special libraries. People are able to order an item from anywhere in the country and collect it at their local library (IFLA, 2001). The story is also changing for a good number of academic libraries in developing countries, for instance, Nigeria. Places like the Nnamdi Azikiwe library, Laz Otti Memorial Library Babcock University, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Kenneth Dike library, University of Ibadan, Hezekiah Oluwasami library, O.A.U. He Ife, John Harris library, University of Benin, to mention but a few are stronger in the automation of their libraries and library services. Salisu (2002) is of the opinion that, ICT has engendered a new approach to work and service delivery, and is a technological development that has changed work and job expectations. The concerns in training and developing library personnel borders around the knowledge of ICT and so library personnel are meant to be more knowledgeable with library software and necessary skills so that they can put their users through and also to be counted among the 21stcentury libraries. The library is one of the main areas deeply affected by ICT which is the backbone of information age and so library personnel need to be abreast of any new trend. This is due to the fact that the library being the main stay of information and knowledge has been made virtual such that library and information services extend beyond walls and physical buildings therefore training and development cannot be toyed with.

Background

The job of library personnel has been redefined since the birth of the 21st century. Notable changes are being felt in the area of automation and computerization. For libraries in developing countries to live up to the expectation of 21st century libraries, there is need for automation of their libraries and this will encompass online connectivity via the internet amongst other things and library personnel need to be trained efficiently in this skill so that they can render useful service to users. According to Anyakoha (2005), the 21st century age is the new age which we now live in, it is a revolutionary period with impact far surpassing those of the agricultural and industrial revolutions. The birth and explosion of ICT has brought about changes in different aspects of human life in the 21st century and the library is not an exception. Anyakoha, went further to note that the new opportunities provided by ICT in business, learning, communication etc. have catapulted the world into a new society called the knowledge society or information society. Salisu (2002) is of the opinion that ICT has engendered a new approach to work and service delivery, and is a technological development that has changed work and job expectations. The library is one of the main areas deeply affected by ICT which is the backbone of information age and library personnel are deeply affected as well because it's obvious that it's no more business as usual. This is due to the fact that the library being the main stay of information and knowledge has been made virtual such that library and information services extend beyond walls and physical buildings.

Purpose of the Paper

The purpose of the paper is to assess training and development needs among library personnel with a view to identifying possible issues and concerns and making necessary recommendations for their resolutions. For library personnel to cope with dynamic trends of research, teaching and learning, there is need for appropriate training and development exercise on a consistent basis. It is widely accepted that training and development has come to stay in many libraries all over the world and developing countries are no exception. Libraries have usually been seen as custodians of books and journals for the academia but the challenge that is arising out of globalization and information technology is that...

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