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Redefining Reinventing Repositioning Information Professionals by stariya


									    Redefining, reinventing and repositioning the
information professionals and digital libraries in the
             new information landscape
                                          Shalini R.Urs
                           Department of Library and Information Science
                                       University of Mysore

CONTEXT                                                  ‘comfort zone’ of the traditional monopolistic
The information and communication technologies           positing to ‘aggressively competitive’ survival of
have brought in dramatic shifts and paradigm             the fittest information market jungle
changes in the precincts of the demand and supply
chain of the information. The roles and functions of     THE NEW PARADIGM FOR DIGITAL
the different players in the information landscape       LIBRARIANS
are being redefined. The once venerated                  The changing scenario of the market place and the
institutions of libraries are challenged with new        technology requires that we take ‘de novo’
services and players in the information ‘bazaars’.       approach to the development of a DL education
Any educational programme for digital libraries          programme. Such an exercise should necessarily
has to watch out for not only the technological          adopt the following:
changes but also market trends.
                                                                      An interdisciplinary perspective
The trends and perceptions that we need to watch                      User-Centric ( read market centric)
out are:                                                               strategy
                                                                      ‘Information as resource’ philosophy
        In the eyes of our clients (users) libraries                 ‘Container independent & format
         are just another cyber stand in the                           independent information’ focus
         information market place.                                    A value addition process view
        There are far too many information
         resources and services in the market place.     DIGITAL LIBRARIES: CORE AREAS, TASKS,
        There is greater fragmentation of the           AND SKILLS
         market.                                         In order to evolve a curriculum for digital libraries,
        Technology is changing faster then we           it is concomitant to first delineate the core areas of
         ever imagined.                                  the field of digital libraries. The core ‘areas’ of
        Our clients get more demanding and user         digital libraries are:
         expectation increases by the day.
        Need for higher end research and value                       Information User
         addition for the information that we                         Information Resources
         deliver.                                                     Value addition processes
                                                                      Information Technologies
In the above context developing an educational                        Information Management
programme for DL is to look beyond competencies
and skills-it involves changing the philosophy ,                  The major tasks, and the knowledge
attitudes and mindsets of the professionals and the
                                                         and skills required to perform those tasks in
field . Keeping the above in view an attempt has
                                                         each of the above areas are enumerated in
been made in this paper to identify the core areas,
the tasks involved and skill sets required for digital   Table 1.
librarians to not only function effectively but also
to survive and sustain! We need to move from the
Area                    Tasks                              Requisite Knowledge & Skills

Information User           Understanding the user             Theoretical Underpinnings of
                           Identifying and Analysing           Use Studies
                            user needs                         Qualitative Research Methods
                           Reference Interview                Quantitative Research Methods
                           Query Formulation                  Psychological Tools
                                                               Search Strategy

Information Resources      Identification                     Types - Print & Electronic
                           Evaluation                         Nature & characteristics
                           Selection                          Meta Sources
                                                               Searching &Search Engines
                                                               Norms, Techniques and
                                                                Procedures of Evaluation

Value Addition             Compilation of                      Theoretical (Logical, Linguistic,
processes                   Bibliographies, Databases          Psychological) Foundations of
                           Developing Virtual Libraries       Knowledge Organisation
                           Design and Development of           Paradigms of Knowledge
                            User Interfaces                    Organisation
                           Organising (Classification,         Indexing Languages, Tools and
                            Cataloguing, Indexing,             Techniques for Knowledge
                            Abstracting) Information           Representation
                            Resources; Information              Resource Cataloguing &
                            Analysis and Consolidation         Description: Record Formats,
                           Design and Development of          METADATA, Organising
                            E-Content                          INTERNET Resources
                           Development of Digital              Programming Languages,
                            Libraries                          DBMS
                                                                Authoring Software Tools,
                                                               Multimedia / Hypermedia tools
                                                                Electronic Publishing,: SGML,
                                                               HTML, DHTML, XML, PDF
                                                                Digitization techniques
Area                     Tasks                                 Requisite Knowledge &

Information Technology      Systems Study/Analysis and           Understanding of
                             Requirement Analysis                  Information &
                            IT market survey                      Communication Technology
                            Identification and selection of       Hardware: Computer,
                             suitable hardware and                 Telecommunication,
                             software for automation,              Networking and Storage
                             LANs, Internet, Intranets, etc.       Technologies
                            Setting up the system                Network processors-routers,
                            Data conversion                       gateways, bridges etc
                            WEB site development and             Operating Systems:
                             Registration                          WINDOWS, UNIX, LINUX
                                                                  Network operating systems
                                                                  Office Automation
                                                                  Networking Topologies and
                                                                  OOPS: C, C++, Visual Basic,
                                                                   Java, ASP, API, PHP etc
                                                                  CGI Scripting Languages:
                                                                   Perl, Java scripting
                                                                  WEB site management
                                                                  Digital document creation-
                                                                   files and formats
                                                                  Preservation techniques –
                                                                   digital watermarking and
                                                                   digital signatures

Management                  Planning: Strategic & Tactical       Theories & Schools
                            Resource Management:                  of Management
                             Finance, Human Resources             Information
                            Developing Decision Support           Economy
                             Systems                              Psychology of the Consumer
                            Organisational Re –                  Management Principles &
                             Engineering                           Techniques
                            Knowledge Management:                Methods of Forecasting
                             Information Flow                     Principles of Marketing
                             Management                           Techniques & Tools of Market
                            Workflow Management                   Research
                            Project Management                   Strategies and Methods of
                            Market Research                       Marketing
                            Pricing & Marketing                  Project Management Tools:
                            Evaluation                           Budgeting Techniques: OR
                            Quality Certification                 Techniques, Linear
                                                                  Performance Evaluation:
                                                                   Measurement Techniques
                                                                  TQM: ISO 9000 series and
                                                                   other standards
                                                                  Intellectual Property Rights

 Table 1. Tasks and requisite knowledge and skills in the five areas.

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