ICT Skills of LIS Professionals in Engineering Institutions of Orissa, India: A Case Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

Over past few decades, the library environment has changed considerably in terms of collection, organization and services. The e-resources (both online and offline) have occupied a considerable space in the library collection, the transaction of library materials are fully automated, new web based services are offered by libraries to attract users participation in redesigning the library system and services and so on. These changes are mainly due to the development and impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in libraries which have also made sea changes in all walks of life. The ICT tools and services are being used in libraries to mange libraries more efficiently and to cater users demand properly. In this changing library scenario, the library and Information professionals must possess adequate ICT skills to manage the modern libraries, more specifically the academic libraries. They need to acquire continuous knowledge and skills on the fast changing Information Communication Technology to provide better library services to users.

The present study covers the library and Information Science (LIS) professionals of 76 Engineering Institutes of Orissa which are approved by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi by the year 2009. Out of these 76 engineering institutes, 04 are government and 72 are self-financing institutes which offers B. Tech, M. Tech and Ph. D courses in engineering. The present study attempts to study the ICT skills of LIS professionals working in these institutes.

Objectives of the Study

The objective is to make an analysis of the ICT skills of LIS professionals working in engineering colleges of Orissa. Other objectives of the study are:

a) To identify the types of ICT skills possessed by the LIS professionals working in engineering colleges of Orissa.

b) To find out the participation of LIS professionals in various ICT related activities.

c) To find out the application of ICT skill by LIS professionals in modernization of libraries.

d) Find out the constraints encounter by LIS professionals in acquiring ICT skills

Scope and Limitations

The scope of the study encompasses the ICT skills of LIS professionals working in engineering colleges of Orissa. However the study has following limitations.

a) The study is limited to Orissa state only and not any other states of India.

b) The study includes only the engineering colleges (both Govt. and Self financed) of Orissa, which are affiliated under Biju Pattanik University of Technology (BPUT), Orissa and approved by AICTE by 2009.

c) The study covers only LIS professionals and not any other category of staff of these engineering colleges. Further among various aspects of LIS professionals, the study is limited to ICT skills only.

Literature Review

Joint (2003) attempts to flesh out the heterogeneous skills required by LIS professionals by relating them to past and present practice, and sketches possible paths along which digital library training might evolve. Joseph (2003) identifies various level of IT literacy and discusses the perspectives of information literacy. Ashcroft and Watts (2005) highlight a significant skills gap amongst information professionals and suggests that collaboration and strategic management of resources may be key to alleviating this problem. Babu, et. al (2007) examine the ICT skills among librarians in engineering educational institutions in Tamil Nadu. Kavulya, (2007) identifies priority areas of training and critical IT skills required by LIS professionals in relation to current job market and performance requirements. Mahmood and Khan (2007) examines various factors such as the ICT-focused educational backgrounds of LIS practitioners in Pakistan, preferences of LIS professionals for ICT training including methods of CE, providers, incentives, suitable days/time, methods of announcement, payment, and language etc and the skills or techniques LIS professionals need to learn. …