Job Descriptions of Government Librarians in Pakistan

By Qutab, Saima; Shafique, Farzana | Library Philosophy and Practice, October 2011 | Go to article overview

Job Descriptions of Government Librarians in Pakistan


Qutab, Saima, Shafique, Farzana, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

Libraries all over the world are facing diversified service challenges posed by a mix of traditional information seekers and Google generation's call of technology features. These multi-facet demands and kinds of users' community have increased the list of responsibilities and skills required by the librarians. Selection of right person for the right job is the greatest challenge for library administration. This includes two main elements; nature of job descriptions defined or advertised by the administration and the availability of required human resources in the market. Only the right mix of these two essentials can ensure the selection of appropriate personnel for the delivery of high quality services to the diversified user community (Kennan, Willard and Wilson, 2006). Over years our profession is highly changed with invent of technologies and in result transforming life styles. Starr (2004) said that from the perspective of human history, a twenty-year period is a brief moment but in the context of our rapid electronic age, however, twenty years are enough for three or four technological lifetimes. Mathews and Pardue (2009) said that clearly the acquisition of the skills required to access, store, manage, and disseminate media in libraries is yet another example from the long history of librarians adapting to and adopting new technologies. The advancement of computer technology and the changing role of the libraries are clear to everyone (Farajpahlou and Danesh, 2009). Technology altered or replaced almost everything about libraries; manual catalogues with bibliographic databases; paper with digital; ready reference books with Google; library newsletters with social media and so on. On the other hand some things remain the same and required traditional skills of librarianship along with advance works. The library automation and IT have initiated three major changes in cataloguing i.e. MARC, microcomputers and CD ROM databases and emerging technologies of internet during last four decades and collectively all these changes effect the cataloguers' job requirements and roles of librarians as many primary responsibilities have been shifted to paraprofessional staff due to overall change in library operations (Heinrichs and Lim, 2009; Khurshid, 2003; Hosoi, 2000). Gerolimos and Konsta (2008) said that the appearance of the internet and the World Wide Web, as a final stage of an evolution has created a new information and social environment. This change has been both in the work undertaken and in the conditions under which people are employed (Kennan, Willard and Wilson, 2006). Librarians have adapted to fit new and expanded roles in this environment. This increasing speed and breadth of technological change sometimes require new responsibilities replacing old, but often additional tasks are added while traditional jobs remain the same (Meier, 2010; Kennan, Cole, and et al, 2006). This change issue has led to a considerable research and discussion concerning the form, the role, the position and the functions of the social institutions known as "libraries" within this new context (Gerolimos and Konsta, 2008).

Literature Review

Many information databases such as Elsevier, Science Direct, Emerald, Doaj, search engines such as Google and indexing service LISTA were searched for the literature review. Review of the literature shows that the library analysis of job advertisement and changing nature of work have been an area of interest for researchers, practitioners, educators and students. It is important to learn assimilation and influence of IT into all aspects of librarianship and how the new technologies may be influencing change and job market (Lynch and Smith, 2001).

Reeves and Hahn (2010) stated that job advertisement analyses have peppered the LIS research and professional literature since at least the 1980s. Alonso-Regalado & Ullen (2009) highlighted the importance of the job announcements analysis and considered it as essential information about the evolution of the positions over time, the nature of the job market, and predictions of employment trends. …

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