Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Training Librarians for 21st Century Repository Services: Emerging Trends

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Training Librarians for 21st Century Repository Services: Emerging Trends

Article excerpt


Training and re-training of personnel are essential part of every organization and have become paramount in all aspect of operations in the modern world. The emergence of technologies has made the concept of training and re-training a necessity for all concerned. Hence, to be operationally effective, every organization has to embrace this concept. The library is becoming inundated with information and communication technologies. According to Ajidahun (2007), the wonders and innovations of technologies are being propagated in educational, social, political and economic circles. Suffice it to say that managing this system of information and communication in the library necessitates the acquisition of new skills to accommodate latest developments in librarianship. Thus, training and retraining are very crucial in librarianship especially in this era of open repository system.

Open Repository system is an electronic service designed to preserve and provide access to journal articles, audio, video and other data (Santa Barbara University Library, 2012). Repositories may be maintained by an institution for the benefit of its own authors and researchers or be open to deposits from any researcher in a given subject area. In effect, it can be likened to an online archive with the primary function of collecting, preserving, and disseminating journal articles, thesis and dissertations, among others. It provides global visibility for an institution's scholarly research works.

Transiting from an institutional repository to a broader array of academic and research services, which is a fundamentally online research tool, has necessitated change in the role librarians. According to Basefsky (2009), the library in today's world must transform itself into an agent of change if it is to remain useful and for the institutions they serve to prosper. Change in this sense becomes a necessity for survival in the information business. Librarians who are skilled, innovative, and adaptable need to re-strategize their knowledge in the direction of dispensing repository services as a valuable research tool.

Repositories in Nigerian Academic libraries are in their various stages of transforming into an online academic research service. Several efforts have been made to drive the issue of digitization in Nigeria needed to enhance access and utilization. It is a means of creating a database of materials such as theses and dissertations and other resources that are worthy of preservation. The Association of African Universities (AAU) championed the development of Database of African Theses and Dissertation (DATAD) in 2003 with the goal of improving the visibility of African scholarly work. The aim of this project, set up by the Association of African Universities (AAU), was to digitize thesis and dissertations. This led to the organization of the National Interactive Seminar on Digitization of Library Materials, Processes and Tools which was organized by the National Library of Nigeria (Okiy, 2008). Efforts are continuing in the development of open repository systems in the Nigerian libraries. This paper reviews and considers the new roles and responsibilities of librarians, the training needs and opportunities, career path of librarians, and community support needed in effective and efficient management of repository initiatives.

The challenges of integrating electronic resources and technologies are many, and many-faceted, these challenges have been categorized into three, which are the following.

a. Resource Development

Beyond task-oriented considerations, such as the selection process itself, there are large-scale management issues to consider such as budget, policy, personnel, and technology. Demas (1994) in Schamber (1996) explains that electronic publishing has profound implications for resource development, which is defined as the intentional and systematic building of the set of information resources to which the library provides access. …

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