A Study of ICT Competencies among University Library Professionals of Punjab, Pakistan

By Abbas, Muhammad Arshad; Siddique, Nadeem | Library Philosophy and Practice, February 2020 | Go to article overview

A Study of ICT Competencies among University Library Professionals of Punjab, Pakistan


Abbas, Muhammad Arshad, Siddique, Nadeem, Library Philosophy and Practice


INTRODUCTION:

In this digital era, the paradigm of librarianship has been changed because of the influence of ICT environment. Now, the latest technological devices have an effect on library professionals' attitudes as well as library operations and services. It has also influenced various fields such as medicine, tourism, business, law, education, banking, travel, engineering, and architecture. ICT has changed the way of information processing and its dissemination. In this knowledge society, the information must be accurate to quest the knowledge, regarding the enormous growth and complexity of technical information stance challenges for the acquisition, storage and dissemination.

Librarianship has been changed dynamically due to the influence and implementation of ICT competencies. ICT has converted the traditional libraries into modern information centers and technological knowledge economy (Buarki, Hepworth, and Murray, 2011). Therefore, LIS professionals should be empowered to perform positively to sustain their position in society. They must learn the new digital trends to perform library operations proficiently especially in university libraries. Consequently, LIS professionals acquire these competencies through different useful methods such as; formal, informal, workshop, seminar, conferences, online tutorials and training during the job. Continue professionals education development is one of the foremost methods for the acquisition of competencies, skills, abilities, and knowledge for better professional performance.

Shafique (2007) has predicted that forthcoming LIS professionals will be called as an information manager, technology experts, cyberspace organizers, database developers, mediators, information officer, navigators, information scientists, archivists, and digital reference librarians. So, the library and information professionals should prepare themselves according to the scenario for future challenges. Halder (2009) drew attention towards the recent development in the field of librarianship and also discussed the future role and required competencies for LIS Professionals for the revolution and growth of the knowledge-based economy. Muqueem, S., and Ambedkar, B. (2007) also analyzed and highlighted the changing role of the library professionals and stressed on obtaining new expertise for library professionals due to varying ICT environments in the world. Library and information professionals are desperately in need of advanced skills in this technology era,

In this regard, Bawden, D., Vilar, P., and Zabukovec, V. (2005) suggested the required competencies for library professionals in this digital environment and also identified the essential training methods of skills to perform modern technological trends in the libraries. They also recommended curriculum development including redesigning degree programs, training courses and digital literacy skills in the UK and Slovenia universities.

Tariq and Shehzad (2016) also proposed that the LIS Professionals required technological-based competencies to create a user-friendly environment in the libraries. Bajpai and Margam (2019) also suggested that library professionals should learn modern digital competencies to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently in this digital environment. There are different convenient methods used in the market to acquire these ICT competencies as Ramzan and Singh (2009) recommended that LIS professionals enhanced technological competencies through different useful approaches such as; library schools, professional meetings, conferences, seminars, professional associations' workshops etc.

So, according to the Pakistan point of view, Ameen (2009) argued that there is a need to measure the ICT competencies of university library professionals of Pakistan. Mehmood and Khan (2007) suggested that the majority of LIS in Pakistan need to acquire ICT skills such as computer programming language, Visual Basic, JAVA, C++, HTML, and networking, etc. …

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