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Capacity Building of Public Library Professionals in India Dr. Vijayakumar K. P. Head, Department of Library and Information Science & Hon. Director, Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Capacity Building of Public Library Professionals in India Dr. Vijayakumar K. P. Head, Department of Library and Information Science & Hon. Director, Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Capacity Building of Public Library Professionals in India Dr. Vijayakumar K. P. Head, Department of Library and Information Science & Hon. Director, Centre for Information Literacy Studies University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 034

2 Age of innovation In the changing societal, cultural and technological context, the public library needs to create context and meaning as added value, instead of just acquiring, structuring and ordering documents and making them available to the public. The entire context in which public libraries operate is changing dramatically.

3 Age of innovation… Radical changes across all aspects of life occur in this “age of innovation”(Prahalad & Krishnan, 2008) The fundamental shift in the position and role of the public library in society brings with it a paradigm shift in the job profile of the people working in public libraries.

4 Traditional job profile Traditionally, five main tasks were part of a librarian’s job profile: -- making information available, -- keeping the materials collection up-to-date, -- arranging and storing information, -- assisting users in finding information, and -- exchanging information with other libraries.

5 New job profile In the new job profile, the librarian has to be: -- an expert in using sophisticated online search engines, -- able to make new linkages, -- critical about the quality of information (sources), and -- innovative in the relationships with the public in search of new meanings that fit with the public’s needs.

6 New job profile … In other words, in the course of two decades the job description of a public librarian has moved from information technician to knowledge worker with a focus on innovation. Learning, creativity and knowledge sharing are crucial competences for knowledge workers in general, but even more so for public librarians.

7 New job profile … The new librarian combines: -- a collaborative attitude -- social awareness -- creativity -- cultural knowledge -- management skills -- knowledge of digital developments, and -- the ability to enter into alliances.

8 Need for change In the pre-digital age, the initial education of librarians involved learning all the technical knowledge and skills of an information technician (such as correctly cataloguing and referencing books and materials). Post-initial professionalization involved updating these core skills like getting trained in new cataloguing guidelines, new computer systems, or undergoing a course in dealing with the public or answering the phone.

9 Need for change… The shift in the job of a public librarian calls for new learning approaches, both in initial education and in continuous professional learning. Initial education in schools, colleges and universities offers a starting qualification but is no longer enough for the changing demands of professional practice. To collectively deliver the performance expected of them, knowledge workers continuously need to update their knowledge and skills.

10 Need for change… On the other hand it is foolish “to do today's job with yesterday's tools and yesterday's concepts” (Marshall McLuhan).

11 Need for change… The growing complexity and dynamics of the public library’s societal, cultural and technological context calls for increased specialization of library professionals. A cursory survey of the practices followed in other countries gives a confusing picture.

12 Example from United States In American Continent, Public Libraries play a crucial role in community development. They receive substantial allocation from the local govt. Hence many library schools offer at least one course in public library related topics. In fact, students come to library schools with specific career goals, such as public library jobs or academic library jobs or special ones. The schools offer a range of courses. For example: Children's Literature, Young Adults' OR Adult Programming, Story telling, Youth and Special Services etc.

13 Example from United States PuLL Programme Public Library Leadership Fellow Programme (PuLL) offered by Institute of Museum and Library Services. The primary goal of the Missouri University-School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (MU- SISLT) Public Library Leadership Fellows (PuLL) Program is to educate the next generation of public library leaders in Missouri through class work, mentorship and networking. This programme is to educate a total of 24 students to become Missouri public library leaders in three years.

14 PuLL Programme… The classes, Community Leadership, Leadership for Diversity in Public Libraries, and Public Library Administration and Management, will be team-taught by special faculty and public library managers. Classes will focus on issues such as working with library boards, legal and financial elements of public libraries, diversity, human resources, and community relations.

15 Certified Public Library Administrator Program (ALA - APA) The Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) program is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians with three years or more of supervisory experience (in the State of Illinois). Candidates complete seven courses – four core and three electives of their choice. CPLA certification will enable public librarians to: -- Further their professional education and development. -- Move to a higher level of practical professional experience.

16 Certified Public Library Administrator Program (ALA - APA) Improve career opportunities through professional expertise. Demonstrate to colleagues, trustees and board of directors, patrons and the wider information community that the certified person has acquired a nationally and professionally recognized body of knowledge and expertise in public library administration. Improve the quality of library service through the provision of practical knowledge and skills essential to successful library management.


18 Palmer School of Library and Information Science, College of Education, Information and Technology Advanced Certificate in Public Library Administration The program is designed to: -- Provide a solid management education program for public library administrators -- Update librarians on new management principles and organizational structures -- Integrate these concepts and illustrate their practical application within the public library setting -- Explore current issues and trends in public library management and improve leadership skills -- Provide a forum where important management issues germane to public librarians can be discussed.

19 Licentiate exams of Provincial bodies New York State Public Librarian Certification Any person appointed to or employed in a permanent (part-time or full-time) professional librarian position in a public library in New York State must hold an ACTIVE public librarian certificate issued by the New York State Education Department.

20 Potential Providers and Course Opportunities The New York State Library developed a listing of continuing education providers in the field of library and information science. Library Associations and Organizations Reference and Research Library Resources Systems Public Library Systems School Library Systems Additional links to sources of continuing education and training for library staff Additional links to sources of continuing education and training for library staff – ALA-Accredited Library Schools in New York State ALA-Accredited Library Schools in New York State – Directory of ALA-Accredited Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies Directory of ALA-Accredited Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies

21 Library Associations and Organizations New York State Library Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation WebJunction Association of College and Research Libraries New York Library Association (NYLA) American Library Association – Public Library Association Public Library Association  Chapters of the Special Libraries Association Chapters of the Special Libraries Association

22 Dominican University, Library and Information Science Library and Information Services for Children and Young Adults Specialized study in children and youth services provides excellent preparation for careers in public, school and special libraries and nonprofit organizations as: Children's librarians Teen librarians Youth reader's advisors Literacy specialists Storytellers

23 Drexel University, College of Computing and Informatics MS in Library & Information Science The MSLIS program offers the following concentrations: Archival Studies Competitive Intelligence and Knowledge Management Digital Curation Digital Libraries Library and Information Services Youth Services

24 CILIP Programmes Degrees accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) are available and are extremely useful for getting into the career of a public librarian.

25 CILIP Programmes… Persons having a first degree can take a postgraduate qualification which is accredited by CILIP. Postgraduate courses typically require candidates to have relevant work experience. If the candidate hasn't obtained this as part of the first degree, he/she will need to arrange something within a library or information service, either paid or voluntary to build up some experience. Details of all accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses are available at CILIP Accredited Qualifications.CILIP Accredited Qualifications

26 CILIP Programmes… It is be possible to enter the career without an accredited first degree or postgraduate qualification if one holds another degree and is able to get onto a graduate training scheme supported by CILIP. These typically consist of 10-12 months of work experience followed by study for a Masters-level qualification, which is accredited by CILIP. Candidates may be offered a job by the placement provider once their training is complete. Available training programmes are listed at CILIP Graduate Training Opportunities.CILIP Graduate Training Opportunities

27 Case of Netherlands In Netherlands, this is achieved through the Library School intended for library professionals who have completed higher professional or university education. In 2010, the “Stichting Library School” was founded as a non-for-profit organization by a number of partners of the Netherlands Public Library Association (VOB), several regional library support centres and some of the larger Dutch public libraries. In partnership with the Open University of the Netherlands and more specifically with its Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC), the Library School offers dedicated continuous professional learning for public librarians.

28 Case of Netherlands… The School offers a number of part-time study programmes, ranging from a series of master classes over a one-year induction programme up to an MBA. During the programme, the students combine study with work to develop or implement an innovation project in their own library during the course of their study.

29 Case of Netherlands… The curriculum is centred around intensive one-year programmes of part-time study, during which students are expected to spend on average two days a week on their learning activities. The School’s objective is to enroll approximately 30 to 40 highly motivated students per year in the so-called induction year. About 25-30% of these students are expected to move on to the specialisation year (year 2), and the mastery year (year 3).

30 Case of Netherlands… At the end of three ears, the students will have fulfilled between 70%-100% of the academic requirements for obtaining their intended degree, depending on their starting qualifications.

31 Case of Netherlands… In addition to the intensive curriculum, the Library School organizes shorter professionalization activities, such as a series of master classes, excursions, or specialized workshops. The Library School also participates in (online) discussions, workshops, colloquia or conferences about the future of the public library, innovation, and related topics. A final major component of the Library School activities is research, organized as a virtual research department with faculty members from different institutions.

32 Indian scenario The standards of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) recommend a library for every 3000 people situated within a mile of the population that it serves. To meet the first requirement, India would need 425 000 libraries in the place of the current 60 000. At least 50 percent of the 4 lakh odd libraries need full time professional manpower. This tells upon the number of staff members required further.

33 Indian scenario… If we think of at least one library in each inhabited village, let alone the towns and other urban conglomerates, the number becomes a whooping 638 000. Therefore, it is better to build the manpower in a phased manner.

34 Indian scenario… In the absence of any professional association with accreditation power or government agency which conducts courses in Library and Information Science at the higher level, there are only two options to develop public library manpower in India. The first is the development of a statutory body like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). It is not an easy proposition, taking into consideration the interest of the governments.

35 Indian scenario… The second option is to select library schools to impart special courses aimed at developing professionals for the public library sector. The safest course is to recruit master degree holders in LIS for middle level posts in public libraries right from Taluka/tehsil libraries and give them special training. Even now almost all library schools in India offer an optional paper for public libraries, but in the absence of any demand, it is seldom offered.

36 Indian scenario… The demand is more for academic library system or special library system. It is better to identify at least one library school in a state to impart training to the public library professional, to begin with. Just like the chartered programmes of western countries, it can be a part time one with a duration of 6 months. The course can be offered in collaboration with selected public libraries of standing in each state.

37 Indian scenario… The topics to be included in the training programme can be: 1. History and philosophy of public libraries in India 2. Characteristics, operations, and problems of public libraries (Textbook and current readings with field experience and cooperative work in a range of libraries to explore the characteristics, operations, and problems of public libraries) 3. Effective communication techniques (verbal and written).

38 Indian scenario… 4. Administration and Management of public libraries (planning, budgeting, assessment and evaluation of services and their outcomes, developing partnerships, collaborations, networks, and other structures with all stakeholders and within communities served). 5. Team building and leadership. 6. Resources and Services for Children 7. Resources and services for young adults 8. Government information resources and services

39 Indian scenario… 9. Current and future issues of importance to public libraries 10. Addressing and resolution of issues in a particular public library 11. Competencies for librarians in public libraries; roles and responsibilities 12. Collaboration with community groups 13. Marketing and public relations for libraries

40 Indian scenario… Then comes the issue of developing manpower at smaller libraries below taluk/tehsil/ mandal level and bottom line/front office management in bigger public libraries. Taking into consideration the explosive growth of information and the growing sophistication of the clients, it has to be decided that only those with at least a degree in any subject would be selected in public libraries.

41 Indian scenario… These staff members have to be trained by an agency created for the purpose in each state by the State Library Authority or the apex body of libraries concerned. The duration of the part time course can be one year. E-learning methods can be successfully used. It should be made mandatory to successfully complete the training for any sort of promotion to higher posts.

42 Professional Development Topics for Public Librarians Administration Adult Services Archives and Special Collections Automation Budget/Finance Cataloging & Bibliographic Control Children’s Services Collection Development & Management Conservation/Preservation Copyright

43 Professional Development Topics for Public Librarians… Customer Service Digital Libraries/Digitization Early Literacy Human Resources Management Information Commons Information Literacy Instruction Intellectual Freedom/Censorship Leadership Library Design

44 Professional Development Topics for Public Librarians … Management & Supervision Marketing/Branding Mentoring Outreach /Extension activities Planning and Evaluation Project Management Public Relations Reader Advisory Records Management

45 Professional Development Topics for Public Librarians … Reference/Virtual Reference Services Resource Sharing Social Networking & Collaboration Space management Special Client Populations Technology Working with Older Adults Young Adult & Youth Services

46 Conclusion The development of manpower for public libraries is a task which can be carried out only with the co-operation of all stakeholders viz. library authorities, LIS schools, prominent libraries, library professionals, domain experts, and educationists. In the effort, academic knowledge and competence development should go hand in hand. This is possible only with the blending of theory and practice.

47 Thank You

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