Which new skills are needed by library professionals? What training is required in order to better support research activities?
These and other skills-related questions are being examined by this working group. The group operates as part of LIBER’s Strategic Direction on Digital Skills & Services, which in turn is one of the key pillars of our 2018-2022 Strategy. We’re developing research libraries as hubs for Digital Skills and Services in both physical and virtual research environments.
In a rapidly changing digital world, libraries are regularly re-assessing existing services and offering new ones to support the work of both faculty (research) and students (education).
The advance of Open Science in particular has meant a reinvention of models, ways of working and techniques. This is, in itself, positive but the knock-on effect is a serious skills gap. Library staff and researchers need more training in order to be able to cope with a myriad of topics: electronic resource management, data access, blockchains, and text and data mining, to name a few.
This raises a number of questions related to careers and competencies:
- What should we expect from new professionals emerging from library and information science schools?
- How do we include non-librarian professionals such as researchers, computer science or data visualization engineers in library services?
- How can we train research librarians in order to establish and share new skills, and to support research activities more efficiently?
Librarians with up-to-date digital skills can provide invaluable support to library users, and will personally benefit from better career prospects.