By SUSAN WOLFE
The Library invited representatives from major library professional and educational organizations, including the American Library Association (ALA) and organizations focusing on the future of federal information technology professionals to participate in a Jan. 10 workshop, "The Identification and Development of Competencies in the Digital Futures Environment of Libraries."
Winston Tabb, associate librarian for Library Services, explained the rationale for the workshop. "The Library's success in implementing its National Digital Library strategy depends on its ability to rapidly develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills to acquire, select, organize, preserve and make accessible collections both in digital and traditional formats," he said. "By collaborating with experts in both library science and information technology, we will develop a competency model that will guide our efforts to recruit and train employees capable of working with new and continually evolving digital forms of expression."
Supported by the Library's Digital Futures Group, this effort to identify the competencies required for digital librarianship will involve a sustained dialogue among professional library associations, library and information science program educators and the federal information technology community. Also attending the workshop were representatives from the Association for Library and Information Science Education, the Special Libraries Association, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Society of American Archivists, the National Academy of Public Administration and the Chief Information Officers Council.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to:
- gain a shared understanding of the job skills required by major libraries and related professional organizations and the federal government to capture, select, preserve and make available digital information;
- discuss the impact of these competencies on the training and career-development needs of staff in professional and nonprofessional library and related positions;
- discuss the need for possible curriculum enhancement to include digital technology training in national library and information science and related degree programs; and,
- identify the connections among the competencies required of future information technology professionals, especially in the federal sector, and the digital library environment.
Ms. Wolfe is in the office of the Director of Operations in Library Services.