Exploring Education for Digital Librarians

Exploring Education for Digital Librarians

Meaning, Modes and Models

1st Edition - April 17, 2013

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  • Authors: Sue Myburgh, Anna Maria Tammaro
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780633008

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Exploring Education for Digital Librarians provides a refreshing perspective on the discipline and profession of Library and Information Science (LIS), with a focus on preparing students for careers as librarians who can deal with present and future digital information environments. A re-examination of the knowledge base of the field, combined with a proposed theoretical structure for LIS, provide the basis for this work, which also examines competencies for practice as well as some of the international changes in the nature of higher education. The authors finally suggest a model that could be used internationally to educate librarians for their new roles and social responsibilities in a digitised, networked world.The twelve chapters of this book cover key issues in education for digital librarians, including: the necessity of regenerating the profession; current contexts; previous research on education for digital librarians; understanding the dimensions of the discipline and profession of librarianship, and the distinctions between them; the social purpose of librarianship as a profession and the theoretical framework which supports the practice of the profession; a brief analysis of curriculum design, pedagogies and teaching methods, and a glimpse of the proactive and important future role of librarianship in society.

Key Features

  • Considers the ubiquitous misunderstanding that technology can replace libraries and librarians
  • Provides a theoretical view of the field which can contribute awareness of dimensions of the dilemmas which the discipline/profession currently faces
  • Presents a broad international perspective which provides a basis for a new model for LIS education


Library information science educators; Managers of information enterprises; Librarians

Table of Contents

  • Dedication

    List of figures and tables

    List of abbreviations


    About the authors


    Chapter 1: Regeneration of the second oldest profession



    From books to ideas

    DLs as socio-technical systems

    Education for the information professions

    What digital libraries can be

    What digital librarians could do

    Interpersonal activity

    Decoders and interventionists

    Digital knowledge creation and critical thinking



    Chapter 2: The influence of the current context



    Abbott and the professional context

    What is a ‘profession’?

    Context 1: the information society

    Context 2: context of professions

    Context 3: ICTs

    Explaining ideologies


    Chapter 3: Previous research on education for DLs


    The perplexed state of education for information work

    Technology and education

    DL courses currently offered

    DL programmes in LIS and CS


    Chapter 4: First things fourth


    Unravelling long-standing ambiguities

    What do librarians do?

    Technical tasks

    Purpose and processes




    Organisation of information resources

    The social role of librarians and abstruse hegemony

    Chapter 5: Purposeful digital librarians


    The activities of the digital librarian

    LIS education and ideologies

    Chapter 6: No theory, no discipline = no profession


    Notes towards solving these dilemmas

    Theory and praxis

    Distinction between theory and praxis


    Neutrality of science

    The information metacommunity

    Multidisciplinary metacommunities and their metatheories

    Digital library research and education is particularly inter- and multidisciplinary

    Facilitating interdisciplinary work

    Chapter 7: Constructing a theoretical framework


    The purpose of a theoretical framework

    Steps of theory construction

    Step 1: clarification of the axiological position of the researcher(s)

    Step 2: nomos, or ‘existing situation’

    Step 3: existing theories examined and tested teleologically

    Step 4: lexical register and conceptual identification

    Step 5: development of alternative conceptual models in an ontology

    Step 6: taxonomy of information professions

    Step 7: model tested against purpose/teleological assumptions


    Chapter 8: Designing curricula


    Changes in LIS education


    Epistemological approaches to curriculum design

    Creative industries

    Cultural institutions


    Chapter 9: Aims and outcomes


    Curriculum aims

    Professional philosophy and phronesis

    Results and effects of the curriculum

    Competencies and skills

    Graduate qualities

    International equivalences


    Chapter 10: Pedagogies and teaching methods


    Teaching and learning

    Use of ICTs in education

    Social responsibilities of higher education

    Epistemological frameworks for learning

    Social constructivism

    Social constructionism


    Three common modes of teaching/learning

    Critical pedagogy as heutagogical

    The Socratic method

    Online learning and heutagogy

    Education, culture and internationalisation

    Digital and critical literacy, critical thinking

    Chapter 11: Content and structure


    Substance and speculation

    Theoretical framework

    Human information behaviour

    Knowledge creation

    Representation of information: language and linguistics

    Evaluation of information: interpretation, meaning and critical information literacy

    Evaluating information economically

    Technology and other ‘stuff’

    Level of programme




    Chapter 12: A bright future


    The past and the future

    Libraries and freedom of thought

    Democracy and social role

    Metacommunity and agreement

    Changed service model

    Evaluation of the social role of librarians

    New profile

    Research for the future



Product details

  • No. of pages: 334
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2013
  • Published: April 17, 2013
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780633008

About the Authors

Sue Myburgh

Sue Myburgh is currently Program Director of two postgraduate programs – in Knowledge Management and Internet Communication Strategies - at the University of South Australia. She has been involved in many aspects of the theory and practice of Information Management internationally over the last two decades. Amongst various honours received, she was a Fulbright Scholar and has been awarded the Britt Literary Award by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators International.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of South Australia, Australia

Anna Maria Tammaro

Anna Maria Tammaro is currently Professor at the University of Parma, Italy. She is also Local Co-ordinator of the International Master’s in Digital Library Learning (DILL), Chair of IFLA Division IV, and an IFLA Governing Board member. Anna Maria has extensive experience in academic librarianship, having been the Librarian at the University of Florence and the University of Bologna, Italy.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Parma, Italy

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