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Exploring Education for Digital Librarians. Meaning, Modes and Models. Chandos Information Professional Series

  • ID: 2719601
  • Book
  • April 2013
  • Elsevier Science and Technology

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.

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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



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Sue Myburgh University of South Australia, Australia.

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.
Anna Maria Tammaro University of Parma, Italy.

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.
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