collaborations never before thought possible. This global orientation is encouraging the development of international scholarly inquiry that needs the support of information and data managers to navigate effectively through the changing landscape. In addition, with a growing emphasis on special and unique collections, particularly in the humanities and arts, one would posit that the acquisition, curation, and dissemination of said materials would require cross-cultural competencies and language skills that will ensure the appropriate management of these collections or their digital surrogates. Library and information professionals will be needed with appropriate subject domain expertise as well as technical skills to facilitate global collaborations and to organize the resources, data, and content they generate. We must develop a vital research library workforce ready to enthusiastically provide support for collaborative learning and research content creation, even on the undergraduate level. As more and more resources become available via the Word Wide Web, and research libraries deploy solutions (such as high-density storage) that free up physical space, institutions are retooling facilities to create learning environments that support collaborative study and expanded library services, and that essentially respond to changing pedagogies in higher education. The modern research library workforce must be equipped with expertise to support these changing approaches to teaching and learning, and to assist in the creation of multimedia or data-rich research projects that are increasingly part of the educational enterprise. The mention of undergraduates in this imperative is appropriate since high-level research output has, traditionally, been seen as the domain of graduate students and faculty, but that is no longer the case. This approach begs an assessment of the skills and competencies being taught in the current master of library and information science (MLIS) curriculum. Technical skills in multimedia production software, data-literacy competencies, or fluency with metadata schema and standards will remain important in the modern research library workforce. Equally important, however, may be the ability to envision, create, and manage spaces for experiential learning exercises, encourage experimentation and creativity in collaborative projects, or many other social or soft skills—knowledge that may or may not be reflected in MLIS curricula. RLI 272 4 Developing a Vital Research Library Workforce ( C O N T I N U E D ) OCTOBER 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
Previous Page Next Page