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Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities

Competency H

Knowledge of technology is a very important aspect of modern librarianship and has been for some time. Since the invention of computers and databases, librarians have been required to have knowledge of computer systems so that they could purchase, configure, and effectively use electronic information resources. These days, however, it seems more essential than ever. Librarians rely on technology in their day-to-day processes and new technologies are springing up left and right that librarians are using to effectively serve their patrons. Web 2.0 is quickly being translated into Library 2.0 as these new technologies are being integrated into a library's online catalog. Without being able to demonstrate proficiency in these technologies, librarians are not able to do their jobs effectively.

Librarians must know how to work with Integrated Library Systems as part of their everyday work. These systems affect every aspect of the library. Librarians rely on Integrated Library Systems in order to checkout materials, catalog them, do acquisitions work and display information in the online catalog. Circulation systems must be configured for different patron types, loan rules, holds and reserves. Acquisitions must be used to manage funds and library budgets. And the Web OPAC is often highly customizable and requires knowledge of the system to understand all the choices that are available. Familiarity with these systems and the various options available to the library is essential to work efficiently and to provide their patrons with needed services.

Librarians also must be able to create interfaces that organize these technologies and share information. Creating Web sites is now an important part of librarianship because many users aren't going to the physical library. They are doing research from home. Librarians must still be able to direct these kinds of users to the information resources that would be most valuable to them, and in an organized and structured way. Also, this skill extends far beyond the library system. Web sites, like libraries, organize information. Information professionals in other fields need to have these skills as well to present the information they've organized to their users.

But their are other technologies that are being used to really expand library services. Instant messaging and chat are now being used to provide reference services to patrons. This goes one step beyond email in that the reference librarian and patron can interact to determine the user's needs and provide a variety of references. Librarians can create RSS feeds of all new materials in various subject areas so that users can keep up to date on the library's materials. They can use a federated search service so that with one search, users can search the library catalog as well as many of the databases to which the library subscribes.

Libraries are also using technologies to create community. Allowing patrons to tag library materials, creating addition points of access are becoming more popular due to the use of these folksonomies on Web sites such as Flickr,, and others. Librarians can create blogs about what's going on with the library and where they want to go in the future. They can allow patrons to rate library materials as well as post reviews in the Web OPAC so that the library community can share information about the library's materials. And, if they so choose, librarians can then use this information to inform future purchases and services.

Librarians can incorporate technologies to improve communication with patrons and establish better services. The following pieces of evidence demonstrate my proficiency in the use of information and communication technologies.


Reference Interview Analysis II: Digital Reference - LIBR 210 - Summer 2005
In this essay for LIBR 210 Reference, we were asked to ask a digital reference question and evaluate the pros and cons of the digital reference experience. The reference service that I examined was an online chat interface for an academic library.

Web Sites
I have designed many Web sites over the years, including this one to present my eportfolio. Web sites organize and present information to a user group and make that information findable. The following are some mockups and screenshots of Web sites I have organized, designed and developed:

  • Sybex

  • Sybex Homepage

  • Certification section

  • Certification book page

  • Digital Photography section

  • Digital Photography book page

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