Changing roles for academic librarians

A recent paper from Priti Jain, from the University of Botswana, looks at how academic librarians must change their roles in light of the revolution in ICT and digital communications. 

Librarians must move from being collection specialists, Jain writes, to filling user demands in a variety of information formats that can come from a smattering of collections, like digital libraries, digital repositories, etc. Academic librarians must also deal with changes in global education system, not the need for a skilled workforce. 

Here's a few roles academic librarians should assume, according to Jain: 

  • Effective marketers
  • Understanding users as stakeholders
  • Knowledge gatekeepers as subject experts (I particularly like this.) 
  • Web designers

He also spoke a lot about blended librarians, people who are versed in the culture of print (and traditional librarianship) and networked information (with recognition of instructional design).