About Biblio at the 79th International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia

On March 31 the Biblio project was presented at the 79th International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia at the Section of Library Science and Information Science.

From January to April 2021, the annual international scientific conference was held for the 79th time at the University of Latvia. The University of Latvia conference has become an integral part of scientific life, bringing along nearly centuries of tradition.

Scientists, rapporteurs and all those interested were welcome to attend more than 130 section meetings with more than 2 500 reports in 4 fields of science (Natural Sciences, Humanities and Arts, Medicine and Health Sciences, Social Sciences), priority research topics and interdisciplinary.

Baiba Holma, Digital Biblio researcher associate professor and Director of Information Management Program of Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia, introduced the “Self-assessment of digital skills of librarians”, describing the results to Latvian librarians. The aim of the research was to find out which digital skills need to be improved to implement the social role and functions of libraries in today’s information environment.

The results were obtained from data from two research: one – from the Biblio project – self-assessment of necessary skills of public library librarians of Latvia, other – from self-assessment of librarians from academic libraries of Latvia provided by the National Library of Latvia.

The study shows the growing importance of digital skills and the importance of relevant levels in the implementation of librarians’ tasks. According to the digital competency model – DigComp 2.0 – librarians rate digital problem-solving and security skills the lowest. To fulfil professional core competencies digital skills are necessary at least at the intermediate level.

Daina Pakalna, professor and Director of the Master’s study program in Library Science and Information of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia, introduced also the report “Employers’ requirements for library employees”.

The presentation shows the results of the analysis of job advertisements to find out what are the requirements of employers for library staff. In this study, 70 job advertisements were selected, which mention positions related to library work. The analysis includes the following categories: educational requirements, remuneration, work experience requirements, competencies (distinguishing between general and industry-specific) and personality traits.

The analysis of job advertisements gives an idea of which library specialists employers want to see in libraries. Library education is generally seen only as an advantage, not a mandatory requirement. The announcements mention both general and library-specific competencies. Digital competencies are most often mentioned.

The conference participants were introduced to the latest scientific achievements and developments, including the field of Covid-19 research. More than 2 500 rapporteurs – students, teaching staff, researchers, as well as representatives of different companies and organizations – participate in the section meetings organized by 13 faculties, 10 institutes, Botanical Garden, Museum of the University of Latvia, Library of the University of Latvia and regional branches.

The Academic Publishing House of the University of Latvia has published a collection of theses of the Library and Information Science Section, which was presented at the 78th and 79th annual international scientific conferences of the University of Latvia in 2020 and 2021.

More data are available at: https://www.biblioteka.lu.lv/par-mums/zinas/zina/t/66072/