Digital transformation is changing the role of libraries and library professionals. More than ever, digital skills are essential for librarians to lead the libraries of the 21st century.
The purpose of the BIBLIO project is to modernise the professional development of the personnel who works or will work in libraries to prepare them better for the digital transformation. After having analysed the library sector and identified the skills gap, the project developed a Vocational Education and Training (VET) curriculum, which will be delivered as blended learning, starting with a Massive Open Online Course.
The BIBLIO MOOC is the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on digital skills designed with library professionals in mind. It is a modern course, which enables learners to develop digital and transversal skills that are considered to be fundamental for library professionals in the new era. While it targets librarians and those working in the field, the course may also be suitable to anyone interested in the evolution of the information sector and the potential of digitalisation in libraries.
The BIBLIO MOOC starts today with a live webinar at 16h CEST, and is open to anyone who is interested. It gathers library professionals from all over the world – both those with solid experience who want to upgrade their digital skills, but also students and job seekers aspiring a career in the sector. It aims to provide support to library professionals in gaining new skills and developing new innovative services. Successful participants will get a certificate and will be able to enrol in a specialization course with one of the BIBLIO VET providers.
Nicola Barbuti, scientific coordinator and Professor in Library and Information Science at the Department of Humanities (DISUM), University of Bari Aldo Moro, said “Today, with the start of the BIBLIO MOOC we make an important step towards the library of the future – a library where confident professionals design and provide services fit for the digital age. Our aim is to reach at least 400 learners and provide the basics across thirty-eight digital and transversal skills needed for two emerging job profiles in the library sector: the community engagement and communication officer (CECO) and the digital transformation facilitator (DIGY).”
These two profiles tackle both the public-facing nature of libraries and the internal needs they have with regards to digital transformation. CECO focuses on connecting with users online and offline and developing activities relevant to the community. DIGY aims to help libraries transition into the digital age with technical knowledge that will lead to the digitization of content and helping colleagues learn the relevant skills to manage digital libraries. While these profiles aim to address current and future challenges, the sector is sure to be further impacted by technological evolutions.
Altheo Valentini, project coordinator, added “The MOOC is very hands on and practical. In addition to the videos, interactive presentations and reading materials, every week will start with a live webinar with experts who will share case studies and best practices on the topics addressed.”