Τhe first results of the Biblio research on competencies and training needs of the library professionals in Greece are out! From the quantitative part of the survey conducted, these include:
- 80 professionals with an EQF-6 average educational background took part in the survey, and 71% of them indicate 30 years of work experience on the average.
- 78% declared that their skills and knowledge need to be updated to complete their responsibilities.
- Among them, there are the elderly (37%), the students (29%) and the young people of less than 18 years of age (25%), who mostly wish for more digital activities!
More precisely, top priority theme turns out to be the social media management and the marketing of library activities, whereas the survey participants also express their top five preferences on training themes, i.e. exploration of technological changes, measurement and evaluation of library services, digitization, community assessment, library marketing and communications.
The in-depth interviews (qualitative part), held with librarians, electrical engineers and users, showed that both libraries’ professionals and users are not yet accustomed to the digital changes in libraries. Specific points made included that libraries have always been implementing digital services and technology has been an integral part within the operation of modern ones. In fact, the digital transformation embraces and empowers the current practices of libraries and makes their resources available to users on a very high scale – so, the traditional services are actually maintained but expanded by using digital techniques and tools, in order to outreach to a larger audience through a faster and more effective way.
Furthermore, the findings indicate that there is a positive impact on the staff, users and services of a library by implementing digital changes. However, the library staff needs to be properly trained in order to get used to this changing environment. It has also been pointed out that it is important to a modern librarian to receive specialised training experience instead of just exploring on his/her own the available digital tools and applications.
At last, the situations emerged in 2020, during the quarantine of COVD-19 in Greece, pointed out the dynamic range of digital applications, the operational needs of the technical systems as well as the needs of library staff and users to be more familiar with the use of modern ICT.
The research was completed by DAISSy Research Group of Hellenic Open University, the Biblio partner in Greece, supported by the Distance Library and Information Center (D.L.I.C.) of the Hellenic Open University (HOU) between 30 March and 30 June 2020.
Featured image by Jason Hazama on Unsplash