New Skills for the Electronic Library

Abstracts and Biographic Notes

The Bigger Picture
Alison Scammell, International Institute for Electronic Library Research, UK

If professional skills, training and awareness initiatives are to succeed they need to be developed within the context of the wider organisational, cultural and strategic forces that are shaping the evolution of the electronic library. This paper will draw on data from a recent JISC funded study which examined the mobilisation effects of eLib activities on cultural change in higher education and will also make comparisons with digital library developments in the corporate sector.

Alison Scammell is a Researcher at De Montfort University's International Institute for Electronic Library Research where she is studying the information use of teleworkers in the computing, media and financial services sectors. Alison combines her academic research with commercial consultancy and specialises in library and information strategies and user needs studies. She has had a long career in special libraries and has recently edited the seventh edition of the Aslib Handbook of Special Librarianship and Information Work.

Denmark's Electronic Research Library: an orientation about the report - the challenges to and possibilities for the research libraries
Niels C Nielsen, State and University Library, Denmark

Denmark's Electronic Research Library is the title of a report published in the spring of 1997. It was prepared by a consortium of two consultant companies. In this paper the contents of the report will be described as well as the superior concept and reference model for the Electronic Research Library. The four action areas highlighted in the report and the three economic scenarios drawn up will be expounded. The report has formed the basis of a co-operation among three ministries with the purpose of creating a national strategy for the development of Denmark's Electronic Research Library and with specific plans of special state financing over five years in this information technology area. It is a serious challenge for the research libraries, which will mean changes at several levels: in the interplay of the libraries - and in the individual library's way of organising its work and service of the users.

Niels C Nielsen is Deputy Director of Denmark's State and University Library and, among other things, is responsible for the superior planning of the information technology work of the library. Since 1968 he has been employed as a subject librarian at the State and University Library, becoming senior librarian and head of the Department of Classification in 1980, and a member of the Central Management Group in 1986. Through the years Niels has been a member of a number of national committees and has contributed to the preparation of several reports.

New technology, new librarians?
Linda Erlendsdóttir, University College of Education, Iceland

Some say that the electronic revolution has taken us back to the Middle Ages. The computer rules and the information explosion has affected our profession in many ways. But the task of libraries can be simply stated. They exist to acquire, give access to, and safeguard carriers of knowledge and information in all forms and to provide instruction and assistance in the use of the collections to which their users have access. But even though the library tasks have not changed we do not exist in a vacuum, and external and organisational changes have affected us as librarians. In Icelandic University Libraries we have seen growth in student numbers without a parallel rise in resources, developments in information technology, changes in teaching and learning methods, etc. We as a profession are no longer just the 'guardians' of books. We are information providers in an environment that is constantly changing and where information needs to be gathered quickly and effectively. Our customers are expecting more and more from us but what are we doing to meet those expectations?

Linda Erlendsdóttir graduated in 1992 from the University of Iceland and has worked at the University College of Education Library ever since. Her title is Head of Reference Services Department but she is also in charge of interlibrary loans. She is currently studying for her Masters degree at the University of Wales Aberystwyth.

The Art of Sailing in Uncharted Seas: the Internet and the role of the information professional
Penny Garrod, University of Plymouth, UK

This paper argues that information professionals need to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Internet in order to exploit its potential as a teaching, learning and research tool. The paper will investigate the skills, personal qualities and environmental factors which are needed by librarians if they are to become both expert navigators of the Internet and competent teachers/trainers of end-users.

Penny Garrod served in HM Forces, the Civil Service and local government before moving into library and information services. She has managed a one person research library, and worked in an academic library. She moved into paid research after gaining a Masters (with distinction) in Information Studies, and spent sixteen months on a British Library Research and Innovation Centre project at Loughborough University, evaluating benchmarking techniques. She then became Research Officer on the SKIP/eLib project at the University of Plymouth.

The Electronic Libraries Programme
Kelly Russell, The Electronic Libraries Programme, UK

As a direct result of increasing pressure on UK academic libraries the Higher Education Funding Councils commissioned the Libraries Review, chaired by Professor Sir Brian Follett, which produced a report in November of 1993. The UK Electronic Libraries Programme was established to address the report's recommendations on libraries and IT. The eLib programme is now in its third year and funds almost 60 projects in different areas associated with the electronic library. Almost three years in, the programme is tackling many issues raised by the projects and in particular is now considering:

Kelly Russell worked in academic libraries for several years before completing a Masters in Library and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Her background is in Humanities and her library work has largely been undertaken in the Humanities and Social Sciences. While at the University of British Columbia in the early 1990s Kelly was a member of the UBC Serials and Technology Senate Committee and became particularly interested in how new technologies impact library services. After a brief period of work in UK special libraries she began work, in 1995, with the JISC Electronic Libraries Programme. She has recently also been given responsibility for co-ordinating JISC's international activities and will incorporate this work into her existing programme of work with eLib.

INTO INFO (EDUCATE): WWW-based programs for information education, training and access Nancy Fjällbrant, Chalmers University of Technology Library, Sweden

Students and research workers face an ever-growing mass of information, which is distributed in a variety of ways: print, online, CD-ROM and via the Internet. This paper will examine the roles that libraries can play in Education for Information Literacy. One tool which can be used in this connection is INTO INFO, which was produced under the EDUCATE project of the EU Telematics for Libraries programme. The INTO INFO (EDUCATE) Programs have been designed to meet the needs of scientists, engineers, librarians and information specialists. The programs provide a means for learning about and accessing relevant information sources. INTO INFO includes both indicative tools such as handbooks, reviews, encyclopaedias and databases, handbooks as well as full-text material. Information is acquired for use, so the programs include sections on evaluation of search results, how to construct personal reference databases, and writing abstracts, reviews and theses. The use of INTO INFO in teaching programmes is described. This is followed by a section on INTO INFO as a tool for information access and quality control. There is a description of the use of satellite transmission of the programs. Three spin-off projects are presented: MEDUCATE, INFOVISION and CHEMISTRY. The paper concludes with a discussion on plans for the future of INTO INFO.

Born in England and a graduate of Edinburgh University, Nancy Fjällbrant has lived and worked in Sweden for many years. She gained her PhD in Educational Technology from the University of Surrey and has published widely in the fields of: user education in libraries; document supply and delivery; aspects of information technology and its application in libraries. Her professional activities include membership of the Board of IATUL, becoming its first Vice-President in 1993, and a three-year membership of the Board of the Swedish Centre for Library Research. Nancy has been Director of the Information and Technology Centre at Chalmers University of Technology since 1987. Previous to that she worked in and was head of the University's Education and Systems Development Department.

Information Technology programme for further education of research library personnel
Ingeborg Sølvberg, University of Science and Technology, Norway

New ways to digitise, manipulate, find and share information are a great challenge to all of us, and in particular to the 'traditional' library community. Persons with a background in computer science are more necessary than ever if the libraries in the future are to be able to offer services of high standards to meet the users' needs. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is, in co-operation with the National Office for Research Documentation, Academic and Professional Libraries, offering a course in computer science to librarians working in academic libraries. The course is divided into five main topics: groupware and computer supported work; information storage and retrieval; software engineering and database technology; human-computer interaction; possible consequences for the library community. This presentation will give a brief overview of how and why these topics are selected, as well as give a description of the content of the five modules.

Ingeborg Sølvberg is Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science, Faculty of Physics, Informatics and Mathematics, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in charge of studies in Information (Resource) Management. Between 1992 and 1996 - when she took up her current appointment - she was a part-time professor at the university and was responsible for the development of a new curriculum, at Masters level, in Information Resource Management. Ingeborg's research has been in the areas of library systems, distributed information systems, artificial intelligence, information and knowledge management, digital library. She has participated in several research projects funded by the EEC (the Esprit programme), ESA, and the Norwegian Research Council.

Developing networked learner support in UK academic libraries: perspectives from the NetLinkS project Philippa Levy, University of Sheffield, UK

This paper addresses the professional and organisational issues associated with developing the role and expertise of library/information services in the provision of networked learner support (NLS) in higher education. NLS is a term which refers to the use of networked communication and information technologies to deliver training and other forms of help to users of networked information resources; it can be seen as a vital service for students on courses using telematics as the key mode of access to learning activities and materials, but it is also more broadly relevant to the needs of any on- and off-campus users of networked resources. The networked learning environment is creating new educational roles and practices for library and information professionals, as well as the need for new collaborative relationships between library and other learner support staff; this paper draws on evidence from research and training/awareness activities carried out by the eLib NetLinkS project to argue that the basis of strategies for organisational and professional development for NLS must be an integrated view of the support needs of the networked learner, teacher and researcher.

Philippa Levy is a lecturer in information management at the Department of Information Studies of the University of Sheffield. With one short break, she has been employed in the Department since 1989, first as a research associate and then as a member of the teaching staff. Her current research is focused on the areas of networked learning and work in the library and information field, with a particular interest in the Internet as a learning environment and in the role of the information professional within it. Philippa also has a broad interest in organisational and staff development, and the management of change, especially within academic libraries. A keen observer of developments in educational uses of the Internet, she is also active as a trainer in staff and organisation development for academic libraries in the UK and abroad.

Distance Training and WWW-Learning Environments
Bo Søgaard Jensen, Nordic Net Centre, Denmark

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss distance training with particular reference to the WWW. The actual context is a distance education programme funded by NORDINFO, developed by the Nordic Net Centre, NNC, and aimed at Nordic and Baltic information professionals. The paper starts with a short introduction to the programme seen from a teacher's perspective. This is followed by the presentation of a typology for distance training environments. Finally, the lessons learned will be discussed within the framework of the established typology.

Bo Søgaard Jensen has been Information and Communication Consultant at the Nordic Net Centre since 1996 and Junior Consultant UNDP and Danida since 1997. He is also currently Videoconferencing Co-ordinator at the Learning Resource Centre of the Technical University of Denmark. During 1995-96 Bo studied Information Technology and Management at the Technical University of Denmark; he is currently studying for a Masters in Communication Science at Roskilde University.

TELSI: a web-based learning environment
Janne Himanka, Oulu University, Finland

In connection with the EU project SIMULAB, the Continuing Education Centre of the University of Oulu has developed a new Web-based learning environment called TELSI, the Telematic Environment for Language Simulations. The software was developed for foreign language network simulations, but it has been used as the basis for the development of TELSIpro (with 'pro' referring to 'project') which meets the needs of Internet courses and projects more broadly. TELSIpro is used in network education as a course environment (both for simulations and project study), and a number of project environments have also been implemented on its basis.

Born in 1967, Janne Himanka entered the University of Oulu in 1986 and graduated (MSocSc) in 1992, majoring in Library and Information Science with the minor subject of computer science. He worked in the department of Library and Information Science, later called the Department of Information Studies, for approximately four years as a teacher, computing officer and software designer. In 1995-96 Janne moved to the Continuing Education Centre and started designing and implementing distance learning environments for the WWW. His first project was Albert, a tool for language learning and his current project is TELSI, which is a complete environment for group-based project work or a distance learning class.

Project eKUBIK: are electronic course reserves the solution to students' increasing demands?
Kerstin Olofsson, Umeå University Library, Sweden

In January of 1997 Umeå University Library was commissioned by BIBSAM (The Royal Library's Department of National Co-ordination and Development) to make a preliminary investigation - a three months' study - of possibilities and problems concerned with implementing electronic course reserves in research libraries with holdings of reading list literature for students. This paper will report on the work of Project eKUBIK.

Kerstin Olofsson is a librarian at Umeå University Library where she has been since 1972. As of 1994 she is Head of the Teacher Education Library and prior to that she has worked at the main library with foreign periodicals, PR and as a subject librarian for psychology and pedagogy. In 1996 she participated in a project concerning electronic publishing of doctoral dissertations at the university. Kerstin was a project leader for Project eKUBIK.

Coming to an Understanding: staff development and training in a multi-skilled team environment
Richard Biddiscombe, University of Birmingham, UK

This paper will outline the problems and opportunities for developing staff in a team-based converged service. The staff structure of Information Services at the University of Birmingham will be outlined, with particular emphasis on its team-based structure. The issues of training and staff development will be discussed with particular reference to mixed-skilled teams.

Richard Biddiscombe is the Arts and Humanities Team Leader in Information Services at the University of Birmingham. This is his third position in the organisation, having previously been Assistant Librarian, Enquiries and Information and Head of Information Services in what was then the University Library. Prior to that he worked at Aston University, Rolls-Royce and in a number of public libraries. He has written and edited a number of publications, most recently on the development of IT and the professional changes needed to meet the challenges and opportunities this presents.

Training for Change: experiences at Tampere University of Technology
Arja-Riitta Haarala, Tampere University of Technology Library, Finland

Tampere University of Technology is the second largest university of technology in Finland with about 8000 students. The Computing Centre was transformed in August 1996 and its activities distributed between the Library, Administration, and the Institute of Telecommunications and Networks. Student computing, maintenance, operations and help-desk functions were transferred to the Library. Both library and computing centre have co-operated well for many years. However, there are differences of operational style. The Library has practised strategic planning for some ten years, as well as other methods of development. There has also been extensive data gathering for management purposes, and special attention has been given to the training schemes of staff. In the Computing Centre, management techniques such as planning and development studies have seldom been used, with minimal user and usage data being available. Training has mainly been on an ad hoc basis. A service management model has now been introduced, and quality issues are being discussed. A consequence will be a stronger commitment to keeping up-to-date, as well as to staff training.

Arja-Riitta Haarala gained her MSc in Chemical Engineering at Helsinki University of Technology and her MSc in Information Science at University College London. She has worked as an assistant teacher at Helsinki University of Technology in the Department of Chemistry and as the head of information services at Helsinki University of Technology. Currently she holds the position of Director of the Library at Tampere University of Technology. She has served as an expert on several government committees and working groups. She is an associate member of FID.

Manifesto for Change: development and atrophy
Biddy Fisher, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
and Kirsten Engelstad, National Office for Research Documentation, Academic and Professional Libraries, Norway

This paper will attempt to draw together themes which are under discussion and which concern our professional future. It will certainly draw on issues which have emerged at the conference and will examine them for their impact on individuals, on our services and on the profession of librarianship and information science. Specific examples will be chosen from the author's own organisation, Sheffield Hallam University Learning Centre, which has taken a leading role in the development of a new culture and environment for information professionals in the past two years.

Biddy Fisher is currently Head of Academic Services and Development in The Learning Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. She has authored a book on Mentoring and her professional interests include staff development issues and information skills. She believes that the current climate for the use and retrieval of information provides an exciting opportunity for qualified information professionals. Recent papers include Information Skills for study for work for life (Academic Libraries of the South West), New skills for new buildings (CoFHE) and Centred on Learning (SEDA). At all other times she is to be found exploring the Yorkshire countryside on a motorbike.

Kirsten Engelstad is Acting General Director of the Norwegian National Office for Research Documentation, Academic and Professional Libraries.