Library and Repository Communities Join Together to Identify New Competencies for Academic Librarians

    The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), and the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) are pleased to announce the launch of a Joint Task Force on Librarians’ Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication.

    Rapid changes in technology and associated shifts in research and scholarly communications are profoundly changing the role of libraries in the 21st century. The emergence of e-research, for example, is bringing about new ways of doing science across the globe, compelling libraries to adopt new services, such as assisting with the development of research data management plans, hosting collaborative virtual research environments, managing institutional repositories, and disseminating research outputs through open access mechanisms. These novel services require a range of new skills and expertise within the library community as well as a shift in organizational models for libraries.

    The aim of the task force is to outline the competencies needed by librarians in this evolving environment. The first step will be to identify the various avenues of service for libraries within the context of e-research, repository management, and scholarly communication. These services and roles will then be mapped to the competencies required by librarians and library professionals. The task force will also make note of the array of organizational models evolving to support new services.

    The task force will produce a toolkit that will help to build capacity in libraries for supporting new roles in the area of scholarly communication and e-research. The toolkit will allow library managers to identify skill gaps in their institution, form the basis of job descriptions, enable professionals to carry out self-assessments, and act as a foundation for the development of training programs for librarians and library professionals. In addition, the toolkit will provide an outline of new organizational models that are evolving in this dynamic environment.

    A preliminary report will be available in spring 2014.

    Task Force Members

    Pascal Calarco (CARL and University of Waterloo)
    Rob Grim (LIBER and Tilburg University)
    Iryna Kuchma (chair, COAR and EIFL)
    Alicia López Medina (COAR and Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)
    Susan Reilly (LIBER)
    Judy Ruttenberg (ARL)
    Birgit Schmidt (LIBER and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
    Kathleen Shearer (COAR and CARL)
    Dominic Tate (COAR and University of Edinburgh)

    For more information about the task force, please contact Iryna Kuchma (task force chair)