Workplace information literacy skills. Library professionals’ competency at university libraries in Karachi, Pakistan

Date09 July 2018
Pages469-482
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-10-2017-0107
Publication Date09 July 2018
AuthorMuhammad Yousuf Ali,Joanna Richardson
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
Workplace information
literacy skills
Library professionalscompetency at
university libraries in Karachi, Pakistan
Muhammad Yousuf Ali
Faculty of Health Science, Library, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, and
Joanna Richardson
Department of Library and Learning Services, Grifth University,
Meadowbrook, Australia
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of thisstudy is to investigate the level of information literacy (IL)skills competency
among universitylibrary professionals in Karachi, Pakistanand to address areas of concern.
Design/methodology/approach An online survey was designed, using GoogleForms, to collect data
from 77 academic librarians working in 25 universities in Karachi, Pakistan. The questions covered six
generic attributes: library systems, information resources, searching techniques, research support, IL and
generic/personalattributes.
Findings The results indicate that the librarians who were surveyed had goodIL skills in information
searching and locating information resources. However, the average of all survey responses was 54.17 per
cent, with 12 of the 24 competencies receiving scores of less than 50 per cent, thus indicating a generally
overall low levelof IL competencyin the workplace.
Research limitations/implications As the study was limited to universitiesin Karachi, it would be
useful to apply the same methodology to otheradministrative units within the country. Further research is
indicated on the potential impact of gender on aspects such as level of IL skills and motivation to enhance
workplacecompetencies.
Practical implications The authors havesuggested a number of strategies, which would be applicable
globallyto any university library wishing to improve the IL skillscompetencies of its staff.
Originality/value There have been no previous published, non-discipline-specic, research studies on
the IL skills competenciesof academic librarians in Pakistan.
Keywords Academic librarians, University librarians, Academic librarian competencies,
Information literacy competency, Job skills
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
The traditional tasks of librarianship, e.g. collection development, reference, classication,
cataloging and instruction,have evolved to include a heavy reliance on technology and Web
2.0 tools. For example, librarians nowsupport online acquisition, digital reference services,
Web page design, online tutorialdevelopment, citation management, data managementand
institutional repository management. In this context, information literacy (IL) skills have
become an integral part of the librariansworkplace.
The authors wish to acknowledge all participants who took part in this survey.
Workplace
information
literacy skills
469
Received23 October 2017
Revised15 January 2018
25May 2018
Accepted1 June 2018
Informationand Learning Science
Vol.119 No. 7/8, 2018
pp. 469-482
© Emerald Publishing Limited
2398-5348
DOI 10.1108/ILS-10-2017-0107
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2398-5348.htm

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