Educating the Health Librarians in Africa today: Competencies, Skills and Attitudes required in a Changing Health Environment

KASALU, Judy S. and OJIAMBO, Joseph B. (2015) Educating the Health Librarians in Africa today: Competencies, Skills and Attitudes required in a Changing Health Environment. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 208 - Health and Biosciences Libraries.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1104
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Educating the Health Librarians in Africa today: Competencies, Skills and Attitudes required in a Changing Health Environment

The changing health environment in Africa has made the work of health librarians more interesting and challenging at the same time. The changes brought about by advances in Information and Communication Technologies and increased need for consumer health information due to outbreak of new and lifestyle diseases have defined a new niche for health librarians and necessitated a change in their roles. Health librarians are facing added challenges requiring a person who is better equipped and well educated in the profession. For library and information sciences schools in Africa, these changes have necessitated continuing evaluation of the curriculum and re-designing of the courses to respond to new market needs. The objectives of this study were to establish the extent to which information science schools in Kenya offered courses that imparted competencies and skills required by health information professionals; and to establish a range of competencies, skills and attitudes required by health librarians in Kenya in order to be effective in the changing health environment. The findings show that a range of skills and competencies are required for health science librarians to function effectively and efficiently in the current health environment in Africa. The results also show that LIS schools in Kenya have not adequately addressed competencies and skills required by health librarians Health librarians need to be proactive in acquiring skills and competencies that will help them support health care.

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