An evaluation of the University of Botswana Reference Services staff: current and future skills and competencies

KETLHOILWE, Blessing Kebakgore and MOLATEDI, Spando Kgomotso (2015) An evaluation of the University of Botswana Reference Services staff: current and future skills and competencies. UNSPECIFIED.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

An evaluation of the University of Botswana Reference Services staff: current and future skills and competencies

The question of skills and competencies of reference staff has been widely debated in the field of reference services. It is evident that technology and user expectations have considerably altered the manner in which reference services are delivered in academic libraries. Scholars such as Chawner and Oliver (2013) argue that Changes in information and communication technology call for library staff involved in providing reference services to develop new skills while at the same time maintaining their traditional skills. Reference service staff requires not only traditional reference skills, but also skills in customer service, good communication skills as well as keeping abreast with the technological changes (Chawner and Oliver 2013). At the University of Botswana Library, reference service is provided in various designated areas by staff from different levels. The study will examine the current University of Botswana reference service staff skills and competencies. Specifically, in our research, we will be looking at three groups of skills and competencies namely general skills, technology skills and personal skills that are essential in the provision of reference services. Reference staff will be asked to indicate activities they carry out as part of their daily activities, the skills and competencies they have as well as the skills and competencies they judge to be important in the provision of reference services. Data will be gathered from all University of Botswana library staff offering a reference service, questionnaires and interviews will be used to collect data. The paper will conclude with discussions of the implications of the findings and practical and approaches to enhance reference staffs skills and competencies. The results will be useful to library managers, staff involved in designing professional development programs as well as to academics in library and information schools that teach reference courses.

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