In the eyes of beholder: Assessing the ICT competencies of LIS graduates through the lens of their employers in Pakistan

WARRAICH, Nosheen Fatima (2019) In the eyes of beholder: Assessing the ICT competencies of LIS graduates through the lens of their employers in Pakistan. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 234 - Education and Training.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2755
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

In the eyes of beholder: Assessing the ICT competencies of LIS graduates through the lens of their employers in Pakistan

This study aims to explore the expectations of library employers with regards to ICT competencies of LIS graduates in order that they may enhance their employment outcomes. This study opted for a qualitative research design. It used the phenomenology approach as its purpose was to assess the ICT skills required among LIS professionals as perceived by employers in the LIS job market. It also explored challenges faced by libraries while hiring LIS professionals at entry level and the role that LIS schools’ curricula play to develop ICT competencies in a competitive digital environment. The data were collected through in-depth interviews from 11 senior academic library leaders. It was found that the major challenges faced by libraries to find competent LIS professionals were the dearth of skilled professionals followed by a low level of motivation, poor written and verbal communication skills and a lack of competitive salary packages. While library employers expected that LIS graduates should have core ICT competencies such as being well-versed with the basic tools of Microsoft Office, searching skills, social media awareness, knowledge of integrated library systems and familiarity with the user oriented smart phone use for entry level jobs. The respondents pointed to the importance of LIS schools’ curricula to develop ICT competencies among LIS graduates. They opined that the curricula should place more emphasis on practice rather than theory, standardization among schools, regular content up-gradation with outcome based learning. There is also a need of faculty development programs for proper implementation of curricula and collaboration of different stakeholders to lessen theory and practice gap. The respondents perceived that attitude and willingness of LIS professionals towards their learning and developing emerging ICT competencies were important followed by the role played by LIS schools and national and regional professional associations. The findings of the study would be helpful for academicians to redesign the curriculum to develop enhanced employability skills among graduates.

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