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Regional News of Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Source: Maxwell Okamafo Addo

2nd Lady Urges Librarians To Keep Up With New Trends in ICT

The Wife of the Vice President,Mrs. Matilda Amissah Arthur has charged librarians in the country to add value to themselves by embracing the task of keeping up with new trends in the information sourcing industry and the changing face of library services in the country.

She was speaking at the opening ceremony of a Collaborative International Workshop organised by the Nigerian Liberian Association (IT Section) in conjunction with the Ghana Library Association(GLA) under the theme “ Librarianship and the demands for new Leadership Skills,’’ at the forecourt of the Balme library at the University of Ghana Legon in Accra.

Mrs. Amissah Arthur,a librarian for over 30 years and the first female President of the Ghana Librarian Association noted that to build a Strong Librarian Association, the negative stereotyped notion about libraries and librarians has to be changed to embrace new technological ways of sourcing information and rendering library services.

Mrs. Amissah Arthur said over-time library services have become more dynamic with technological advancement worldwide so the need to upgrade ways and systems that support sourcing of information.

The Second Lady stated that the theme -LIBRARIANSHIP AND THE DEMANDS FOR NEW LEADERSHIP SKILLS is timely because today’s world moves on interdependence, interrelationships and inter-reliance. Therefore, Librarianship is very much affected by what happens in the ICT world.

This she said, has transformed the nature of information through technology, the mass media and the Internet together with other competing occupations thus Computer scientists and Information specialist like Wikipedia, Newspapers, TV, Social Media (Google, Flickr, Myspace, Foursquare, Digg).

Adding that , there is an urgent need as an association to take a look at the scope and magnitude of change occurring in libraries today so as to overhaul their libraries.This in turn calls for the sharpening of the leadership skills librarians possess as well as the acquisition of new leadership skills.

Mrs Amissah Arthur said the Library of the last century is no more the library of today. But the current trends, specifically, the advent of computers and the use of technology has changed the materials we stock in our libraries and therefore the way we do things.

Adding that, the roles, responsibilities and functions of the librarian have changed as well. Now, the library is a place where new social relationships are forged and knowledge is created, explored and shared.

She also stated that Librarians skilled in the use of mobile devices can help ensure that their limitations and strengths are considered and built into the library’s information systems. Librarians should understand the pros and cons of cloud computing in order to be able to advice accordingly.

Mrs. Amissah Arthur finally called on them to be confident, share ideas, collaborate and build networks as they talk about leadership skills that will help in meeting the demands of the information paradigm shift.

Other speakers at the programme included the president of the Ghana Library Association Dr Perpertua Dadzie , Professor Ellis Badu the University of Ghana librarian and also the Chairman for the occasion and Mr Ayo the chairman of the Nigerian Librarian association (NLA).