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Information professionals: core competencies and professional development

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Author(s): Flávia Ferreira | Joanice Nascimento Santos | Lucyana Nascimento | Ricardo Sodré Andrade | Susane Barros | Jussara Borges | Helena Pereira da Silva | Othon Jambeiro | Fábio Ferreira | Bethany Lynn Letalien

Journal: Information Research: an international electronic journal
ISSN 1368-1613

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 299;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Professional education for information professionals

ABSTRACT
Introduction. We discuss the concept of core competencies applied to policies for teaching and training information professionals, particularly librarians. Method. Sixty graduates of the Institute were employed as information professionals. These sixty were asked to attribute degrees of importance to specific items associated with knowledge and skills that, within the scope of this research, were considered core competencies for meeting the demands of their jobs. Participants were also asked to cite knowledge they acquired in school and knowledge they use in exercising their profession, the skills that they consider necessary but that they did not gain in school, and the difficulties they encounter in exercising their profession and for which they were not sufficiently well prepared. Analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative data analyses were performed. The data were tabulated using Access and several reports and cross-tabulations were generated. Results. The results suggest a gulf between knowledge and skills acquired in library school and those that are required by the job market. In particular, participants lacked the skills they needed to work with information and communication technologies. Conclusion. The concept of core competencies is increasingly taken into account by the productive sector of the economy. The educational system ought to keep up with this change. The empirical research described shows that there is a need to establish advanced and modern policies for the education of librarians, participants in the market for information professionals.
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