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Libraries in the digital age - what do they look like? What will they look like in the future?

The digital transformation has impacted many fields of studies including the humanities. The BIBLIO project was born in response to this and as a way to understand how the library sector can transition into the digital era. This project aims to develop a Vocational Education and Training (VET) curriculum based on sectoral research. The VET curriculum will be delivered in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and workplace training in the project’s pilot countries.  BIBLIO is implemented by a consortium of ten organisations from five EU countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia. Working together are library networks and library and archives organisations (The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information, Global Libraries Bulgaria Foundation, Culture Information Systems Centre), universities (University of Bari Aldo Moro Humanities Department, Centre for Vocational Training at University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Hellenic Open University DAISSy Research Group), VET providers (European Grants International Academy, Data Media Group), and European networks (ALL DIGITAL, Public Libraries 2030).

As the BIBLIO project explores in its research, the library sector has seen a digital skills gap emerge as technology has progressed. For this sector specifically, there is an immediate need for digital skills:

  • Online and offline communication
  • Digital content creation such as videos, podcasts, animations etc
  • Exploring technological changes and translating this into the library sector
  • Information, data, and media literacy

A more detailed overview of the research results from the BIBLIO project can be found in the BIBLIO Executive Summary.

Based on the research conducted, two job profiles were developed: the community engagement and communication officer (CECO) and the digital transformation facilitator (DIGY). These profiles tackle both the public facing nature of libraries and the internal needs these institutions may have in regards to the digital transformation. For the CECO profile, they aim to be able to connect with users online and offline and develop activities relevant to the needs and concerns of the community. On the other hand, the DIGY profile aims to help libraries transition into the digital age with technical knowledge that will lead to the digitisation of content and helping colleagues learn the relevant skills to manage digital libraries. While these profiles aim to address current challenges and future ones, the sector is sure to be further impacted by future technological evolutions.

What is the future of digital libraries in your opinion?

What digital skills will librarians, in all types of libraries, need to manage the libraries of the future? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!