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Title:Analysis of trends in demand for computer literacy for librarians in academic and public libraries from 1974 to 1989
Author(s):Zhou, Yuan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Smith, Linda C.
Department / Program:Library Science and Information Science
Discipline:Library Science and Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Library Science
Information Science
Abstract:Computer applications have changed in many aspects the ways by which libraries provide their services. As a result, computer literacy has gradually become an important competency for librarians in many positions. This study investigates the market change regarding the demand for computer literacy for librarians in academic and public libraries from 1974 to 1989. The main focus of the study includes: (1) trace the growth and changes over time in the demand for computer literate librarians in different position types; and (2) identify the basic elements for qualifying librarians of different positions to be functionally computer literate and the changes of such elements over time.
The study collects data from 3,125 job advertisements published in American Libraries in 1974, 1979, 1984, and 1989 for full-time professional librarian positions in academic and public libraries. Among them, 2,091 were from academic libraries, and 1,034 from public libraries. Content analysis is applied to each advertisement to determine whether or not the position demanded computer-related competencies, and if so, what particular competencies were specified. Information on library type, position type, job title, institution name, etc. was also gathered from the advertisements while the data about size of library were collected from the American Library Directory. The data were analyzed and tested against a set of proposed hypotheses.
The study revealed that the demand for computer literate librarians increased substantially during the period studied, but the increase was more dramatic in academic libraries than in public libraries. It was also found that although significant increases in such demand were generally observed in most position types, the degree of the increase varied greatly among types of positions. One of the trends identified was a gradual shift of focus in computer applications from technical services functions to public services functions. Other major findings include that library size is in general a poor indicator of the need for computer literate librarians, and the demand for computer literacy for managerial positions and non-managerial positions tends to be comparable within the same position type. With regard to the components of computer literacy for librarians, the study indicated that despite the fact that there was a cluster of basic computer-related knowledge and skills that were frequently requested by various library positions, the core components of computer literacy tend to vary in different types of positions.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Zhou, Yuan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512610
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512610

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