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Title: Subject specialization of librarians in science and technology libraries of Sri Lanka
Authors: Mashroofa, Mohamed Majeed
Keywords: Subject librarians
, Subject specialization
SLSTINET members
Academic Libraries
Sri Lanka
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Proceedings of the World Library and Information Congress of IFLA, Singapore, pp1-17.
Abstract: This paper aims to explore the attitudes of librarians towards the important of subject librarians in the Science and Technology libraries of Sri Lanka especially this study analyses the need for subject specialization to provide excellent services and to identify the challenges associated with the recruitment of subject librarians. A survey was carried out among 120 Sri Lanka Scientific & Technical Information Network (SLSTINET) member libraries in Sri Lanka, of them 36 libraries (30%) were selected as sample. Questionnaire was used as research instrument and in addition an interview was carried out to get the qualitative information from librarians. In addition documentary analyses were carried out to investigate the scheme of recruitment of librarians and the qualifications required for the post. This study selected a purposive sampling technique. The originality of this paper is to provide an overview of subject specialization of librarians in Sri Lanka and to describe challenges faced by library selection committee in the past. Data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively to get a good result. The survey showed that majority of the librarians have emphasized that appointing subject Librarians are important to faculty Libraries and other Science and Technology Libraries as they are able to deliver best reference services and collection management activities to the specific library patrons. They also strongly believe that subject librarians are very comfort enough to be a member of the research committee of faculties, liaising with departments and delivering discipline oriented Information Literacy programmes. However there are some arguments that subject experts are not so important and any librarians can gain knowledge and skills on the disciplines of their institutions and work accordingly. In addition, majority agreed that pre training in Library and information Science is also important to carry out the technical services of the Libraries. This study suggests some important measures that should be taken by the authorities to avoid problems in appointments and to develop librarians in order to work for the specific communities of the institution/ faculties. It also recommends the SLSTINET member libraries to recruit librarians with specialization at least one of the particular disciplines of the institution in order to get very effective and efficient services, thus in turn will support to develop the scientific activities of the country.
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