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Libraries as a new service center. Point of intersection in an European network

: Schmidt, R.

FH Hannover, Fachbereich Bibliothekswesen, Information und Dokumentation:
Informationsspezialisten für Europa. Proceedings
Hannover, 1990
Book Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
information profession; information provision; information service; knowledge transfer; librarianship; reference service; training

The concept of 'library information service' characterizes a new understanding of the function of the library field. It indicates that libraries, traditionally conserving information, will increasingly have to become more active in the information transfer system in order to meet the requirements of changing information needs in our society. The talk first covers the terminological origin and meaning of the term and defines library information service as a functional component in the generally tool-oriented library environment. Due to the need to enhance the information transfer in our society, information provision offered by public and academic libraries becomes more relevant within the presently predominant structures of the information service sector. Cooperating and to some extent competing with private online information brokers, reference-oriented non-commercial institutions, and information agencies as part of the research and technology transfer community, libraries could, as service points, information switching stations, and translation centers for highly specialized queries, assist information-seeking experts and particularly laypersons in formulating and solving their information problems. In this context the talk discusses the procedural and organizational prerequisites for an efficient library information service, it outlines the expected developments in information technology and methodology in the nineties, and it draws a number of criteria for the training of library knowledge specialists from these trends. Thus, a modified functional understanding of European librarianship calls for an expansion of library training incorporating technical, organizational, methodical, and psychological information skills.