As the development of computers and the popularization of internet, technology has been playing more and more important role in the library environment. Today we all use OPAC to interact with users for information retrieval, webpage and internet to display all available library resources, and Integrated Library System for consistent operation within the library system. We also provide access to a large volume of e-resources, including research articles, conference papers, and e-books, through database vendors and aggregators. Many academic and special libraries have digital library initiatives and digitizing projects to transform physical information packages into digital format, and preserve and disseminate them electronically. Besides, more and more information is born digitally, being created electronically without physical format version. What’s more, reference services are delivered in various virtual forms and information literacy instructions are relying more and more on multimedia methods.
Information technology has become an integral part of the operations and services of library and information profession, and it is the responsibility for our future librarians to catch up with the trend in this profession and try to familiarize ourselves with the various technologies. Library and information professionals need to equip themselves with basic knowledge and skills on web design and usability, database functionality and digital library construction and maintenance, and get familiar with all the other information technologies, such as Wiki, Blogging, RSS, video sharing, social networking and so on. We do not want to give a blank look when being approached by a teenager asking some question about the apps in his iPhone. The ability to give satisfactory answer to that kind of question requires an open heart and constant attention to new technologies. In the present time, the capability of giving successful performance in delivering reference services and other aspects of the information services would largely rely on our comfort levels with information technologies. This being said, it is also essential to make full use of the time and resources available in the two year MLIS study and balance course selections between technical courses and courses on other fundamental aspects of LIS knowledge. After all, technology would always be a bonus, but information service is the core.
During the two years’ study in SLIS, I have obtained basic information technologies in LIS 506 Information Technology course in the first year of SLIS program. In that course, I was exposed to concepts and terminologies about internet and intranet, HTML webpage design, computer hardware and basic software, including Photoshop and MS office, computer operating system, Integrated Library System (Sirsi Unicorn), database technology (MS Access), metadata standards and languages (Dublin Core), searching tools, XML and XSLT, citation managers (Refwork and ProCite), content management system and other digital devices. The LIS 538 Digital Libraries prepared me with various aspects of the digital library technology, including technology and architecture, digital content and metadata schemes, digitization and preservation, digital library evaluation, information retrieval and interoperability, open archives, digital library building software, and so on. I am also planning to take workshops to study webdesign and database design at advanced levels.
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