Digital Literacy of LIS Professionals in the Kerala University Library and State Central Library
A Comparative Analysis
In the library system, the application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has changed the type of services delivered through academic and public libraries. Digital resources and services must be planned, implemented and supported to increase the image and visibility of libraries in the information paradigm. In the current situation, where by ICT are being continuously updated, and the traditional formats are being replaced by digital formats, regular training for the library professionals in changing technology is inevitable..The effective information services in the digital environment require digital skills of Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals. Hence it is imperative to study the digital literacy of LIS personals in the libraries. The present study is an attempt to compare the digital literacy of LIS professionals in the Kerala University Library (KUL) and the State Central Library (SCL). The main objectives of the study are to compare the ICT infrastructure and digital resources and services in KUL and SCL; to study the awareness of digital resources by the LIS professionals; to identify the ICT tools and web technologies used ; to find out the purpose and frequency of the use of ICT and web based tools; to compare the skills of LIS professionals in handling digital resources and web enabled services; to identify the problem faced by the professionals in managing digital resources; and to make suggestions for the better ICT enabled services. The data for the study was collected from all the LIS professionals in KUL and SCL with the help of a well structured questionnaire. Out of 108 questionnaires distributed 103 were duly filled up and returned. Five point Likert scale is used for measuring the digital literacy skills of LIS professionals. It was found that even though the number of documents in SCL is greater than KU, the electronic resources, services in KUL is better than SCL. The awareness level and digital skill of LIS professionals in KUL regarding hardware, software, web technologies, electronic resources and services is better than those in SCL. The major problems identified by the LIS professionals are lack of training, IT infrastructure, support from the management etc. It was suggested that the regular orientation programs,in-service training, provision of attending workshops, etc. would help to increase the digital literacy skills of working professionals in the libraries.