Supporting the Next-Generation ILS: The Changing Roles of Systems Librarians

Ping Fu


This paper compares current responsibilities of systems librarians supporting the traditional ILS with anticipated responsibilities associated with supporting the next- generation ILS. An examination of how the roles of systems librarians will change due to the migration to the next-generation ILS is included. The method used for this study was content analysis of online job banks with archives of five years of job postings. The analysis results demonstrate a shift is happening in the primary roles and responsibilities of systems librarians supporting the next-generation ILS. The job responsibilities are becoming more human/organizations related than those positions supporting the traditional ILS where responsibilities are concentrated on information technology. Overall, this suggests that systems librarians are expected to manage much less in terms of tasks directly related to information technology. Consequently, systems librarians should re-engineer themselves accordingly so that they will be able to support more critical issues in the library.



next-generation ILS; systems librarians; roles and responsibilities; content analysis

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ISSN: 1947-525X