January 20, 2022

IFLA WLIC Paper Reports on a Study of Emerging Technologies Librarians

The following paper will be presented at the 2013 IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Singapore.

Full Title

Study on Emerging Technologies Librarians: How a new Library Position and its Competencies are Evolving to Meet the Technology and Information Needs of Libraries and Their Patrons


Tara Radniecki
Loyola Marymount University


IFLA Library


This study examines the roles and responsibilities of the emerging technologies librarian to illuminate and maximize the possibilities of the position as libraries around the world provide new content in new mediums to an increasingly tech-savvy user group.

This relatively new position is being created as libraries strive to leverage new technologies to update service models in reference, instruction, and access service departments to meet their patrons’ point-of-need preferences in location, device choice, and information seeking behaviors. While many skill and experience analyses have been conducted on other library positions, the emerging technologies librarian’s roles and requirements remains vague, leaving librarians interested in the position unsure of what skills to obtain and hiring libraries unclear how such a position could benefit their library.

Data will be collected from deep analysis of job advertisements via the American Library Association’s JobLIST database within the past six years as well as from surveys distributed to and completed by current emerging technologies librarians. A content analysis of job advertisements reveals what types of libraries are hiring emerging technologies librarians, what the hiring organizations anticipate the job responsibilities will include, and what skills employers are looking for. The survey results provide valuable insight on how actual job responsibilities may vary from job advertisements.

Also analyzed will be responses related to percentage of time spent on emerging technologies related work and skills respondents would have found advantageous. This study’s findings will provide an accurate picture of current hiring trends and the opportunity through data analyzed and shared to tailor the hiring process to best meet the realities of this new position and their strengths for libraries. Data from this study will inform hiring practices, competencies, job responsibilities, and future opportunities for libraries and emerging technology librarians around the world.

Direct to Full Text (16 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.