Transformations of the Lithuanian Librarian’s Profession: Professionalism and Development of Competences

Daiva JANAVIČIENĖ, (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania)

The objective of the article is, by drawing on the conception of professionalism of today’s librarian and on qualitative empirical research, to analyse how representatives of administrations of Lithuania’s public libraries perceive the transformations of the profession of a librarian, the development of competences determining the librarian’s professionalism, and the main obstacles and challenges facing such professionalism. The qualitative (empirical) research done by the author substantiates theoretical insights by scholars regarding the transformations of the profession of a librarian and related challenges. The most intensive changes are determined by rapidly evolving technologies, but Lithuania’s librarians also face certain forms of political change, economic inequality, and competition. Though public libraries are increasingly taking on the role of leaders within communities and are purporting to better comprehend communities’ expectations, they acknowledge the need to continuously develop competences and seek professionalism. Obstacles hindering the development of professionalism express themselves not only through personal limitations but also through objectively experienced deficiency of general library policy and inability to demonstrate the benefit provided to community. By applying thematic analysis, the author has drawn a scheme of competences determining the professionalism of Lithuanian librarians. The research results indicate the necessity to build a nucleus of knowledge and skills embodying the exclusiveness of the librarian’s profession.