The Role of Librarians' Expertise in the Learning Process
The need for lifelong learning in the information society cannot be overemphasized. Keeping up with the rapid development of information — that is eventually integrated into new knowledge — becomes a necessity for active citizenship as well as for improvement of the quality of life. Although there have been rather naive forcast of the demise of libraries and librarians in favor of new information technologies, in the acedemic libraries we have seen just the opposite. Students rely more and more on the expertise of librarians to help them make a good use of the complicated webs of information. What is it in librarians'knowledge that makes them experts? How do the experts differ from the novices? The literature of psychology and education has paid attention to understading expertise for some time.E.g. Sternberg and Horvath 1) of Yale University have developed what they call a "prototype view of expert teaching." Their theory incorporates standards of expertise but also allows for variability of indiviadual experts. No such theory has been developed for librarianship. I believe that their theory can be successfuly applied especially to acedemic librarians. In my paper I would like to explore the unique knowledge on which librarianship is based and create prototype view of expert librarianship. 1) Sternberg, Robert J. and Horvath, Joseph A. (1995) "A Prototype View of Expert Teaching." Educational Researcher, 24(6): 9-17.
Keywords: Theory of Expertise, Learning in the Information Society, Librarians' knowledge and expertise
Prof Jitka Hurych
Head, Science, Engineering and Business Dpt, University Library Northern, Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA , Northern Illinois University