American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(3), 366-376
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-3-16
Open AccessArticle

Librarians Work-Related Learning and Self-Development: Trends in Estonian University Libraries

Kate-Riin Kont1, and Signe Jantson1

1Akadeemia tee 1, Tallinn 12618, Estonia

Pub. Date: March 09, 2015

Cite this paper:
Kate-Riin Kont and Signe Jantson. Librarians Work-Related Learning and Self-Development: Trends in Estonian University Libraries. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(3):366-376. doi: 10.12691/education-3-3-16

Abstract

Purpose The aim of the current paper is to clarify if the staff of Estonian university libraries has enough opportunities and willingness for continuing education and to develop their skills and competencies related with their everyday work in formal as well as in informal form; whether they have sufficient skills for their current job and what kind of knowledge/skills do librarians miss the most and finally, whether their current income will allow them to continue their education. Methodology The data used in this paper is based on reviewing of relevant literature to provide an overview of the concept of learning and development, and also on the results of the original survey, created by the paper’s authors, held in Estonian university libraries governed by public law in Estonia. The analysis of the results are interpreted on the basis of the literature and authors' opinions, based on long-term working experience in Estonian academic libraries. Findings Although the personnel of university libraries are highly motivated to train themselves, and some are even willing to do it at their own expense, most librarians are relatively pessimistic about their opportunities to develop themselves with their current salary. The increasing salary would be the biggest motivator for continuing education and self-development. There are a number of employees in university libraries who would be willing to participate in professional conferences and seminars. Unfortunately, most of the them are not ready to deliver a presentation. Originality/value The majority of the literature in library science has focused – and rightfully so – on the user: what do users and patrons want and/or need, how do they use it, how can librarians best provide it to them, do the users feel themselves comfortable in library building etc., etc. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no research has been carried out in recent years, in the Estonian university library context to determine continuing education and development. Practical implications Based on the current study it can be said that the biggest challenge for managements of the university libraries in Estonia is to find the opportunities for financial and/or time support which could influence all kind of the development and learning activities of employees.

Keywords:
university librarians formal education informal education continuing professional education self-development institutional support

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