The library school: empowering the sustainable innovation capacity of new librarians

Rob Bruijnzeels, Marlies Bitter-Rijpkema, Steven Verjans

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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    Technological and societal changes structurally affect the main roles of public libraries. Addressing the changing context and defining the future roles of the public library requires specific capabilities of new librarians. Aside from specific library competences, the capability to lead strategic innovation towards the new functions of the public library is crucial. These observations led the Netherlands public library association (VOB) to start the LibrarySchool initiative. The LibrarySchool is an innovative academic education programme that is not intended as an initial study programme, but as an authentic continuous professional learning programme for public library professionals. The paper outlines how the LibrarySchool – powered by the Open University in The Netherlands – envisages to train its students to become competent innovators not only for their own organization but for the whole public library sector. The LibrarySchool has adopted an innovative learning approach which combines workplace learning, networked learning and distance learning with intensive inspirational face-to-face sessions. The curriculum is built around four main themes that deal with the current challenges for public libraries: changes in (1) society, (2) culture, (3) organisation and (4) professional learning in the digital era. Each theme is integrated into the main learning stream of collectively developing new librarianship.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2011


    • bibliotheek
    • library
    • public librarian
    • Library School
    • library professionals
    • networked learning
    • sustainable innovation
    • professional knowledge
    • workplace learning
    • professional development


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