On Friday 7 October, an experience-sharing seminar was held on “Promotion of digital skills and competencies for librarians” for representatives of public libraries of Latvian municipalities involved in the international project “Digital Biblio” implemented with the support of the European Union.
The objectives of the project are to identify existing and new skills needed by the library sector to understand Europe’s future job profiles in the 21st-century library sector and to support the development of a highly skilled and mobile workforce by closing the gap between formal education and the labour market.
From Latvia, 28 local government public libraries have been involved in the project, creating exploratory digital materials and online tools together with specially prepared mentors, while the project management team is developing, in parallel to this librarian’s work process, a vocational education and training programme that will be made available to every librarian after the project was completed in March 2023.
The seminar was organised by project partners from Latvia – SIA DMG (Data Media Group, Latvia) and the Centre for Cultural Information Systems.
At the opening of the event, the librarians were welcomed by Mārs Jkobsone, project manager from SIA DMG, welcoming the high level of commitment and interest in the project by the Latvian libraries and stressing that the librarians, while carrying out their activities within the Digital Biblio framework, also act as researchers who, through their involvement and sharing of experience, help to co-create and improve the professional training programme to be developed by the project. Ms Jkobsson also highlighted the global relevance of the sector at the European level, with the creation of a transnational personal education platform, where every librarian will also have the opportunity to create their account and portfolio with information on the various opportunities for developing digital skills.
The project representative of the Cultural Information Systems Centre, Inga Niedra, gave an overview of the progress of the project so far, analysing the diverse ideas put forward by the project participation libraries to promote better acquisition and development of citizens’ digital skills.
In the follow-up to the seminar, representatives of the libraries involved in the Digital Biblio shared their experience of working on the development of individual projects on the ground, presented by librarians from the Library of Pilsrundale, the library of the municipality of Madona, the library of the civil parish of Vecpiebalgs, the library of the city of Skrunda and the library of Ventspils.
On the Biblio Project Specialisation Course:
- A unique learning opportunity for library professionals and students already working or planning to work in libraries in the Biblio project partner countries – Latvia, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy;
- Two adapted curricula (CECO and DIGY),in line with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET);
- Modular curricula and advanced materials suitable for flexible and personalised learning;
- 38 training modules for digital, entrepreneurial and transversal competence development;
- Blended and work-based learning and practical experience in libraries;
- PAS-guided training and a flexible schedule that can be combined with work and studies;
- Supporting teachers, mentors and project moderators to achieve the best learning outcomes.
Participants were able to register for one of the two specialisation courses specifically designed for the job role profiles created by library professionals:
- Public Engagement and Communication Officer (CECO) – 35 modules, 17 for digital and 18 for entrepreneurial, transversal skills.
- Digital Transformation Facilitator (DIGY) – 28 modules, 16 for digital and 12 for entrepreneurial, transversal skills.
Pilot training for the Biblio Specialisation Course takes place between February and November of this year, with:
- Blended training:
- 20 hours of face-to-face seminars,
- 160 hours of online classes and self-study,
- 40 hours of project-based learning;
- 20-hour assessment.
- Work-based training – 165 hours.
Pilot training is being carried out in four Biblio project Member States – Latvia, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy. The course is up-to-date, enabling the development of digital, entrepreneurial and transversal skills, which are seen as basic skills for library professionals in the new era. Although the course is aimed at librarians and workers in the sector, it may also be suitable for anyone interested in the development of the information sector and the potential of digitisation in libraries.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Contract No: 608964-EPP-1-2019-IT-EPPKA3-VET-NETPAR