Role of the university librarian: a review
Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka
The paper tries to analyse the role of the university librarian using a sociological definition for the role. Considers the University as a social institution and how the role of the librarian evolved to meet the changes taking place in the Universities. Elaborates management and functional competencies, qualities, technological and human relations skills they need to develop in order to cope with the modern Information environment. Encyclopaedia Britannica defines the role as follows: Role, in
... s follows: Role, in sociology, the behaviour expected of an individual who occupies a given social position or status. ..... An individual may have a unique style, but this is exhibited within the boundaries of the expected behaviour. ..... Role expectations include both actions and qualities. The International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences describes "role" as representing "the behavior expected of the occupant of a given position or status with emphasis on expectations (beliefs and cognitions) and enactment (conduct)." Blackwell Dictionary of Twentieth Century Social Thought defines Role as "Denoting sequences of behavior emitted by individuals occupying, or seeking to occupy, a particular position in a social situation ..." (p. 564). According to these analogies, to perform in a particular role an individual must be receptive to the expectations of the role for which he or she is responsible, and this analogy can be used to understand how academic librarians cope with and adapt to change. If librarians are to adjust within the university community, they must adapt, reinforce, and adjust their role in response to library staff or information users. Once individuals understand their roles, they can usually cope with and respond appropriately to recurrent situations. Through this continuous process of self-examination and selfdefinition, individuals understand and perform a role by incorporating appropriate behavioral changes. It can be assumed that, role encompasses an interactive system of behavior, values, skills, and functions all performed within the context of providing academic library and information services.