Home > Conferences > Umbrella 2011 – Session E: IT for the LIS professional

Umbrella 2011 – Session E: IT for the LIS professional

If you were following the #ub11 hashtag on Twitter, you’ll know that this one caused a fair amount of debate.  Georgina Hardy has already done a very good post on this session but I just have a couple of points to make:

Key points:

  • Not everyone is as good at IT as we assume. E.g. young people use social networking but can’t understand computer filing systems.
  • Do we need a ‘real’ European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) before we’re allowed to buy a computer or smartphone? There was lots of eye-rolling about ECDL. I did it years ago as part of my graduate traineeship programme but I’ve learnt far more ‘on the job’ and it is totally Microoft Office-based.
  • Not everything IT-related is Microsoft or PC-based.
  • Should librarians regard programming as a basic skill? I last programmed in Basic to make a swirly shape in the mid-1980s. The ability to create a website from scratch would be useful but I don’t know how to do it.
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  1. July 21, 2011 at 12:33

    Interesting point about the ECDL – I completed it about 5 years ago when it was based on the previous version of Office. My current workplace uses the most recent version which is completely different, so I’ve had to re-learn a lot of what I could do previously.

    I think the method of testing doesn’t really encourage you to learn how to use the programmes either – just know how to answer the question. The ECDL doesn’t prepare you for doing a task in a work situation. Most of the computer skills I have I gained through doing things at work or personal interest.

    I’m looking at doing the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist exams but they seem to be similar to the ECDL.


    • August 31, 2011 at 19:38

      You’ve raised a really good point there Michelle. I did ECDL seven years ago on Office 2003 and, as you say I had to re-learn it all again myself ad-hoc when the 2007 and 2010 versions were released. It’s also very prescriptive. If you don’t follow their method of doing something exactly you lose marks, even if your way is simply an alternative and, as anyone that uses Office knows, there are usually 24 different ways of doing the same thing!

      I’m not sure that a meaningful ‘one size fits all’ exam really works for IT literacy. I wish everyone was trained in how to set up a meeting on Outlook though…

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