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The Social role and the responsibilities of Public Libraries and Librarians in Transforming Society

Author:

Ayomi Priyantha Wickramarachchi

St. Joseph's Primary School, Auckland, NZ
About Ayomi
Library Assistant (Voluntary)
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Abstract

Transforming society essentially requires a change in social role and responsibilities of Public libraries and librarians. They need to deviate from their traditional roles, reach out to society with socially inclusive community programmes to address the issues related to education, literacy, culture, health and social wellbeing. These programmes will develop lifelong learning skills in the community making users confident and technically savvy to face the ever-increasing social challenges. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and discuss the changing social role and the responsibilities of Sri Lankan Public librarians in transforming society in the context of rapid and ever-changing nature of Information Communication Technologies, unprecedented situations and the impact from social media. The automation of Public libraries has entrusted the librarian with additional responsibilities of updating the technological skills of the diverse community. Moreover, the librarian's reach out to the disadvantaged groups with appropriate Community Outreach Programmes, utilising social networking media. The changing social role of librarianship with new responsibilities are discussed through library websites, literature reviews, interviews, questionnaire methods and research studies completed by LIS professionals on relevant topics. The findings reveal that Public libraries make a valuable contribution to the user community by connecting users with ICT to pursue their educational and social goals. Finally, it suggests that libraries need to contribute with new Community programmes using the latest technology to build up the necessary resilience in the community against the increasing unprecedented threats such as the recent CoviD 19.It must be emphasized that the government and relevant information authorities need to support the libraries financially and professionally in achieving the intended goals during the transformation.
How to Cite: Wickramarachchi, A. P. (2021). The Social role and the responsibilities of Public Libraries and Librarians in Transforming Society. Sri Lanka Library Review, 35(1), 1–21. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sllr.v35i1.37
Published on 31 Jan 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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