2-Realigning Library and Information Services with the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Keynote Paper: Realigning Library and Information Services with the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Author: Alfred S. Sife and George E. Matto


The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is driven by developments in ICTs particularly emerging digital technologies that blur the boundaries between physical, digital and biological systems. Such digital technologies include the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Infrastructure, or cloud computing, big data analytics, Nanotechnologies, Advanced Robotics, Sensors, Blockchain and 3D Printing. ICT developments and 4IR technologies in particular, have impacted the conventional library processes, activities and services. All these continue to add value to libraries in diverse ways. There are numerous examples where 4IR technologies have been integrated into library systems. There are also many trends and opportunities fostered by emerging technologies and other compelling characteristics of 4IR. As a result, libraries are required to develop strategies to enable them respond to the demands, challenges and disruptive changes of the 4IR environment. This includes the need for libraries to re-examine the management and delivery of their services to proactively invest in ICTs, continuously evolve, become innovative and realign their practices. The new library philosophy in the 4IR era is “access rather than ownership”. There is a call for paradigm shift and for librarians to continuously acquire new skills to fit well in the changing work environment. LIS education systems must change their programmes and curricula to provide sufficient content and practices that will produce librarians with the necessary competencies. Moreover, continued capacity building and awareness raising is necessary among leaders and decision makers in the library sector.

Keywords: Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, ICTs, library services     

Proceedings of  the 4th COTUL Scientific Conference, 7th-11th November, 2022


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