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Competencies for Information Professionals in Learning Labs and Makerspaces

Kyungwon Koh, June Abbas

Abstract


An increasing number of libraries and museums provide transformative learning spaces, often called “Learning Labs” and “Makerspaces.” These spaces invite users to explore traditional and digital media, interact with mentors and peers, and engage in creative projects. For these spaces and programs to be sustainable, it is essential that they are staffed by qualified professionals and support staff. This research study investigated the competencies required for the successful performance of professionals in library and museum learning spaces. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with professionals working in leading learning spaces in the U.S. The findings include top competencies (e.g., ability to learn, adapt to new situations, collaborate, serve as an advocate, and serve diverse people) and skills (e.g., management, program development, grant writing, technology, and facilitating learning) required for professionals, as well as relevance of higher education to prepare them for their current positions. The study generated curricular design implications for LIS educators with an emphasis on teaching and learning with technologies.


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