Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Albright, Kendra S. / Bothma, Theo J.D.

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.553

CiteScore 2018: 0.71

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.314
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.626

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 68, Issue 4


Knowledge and Skills Competencies for Humanities Librarians Supporting Postgraduate Students

Glynnis Johnson
  • Corresponding author
  • Chancellor Oppenheimer Library Private Bag X3 Rondebosch, University of Cape Town Libraries, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jaya Raju
Published Online: 2018-11-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2018-0033


This paper reports on an aspect of a 2016 masters study which addresses the research question: what knowledge and skills do humanities librarians require to effectively provide support to postgraduate students in the digital age? The study adopted a qualitative approach using a multiple case study design, within a constructivist paradigm, to respond to the research question, with core competency theory used to provide theoretical support. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with purposively sampled librarians and postgraduate students from Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape, all of which are situated in the Western Cape of South Africa. A significant finding of the study is that a mixture of discipline-specific knowledge and skills, generic skills and personal attributes are required by humanities librarians to effectively support postgraduate students, especially in the current digital age. The study presents a knowledge and skills framework that could be used to ascertain humanities librarians’ current knowledge and skills as well as establish areas for further knowledge and skills acquisition.

Keywords: knowledge and skills; competencies; academic libraries; humanities librarians; postgraduate students


About the article

Received: 2018-03-19

Accepted: 2018-07-25

Published Online: 2018-11-16

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Citation Information: Libri, Volume 68, Issue 4, Pages 331–344, ISSN (Online) 1865-8423, ISSN (Print) 0024-2667, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2018-0033.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in