Emerging online roles for academic librarians in Canada
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The impact of digital technology on higher education is changing library services, spaces and roles. Academic librarians have a further transition with changing pedagogies for online learning. Less is known, however, about the preparation of academic librarians for these changing roles. This study employs an online survey of academic librarians’ perceptions and an analysis of job posting descriptions to capture current realities of academic librarians’ roles and their perceptions of how their new skills and competencies are acquired. The findings of the literature review indicate that librarian as teacher is an emergent role that intersects with technology. The survey findings reveal that academic librarians work across a wide range of library ecologies and that, presently, most librarians acquire significant technology and pedagogy competencies while in the role. The author proposes a competency framework for academic librarians in Canada that reflects present realities and recommends revisions to the instructional curriculum of preparatory programs for academic librarians.