Developing an interpretative approach to competency-based training and learning

Christina Williamson, Marion Bannister, Donald Schauder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The project, discussed in this article, was initiated by the State Library of NSW (SLNSW), supported by the National Library of Australia (NLA), with the aim of developing the competency of Australian public librarians in using online databases. The article begins with a discussion of the differences between training, education and learning, placing the project within the debates about competency-based training (CBT) which are associated with this discussion. The interpretivist (interpretative) framework and method for the first stage of the project are described. Twenty-six librarians were involved in fieldwork at SLNSW, Wagga Wagga Headquarters of the Riverina Regional Library, and NLA. They took part in individual interviews, focus group interviews and their skills in database use were observed. The findings of this fieldwork form the basis for the development of two training modules at present being developed. The central, generic tool of both training modules is called The Lens which will be used to identify the common elements, problems and the idiosyncrasies of databases. The conclusion relates back to the issues of training, education and learning. It suggests that the interpretative approach to competencies being taken in the project will result in high quality training modules, well related to the needs and contexts of public librarians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-163
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Academic and Research Libraries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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