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turbulent technological environment, perhaps a change of scenery is required. Redirecting
the focus of librarians` attention and resources from the development of ,digital libraries`
will be vital to the future of the profession.The time has come to invest in people and not
in technology. Central to the vision of the new digital library is a digital librarian / know-
ledge worker who cares about people." (Kuny, Cleveland, 1998)
Although this is somehow very true, it is a view of intellectual capital that ignores or
underestimates the role of the infrastructures of the institution, and might even lead to
opposing people and technology. In fact, the efficiency of the intellectual capital of an
institution depends on the interplay of the infrastructural capital and the human capital.
IT-personnel as a key resource
With regard to IT personnel cultural heritage institutions experience that they are
running into severe problems. On the one hand there is a growing expectation that they
should become an essential part of the digital environment, and even spearheading new
developments, on the other hand, particularly in smaller institutions, technological expertise
is lacking.
In the DigiCULT Online Delphi, experts were quite sure with regard to the statement
"Cultural institutions will employ IT personnel in order to develop and maintain
technological advanced services". Of 51 experts who responded 44 said yes, only 2 no and 5
not clear.Yet, employees who can develop, build and run digital networks are strongly sought
after. According to a study by International Data Corporation <>,
"The Internet Economy An Employment Paradox?" in 2002 there will be a shortage
of about 600.000 IT network experts in Europe. For example, the estimation for open
positions in IT that cannot be filled amounts to 188.000 for Germany, and 29.000 for
Austria. As the number of qualified IT personnel is limited, the cultural sector will have
to compete for employees with other industry sectors.
Skills check list for running an information gateway
Providing new services demands bringing together skills from various professions.Within
the DESIRE project, Development of a European Service for Information on Research and
Education (1998-2000), a skills checklist for running an information gateway has been
developed. According to this list, an information gateway would ideally draw on the
following bundle of skills:
technical staff: technical implementation, technical support, web server
content: subject specialist, information cataloguing
general roles: project management, finances, publicity and promotions
Source: <>
It must be noted that also in traditional, IT-related areas of memory institutions a consi-
derable update of knowledge and skills is necessary. Such areas are for example: In
cataloguing some specialist knowledge and expertise will be required by the staff responsible
to create metadata; with regard to the preservation of digitised and born-digital sources it
might even be necessary to create a new profession, that of a digital preservation specialist.
(cf. Mannerheim, 2000)
As in many other areas, the integration of new knowledge into the professional edu-
cation is rather slow in comparison to the speed of technological change.There is a huge