The paper calls for an integrated approach to information science education where disciplinary interaction is predicated on the forging of formal, informal and sustainable links with researchers and practitioners in other fields. The modern information profession, in order to promote its creativity and to strengthen its development, has to go beyond the traditional roles and functions and should extend the professions' horizons. Thus the LIS education and training programmes must aim to foster professionals who, one day, will create new jobs and not just fill the old ones. In the spirit of the Tokyo Resolution the FID/ET Committee aims to carry out an analysis of education and training needs for multifunctional information work. The focus of interest is here the modern LIS professional s who must think, act and work in a new integrated way, and operate more globally than in the past. The why, what and how concept of the multifunctional education and training programme is outlined, suggesting a strategic pragmatism as regards the development of the profession. The synergetic effect of cooperating activities is emphasized as well as the importance of having an interdisciplinary holistic appeal in order to find viable solutions for information problems.
The incredibly rapid changes in information handling technologies within the past two or three decades have altered, in some cases drastically, the activities of information professionals and the fun ctions of public libraries as well as the information service departments of individual organizations. Aware of these changes and the on-going alteration of the information market, FID (International Federation for Information and Documentation) tries to react rapidly to signals coming both from the user environment and from the providers of information products and services. The aim of the rene wed professional Federation is to set up an international infrastructure and provide new strategic opportunities and competitive advantages for modern information professionals. FID can and should a ct as an international gateway for expert knowledge, functioning as a launching pad for the realization of new ideas and innovative approaches which take advantage of new information technologies.
As part of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Federation, at the last FID General Assembly, Conference and Congress, in October 1994, a declaration called the "Tokyo Resolution" was rele ased, which aims to enhance cooperation between international information organizations and to create a strategic alliance for information oriented NGOs and associations. At present approx. 50 organi zations have signed the document indicating their willingness to collaborate to better serve the World Community.
One of the basic underlying principles and objectives of this strategic alliance is
the belief that the proper use of information for decision making at all levels of society will help solve humanity's problems as the world enters an age of greater awareness of the importance of in
formation. To this end, it is critical to ensure continuity in access by documenting and preserving high quality records of the actions of society, through time. The Tokyo Resolution is a first step
in strengthening cooperation in the information field at both international and national levels, and establishing a forum to discuss common issues in the information and knowledge sectors.
An account of how this initiative inspired the establishment of concrete cooperations and the development of national strategic alliances is found in The Resolution of the Finnish Information and Kno wledge Sectors, signed on 9 February 1994. See also the attached Press Release with a short presentation of the common goals.
According to the spirit of the Tokyo Resolution, the FID Education and Training Committee (FID/ET) is concentrating on issues in the development of new skills and competences for modern information professionals who must think, act and work in a new integrated way, and operate more globally than in the past. The focus of interest is here the modern LIS professionals who at all times interact with other professionals in their environment.
This means that the training has to cover not only the information services, library and records management sectors, but also areas such as information and telecommunication technology; organizationa l, social and mass communication; marketing and journalism. To be able to operate globally and to quickly provide information which is immediately usable and can assist the user in decision making, r equires good communication skills and information processing abilities to retrieve, analyse, package and deliver information in the most efficient and purposeful way.
In our programme great emphasis is put on the understanding of the fact that information and telecommunication technologies are the most important tools in modern society, however, they cannot be dev eloped on their own independently of the contents - information and its applications. Our aim is to support closer cooperation in the development of these areas and particularly in the training and e ducation which is based on the utilization of the dynamics of electronic communication and collaboration, networking and the spatial flow of information in new organizational forms.
Another priorit y area is the enhancement of the degree of information literacy as the key to successful use of information technology. It encompasses such abilities as identifying an information need; searching for , finding and evaluating needed information; using, reorganizing and manipulating needed information; and transforming information into knowledge in a life-long learning process.
Since the changing role of information professionals has been a constant theme associated with the development of information technology, within the FID/ET Committee we are closely following the disc ussion about the convergence of the information professions and the suggestions for an associated convergence of disciplines. The term "information professional" itself is an indicator of this proces s, providing an umbrella for a combination of skills formerly attributed to separate sectors of the workforce. Although the boundaries between the professions have become much less distinct nowadays, a closer examination shows that different professional socialization and the independently developed traditions of professional associations have helped to maintain sectoral differences between entr enched groups. As regards the professional training requirements of the professional associations, the differences of emphasis and application continue to be substantial, however, at a broad level, a variety of areas of knowledge are common to the professional training. Therefore, the questions about professional boundaries, frameworks for education and the contents of specific curriculum sugges tions are central issues in the committee work.
Because of access to a wide range of skills, competences and professional excellence in information work among the members of FID, the Federation offers the necessary platform to forge strategic alli ances and sustainable links with professionals from various areas and fields outside the LIS domain. Networking and cooperation have resulted in considerable achievements in the curriculum developmen ts of LIS institutions in many places, and in the launching of new and innovative education and training programmes. It is vital to link new information areas with existing models and to develop new training programmes integrating subject fields such as communication, information and information technology, corresponding to the concrete and specific needs of multifunctional information work in b oth the public and the private sectors.
The majority of the new education and training programmes developed within the framework of FID activities are targeting working adults who already have a thorough education and/or experience in some of the emerging multifunctional information working areas but who need to enhance professional competence and skills.
Experience has shown that professionals who have already expanded their activities by moving from the traditional information sectors to areas of integrated information activities, generally have suc cessful careers and play interesting roles in their environment in all parts of the world. Previously unheard of new roles seem constantly to appear in the information field. For well-educated profes sionals there exists a growing market in all sectors of the economy. It is an on-going dynamic process where cooperation plays a very important role: information professionals with different backgrou nds and from different organizations interact to build the necessary bridge that links demands for information with resources wherever they may be. Therefore contributions by different professionals and organizations, from both the academic and the practical world, are welcomed by FID in order to introduce new experiences of twinning in professional development and to broaden the concept of "inf ormation access" - not only in the area of intellectual and physical access but also as regards economic and social conditions - ensuring access to information over space and time.
It is, however, important to emphasize that knowledge and experience alone cannot meet this challenge. An open-minded and active professional is necessary, having the ability to put into operation th e idea of "inter-concept" in novel organization schemes. Our purpose is to accelerate the generation of this type of professional and to increase the viability of the field.
The seminar provided insight and knowledge about many on-going activities where the integration of different skills and competences of multifunctional information work has been successfully carried o ut by LIS institutions in cooperation with other academic institutions or private companies. Presentations from, for example, Australia, Brasil, Germany and Spain, all reported development of interes ting education and training modules linking different information professions.
The profile most frequently required of the modern information professional is that of an intermediary, namely a translator, somebody who can transfer and transform information from one scienc e to another, convert specialized information into a form suitable for more general consumption and explain a specialist application to a larger public.
This profile is similar to the concept of "gatekeeper" which appeared in the literature more than two decades ago. There are several findings which indicate that information professionals who are effective communicators have a natural propensity for carrying out gatekeeping functions because: (a) they are boundary spanning individuals who can develop empathy with people in other instituti ons, other disciplines and other types of work, (b) they are traditionally service-minded and user-oriented and thus can be expected to balance the need for public information with the need for perso nal privacy and proprietary data, and (c) they are open to new technology and skills and are willing to explore techniques of "translating" and "repackaging" information to fit specific uses.
The critics of the gatekeeper and this form of invisible college paradigm often refer to the elitist nature of information dissemination and exchange, because unstructured and informal communication flows tend to favour individuals who are knowledgeable, influential and effective communicators themselves. Research on gatekeeping and networking and widespread attempts to formalize these activitie s led us to believe that the time has come to consider development of a new intermediary model including the best elements of the gatekeeper and invisible college models. We believe that these roles have not been successfully formalized because, as communication phenomena, their informal nature should remain informal. But if their best features and communication activities were integrated with t he model of information counselling, it is our belief that the three paradigms together could create a powerful new role of communicating information and advising users. (Dosa et al., 1989)
The training of information counsellors has been subsumed under the following three basic functions: (Marthaler, 1974), (Debons, 1975).
First, the ability to diagnos the underlying motivational and personality factors which characterize the information need related to the specific tasks faced by the user.
Second, the ability to prescribe ways that the assessed needs can be satisfied through available data resources and technologies.
Third, the ability to test the counselling function through continuous surveillance and evaluation.
Although the outlined concept was presented almost two decades ago it received little attention among the teachers at LIS institutions. Therefore the FID/ET Committee see it as its given function to continue to promote this idea and to suggest its application to fit the emerging new niches in the labour market.
Because of the great similarities in the functions of the information counsellor and the intermediary, the education and training of information professionals capable of functioning in this kind of " role" could import ideas and methodologies related to the development of skills for the practice of counselling.
It is known that new professional roles and functions are not created overnight but have evolved from several antecedents and non-formal, non-institutionalized activities, and we have to learn from t hem by observing, describing and testing their behaviour before recommendations for a job profile and qualifications can be made. Formalized job descriptions can be created by workplace requirements; professional standards agreed upon by consensus among groups; employment policies established and job content analyzed. Since none of these conditions has been fullfilled yet in the case of these em erging new professional roles and functions in the information market, we believe that, for the time being, the intermediary will remain a wanted and important "role" rather than a "job". But it is hoped that as a role, it will be acknowledged and supported by governmental and professional policies, that it will be studied and continuously enhanced. Professional organizations such as FID, IFLA, ASIS, SLA, LA, IIS, EUSIDIC, etc. must initiate a vigorous effort to highlight the benefits of such a vocation, and the message needs to be presented in all quarters of society.
In order to make further progress in the development of a model for multifunctional information professionals, the FID/ET Committee decided to set up a working group which will continue with a deeper clarification of the why, what and how concepts, and as the final result, develop a guideline for the new education approach. This work is planned to be carried out collectively within the FID/ET Committee and conducted by a Task Force and with the involvement of some experts. The members of the Task Force are:
After several rounds and exchanges of comments between the Task Force and the committee members, hopefully the guideline will reach its the final form by the end of 1995, providing answers to the que stions:
Debons, Anthony, "An Education Program for the Information Councelor". Proceedings of the 38th ASIS Annual Meeting, Vol. 12, American Society for Information Science, Washington, D.C., Oct. 26 -30, 1975. pp.63-64.
Dosa, Marta, et al., "From informal gatekeeper to information councelor: Emergence of a new professional role". FID, The Hague, 1989, 54 p. FID Publication 677. FID Occasional Paper Series 1.
Marthaler, Marc P., "Training Requirements for Future Information Workers". UNESCO Bulletin for Libraries, 28(1974):6 pp.315-320.
Wormell, Irene, "The gatekeeper function: education and training implications". Annual Report of RIIK. 1990. Research Institute for Information and Knowledge, Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Ja pan, pp.83-88.
Wormell, Irene, "Crisis and survival strategies at library schools". Signum 26(1992)1, pp.184-201. "Celebrating FIDīs Centennial - The Tokyo Resolution". FID News Bulletin, 44(1994) Issue 6, pp.115-117.
"The Resolution of the Finnish Information and Knowledge Sectors". FID News Bulletin, 44(1994) Issue 4/5, pp.89-94.