Paradigms shifts in information environment: prospects and challenges African libraries
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Purpose – The purpose is to trace the revolution in information and communication technology (ICT) and changes in this wake such as globalization, digital divide, information society, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and e-government and how these changes impact on the provision of library and information services. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is largely based on review of literature both online and print. Findings – The paper concludes that the paradigm shifts occurring in the information environment have affected the concept of library; the perception of ownership versus access of library resources; the nature of information resources and services; and the role of the information professional among others. Research limitations/implications – The paper advocates for a proactive strategy on the part of information professionals in order to re-engineer and adapt the library to the volatile global information environment in order to remain relevant in the wake of new paradigm occurrences. Practical implications – Effective access and use of information will inevitably have great influence on the realisation of positive effects that the new paradigms occurrences engender in the global environment. It is desirable at this point in time to research into how information access and use can be brought to bear on the attainment of MDGs, bridge digital divide, enhance attainment of information society, promote e-government, etc. Originality/value – Despite, the rapid changes within the global information environment that has been occasioned by ICT, there is lack of critical mass of information science literature that addresses issues such MDGs, globalisation, information society and digital divide from the perspective of the information professional.