|dc.description.abstract||Aim. The aim of the study is to understand how to improve librarians’ competences in order to
develop an e-book service, in an active and reflective participative process. Objectives of the
research are to explore librarians’ opinions, to identify their learning needs and to find effective ways
to improve competences in an Italian state university.
Background. Digital library services require a continuous development to fit evolving needs of
users. Librarians need to continuously develop their competences. As far as e-book are concerned,
there are universities without any active digital e-book service. The research involved librarians who
could not follow a formal learning course and explored their possibilities of improving competences
with informal and non-formal learning.
Methodology. The research project is very bounded to the context and participants’ opinions need
to be explored with qualitative methodology. The research method is Participatory Action Research
(PAR), a recurrent five-phase cycle - Analysis, Plan, Action, Evaluation, Reflection/Sharing - that joins
enquiry and reflective practice on action.
Discussion. Each phase has been discussed with categories emerged from collected data, underlining
evidence of participants’ contribution in order to analyze the situation, plan and respond actively, and
finally evaluate outcomes. The processes of reflection and sharing opinions concerned not only the
research topic but also the research method. This resulted in unexpected outcomes, and in tangible
developments which were then outlined in following working projects.
Conclusion. Participants mentioned competences included in broader categories such as Technical,
Content selection, Purchase, Management and use. They suggested and put in action informal and nonformal
learning ways to develop e-book competences. They have become more aware about the
topic and, moreover, PAR process led them also to a personal development. PAR is recommended
to be used as a research process that fosters learning outcomes and personal and professional