Advocating for Librarianship: The Discourses of Advocacy and Service in the Professional Identities of Librarians

A dedication to service is often cited as a hallmark of a profession. Service is included as one of eleven Core Values in the American Library Association’s “Core Values of Librarianship” (2004). For librarians, service includes helping people find information resources to meet their educational, recreational, and work needs.

Reporting findings from a larger study into the professional identity of librarians, this paper explores the centrality of service, with specific attention to how librarians advocate for their services and, ultimately, for librarianship.

Using a discourse analysis approach, this study examines the roles that Service as a Core Value and advocacy play in the construction of professional identity. Three different data sources were used: professional journals, e-mail discussion lists, and research interviews.

The data were analyzed for the discourses librarians use when describing librarians, librarianship, and professionalism and their connection to advocacy. When librarians advocate for the services they offer, they are in fact advocating for the value of the profession.

Discursively, speaking or writing about advocacy positioned librarians as active participants in their own identity formation. By making advocacy a central activity of the profession, librarians not only challenged others’ perception of librarianship, they challenged their own understanding as well.

URL : http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/library_trends/v064/64.3.hicks.html

Fostering New Roles for Librarians Skills Set for…

Fostering New Roles for Librarians: Skills Set for Repository Managers — Results of a Survey in Italy :

« The open access movement in scholarly communication has grown considerably over the last ten years and it has driven an increase in the number of institutional repositories (IRs). New professional roles and skills had to be developed to secure effective IR management.

Collection developmente expertise and metadata curation are regarded as strategic roles for repositories and therefore it is only logical for the library and information community to take on the responsibility for managing these digital archives. However, it has become clear that traditional librarian skills do not suffice anymore to run successful repositories. A richer set of skills is needed, including management and communication skills, technical skills, and expertise with regard to access rights and preservation of digital content.

Referring to the work carried out by the SHERPA Project in the UK with regard to the skills set for repository staff, the authors performed a survey among repository managers in Italy to assess the educational and professional background of the repository managers and the skills set required to implement successful institutional repositories.

The survey findings show that the professional profile of the repository manager is a multiform and complex one. It requires cross-functional and highly specialised competencies. Italian repository managers are of the opinion that the skills required to promote the repository within the institution and those required to deal with copyright issues as the most essential skills repository managers should acquire and be trained for. Collection development and metadata expertise, familiarity with project management and expertise in repository workflow design are also highly rated. Technical skills are needed to deal with interoperability standards and protocols.

In Italy academic curricula do not meet the repository managers’ educational needs. Academic programmes should be developed to include communication, project management and team work skills and pay more attention to copyright issues. Until that time repository managers will have to spend a considerable part of their working lives on professional training and self-directed learning. »

URL : http://liber.library.uu.nl/publish/issues/2011-3_4/index.html?000553

Librarians’ role as change agents for i…

Librarians’ role as change agents for institutional repositories: A case of Malaysian academic libra :

« The primary reason for establishing an institutional repository is to increase the visibility of the institution’s research output by making it Open Access. Academic libraries are becoming very involved in managing electronic scholarly products and participating in the evolving scholarly communication process through institutional repositories. Although institutional repositories can make room for easier access to universities’ research output, unfortunately it is not fully developed in some academic institutions. The origin of this problem is that there are known instances where librarians in-charge of institutional repository are unaware of their roles, and are unskilled in implementing the institutional repository. This paper describes a study conducted on the roles of librarians in the deployment and content recruitment of institutional repositories in eight (8) universities in Malaysia. Sample for this study are librarians who are involved with the development and implementation of institutional repository in their respective universities. The study reveals that the act of collecting materials for depositing is mainly done by librarians rather than the authors and researchers. Providing training sessions, holding meetings in departments and faculties, and also linking of the institutional repository website from the university and faculties’ website have the highest rank in librarians’ approach to promote the institutional repository. The paper also discusses the process of depositing, motivation factors, roles, marketing and benefits of institutional repository that will have reference value for the librarians who desire to embark on an institutional repository. »

URL : http://majlis.fsktm.um.edu.my/detail.asp?AID=961