An exploration of professionalism within the landscape of change in academic librarianship

Tsang Phillips, Lillian Ting Kwun (2015) An exploration of professionalism within the landscape of change in academic librarianship. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This study focused on the research question: how do higher education academic librarians in the UK respond to changing environments and expectations whilst maintaining their professional identities within the core philosophical framework and value system? Placing the experiences and conceptions of academic librarians at the heart of the investigation, it aimed to develop a deeper understanding of the changes and challenges identified by practitioners from their perspectives. Following a traditional literature review and a purposeful literature mapping, the multi-layered contexts surrounding academic librarians were established respectively through the presentation of the major themes discussed in existing research on professionalism and the topics including their patterns researched by Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers from a purposive sample of journals. With the data from the literature mapping review being validated through a community consultation with LIS practitioners and compared against the identified trends reviewed by professional body, the triangulation of the themes provided further understanding of the professional landscape. Adopting a qualitative methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), semi-structured interviews were carried out with a purposively selected homogenous sample of three individual academic librarians, for whom the research question was directed at, to acquire their unique experiential accounts. The philosophical underpinnings of phenomenology, hermeneutics and idiography of the IPA approach have illuminated the rich microscopic detail of the narratives. Findings from the single and cross case analysis led to the development of a conceptual framework which presents how the multi-faceted professional identities are being shaped by the contextual spheres of influence of: core professional values, organisational culture and wider environments. Drawing on the knowledge of this understanding and the insight developed from the detailed examination of the wider contexts and the experiences and perspectives of practitioners, this study suggested ways forward for the future development of the LIS profession.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experience and perspective of academic librarians, professional change, professional role and identity, philosophy and principles of LIS, core professional values
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
P100 Information Services
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 12:02
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 12:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42038

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