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Looking at electronic resources librarians: Is there gender equity within this emerging specialty?

Barbara J. Bergman (Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 1 March 2005




The position of electronic resources librarian emerged as a specialty to deal with the management of digital resources, but little has been written about the librarians now working in this specialty. This article aims to review the history of gender inequity in libraries, outline salary issues in libraries, and attempt to define what an electronic resources librarian is, with systems librarians being used for comparison.


Electronic resources librarians were surveyed for gender, salary, and other demographic information in an attempt to determine whether gender equity or gender stratification is occurring within their specialty.


The majority of respondents work in the USA, but 20 percent worked around the world. Results appear to indicate that males are not being favored over females for employment in this library specialty. Experience and geographic location were found to be the only significant factors affecting salary.

Research limitations/implications

Further data need to be gathered from a greater number of electronic resources librarians in order to determine the validity of these results.


Electronic resources management appears to substantially blur the line between public and technical services. This blurring could be an interesting aspect to examine more closely to see if the computerization of library resources is changing the definition of what librarians do as well as that of what libraries are.



Bergman, B.J. (2005), "Looking at electronic resources librarians: Is there gender equity within this emerging specialty?", New Library World, Vol. 106 No. 3/4, pp. 116-127.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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