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An integrated understanding of librarian professional identity

Cameron M. Pierson (School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Anne Goulding (School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Jennifer Campbell-Meier (School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 31 May 2019

Issue publication date: 24 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review literature on librarian professional identity to develop a more integrated understanding of this topic.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature was retrieved and analysed with no date or geographic limit from nine databases on the subject of librarian professional identity. A combination of keywords and database specific controlled language was utilized to increase retrieval, as well as inspection of reference lists. Exclusion criteria were applied.

Findings

The review found 14 characteristics or themes relevant to librarian professional identity formation and development, understood as process over time. This process is in part defined by benchmark events, such as critical incidents, as well as highly personal aspects, such as perception of these incidents. This review also introduces an original conceptual model of librarian professional identity formation and development.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this review was that only English-language literature was considered. A further limitation is the omission of works that have not been formally published. Additionally, the model introduced is untested.

Originality/value

By reviewing librarian professional identity literature, this paper offers an integrated understanding of this topic and introduces a new, original model to understand the process of librarian professional identity and development. It further offers an examination based on a sociological lens to examine this identity.

Keywords

Citation

Pierson, C.M., Goulding, A. and Campbell-Meier, J. (2019), "An integrated understanding of librarian professional identity", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 68 No. 4/5, pp. 413-430. https://doi.org/10.1108/GKMC-01-2019-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited