To read this content please select one of the options below:

Imposter Phenomenon and the MLIS

Re-envisioning the MLS: Perspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education

ISBN: 978-1-78754-881-7, eISBN: 978-1-78754-880-0

Publication date: 17 May 2018


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to provide an introductory exploration of how the modern Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) may contribute to the effect of imposter phenomenon (IP) in graduate students and early career librarians and to offer solutions to mitigate the effect.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Six university American Library Association-accredited library master’s programs in North America were identified and compared based on publicly available information on program websites. The authors pose questions about the modern MLIS and identify potential solutions to the issues raised about IP in graduate school and the workplace. Ideas in the chapter are supported by best practices suggested by academic literature on organizational behavior and Library and Information Studies (LIS) scholarship as well as invaluable personal reflections found on blogs and other gray literature sources.

Findings – The modern MLIS produces graduates who can vary greatly in their knowledge of LIS topics and career preparedness. MLIS programs and employers can mitigate the effects of nervousness, burn out, and isolation for high-achieving individuals through career preparedness and continuing education courses and opportunities for positive onboarding and mentorship.

Originality/Value – To date, there is a gap in the LIS literature about IP, especially the connection between the modern MLIS and IP. This chapter provides an exploratory look and asks questions to further the conversation on this topic.



McClurg, C. and Jones, R. (2018), "Imposter Phenomenon and the MLIS", Percell, J., Sarin, L.C., Jaeger, P.T. and Bertot, J.C. (Ed.) Re-envisioning the MLS: Perspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 44A), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 7-24.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited