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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2008

John Rodwell and Linden Fairbairn

Many university libraries are adopting a faculty liaison librarian structure as an integral part of their organization and service delivery model. This paper aims to…

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4586

Abstract

Purpose

Many university libraries are adopting a faculty liaison librarian structure as an integral part of their organization and service delivery model. This paper aims to examine, in a pragmatic way, the variations in the definition of the role of the faculty liaison librarian, the expectations of those librarians, their library managers and their clients and the impact of environmental factors. The faculty liaison librarian role is not entirely new, evolving from the traditional subject librarian and university special/branch library role. However the emerging role is characterized by a more outward‐looking perspective and complexity, emphasizing stronger involvement and partnership with the faculty and direct engagement in the University's teaching and research programs.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a review of the literature and other sources on the rationale and role of library liaison, the current developments, drivers and expectations are discussed.

Findings

The study finds that dynamic external and internal environments of universities are driving the evolution of library liaison, so the role description is still fluid. However, the breadth and weight of expectations is now such that the effectiveness and sustainability of the role has to be addressed.

Practical implications

While a dynamic, broader and more intensive role for the faculty liaison librarian is emerging, more thinking is needed about the extent of that role and its sustainability. What, for example, are the priorities for the faculty liaison librarian? What traditional activities can, and may, have to be abandoned? These considerations are necessary not only to guide the librarians, but also to help define the attributes and skills required for the position and to determine the institutional support it requires.

Originality/value

This is a contemporary critique of the well‐established, but diverse library service – the faculty liaison librarian structure.

Details

Library Management, vol. 29 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2009

Catherine Maskell

Academic library consortia activity has become an integral part of academic libraries’ operations. Consortia have come to assert considerable bargaining power over…

Abstract

Academic library consortia activity has become an integral part of academic libraries’ operations. Consortia have come to assert considerable bargaining power over publishers and have provided libraries with considerable economic advantage. They interact with publishers both as consumers of publishers’ products, with much stronger bargaining power than individual libraries hold, and, increasingly, as rival publishers themselves. Are consortia changing the relationship between academic libraries and publishers? Is the role of academic library consortia placing academic libraries in a position that should and will attract the attention of competition policy regulators? Competition policy prohibits buying and selling cartels that can negatively impact the free market on which the Canadian economic system, like other Western economies, depends. Competition policy as part of economic policy is, however, only relevant where we are concerned with aspects of the market economy. Traditionally, public goods for the greater social and cultural benefit of society are not considered part of the market economic system. If the activities of academic library consortia are part of that public good perspective, competition policy may not be a relevant concern. Using evidence gained from in-depth interviews from a national sample of university librarians and from interviews with the relevant federal government policy makers, this research establishes whether library consortia are viewed as participating in the market economy of Canada or not. Are consortia viewed by librarians and government as serving a public good role of providing information for a greater social and cultural benefit or are they seen from a market-economic perspective of changing power relations with publishers? Findings show government has little in-depth understanding of academic library consortia activity, but would most likely consider such activity predominantly from a market economic perspective. University librarians view consortia from a public good perspective but also as having an important future role in library operations and in changing the existing scholarly publishing paradigm. One-third of librarian respondents felt that future consortia could compete with publishers by becoming publishers and through initiatives such as open source institutional repositories. Librarians also felt that consortia have had a positive effect on librarians’ professional roles through the facilitation of knowledge building and collaboration opportunities outside of the home institution.

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Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-580-2

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Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2014

Simona Petraitytė

Roles of academic libraries have recently been regularly discussed among Library and Information Science (LIS) scientists and practitioners. A shift of roles induced by…

Abstract

Roles of academic libraries have recently been regularly discussed among Library and Information Science (LIS) scientists and practitioners. A shift of roles induced by various factors forces academic libraries to reconsider their operational guidelines and plan future scenarios. This article provides an analysis of the framing of roles assumed by academic libraries and identifies key factors and agents that influence the process. Research consisted of an analysis of official strategic documents of Lithuanian state-owned universities that are of great importance to the strategic development of academic libraries and the anchoring of their roles. Applying Laclau and Mouffe’s (2001) discourse theory and the concepts of new institutionalism as a theoretical approach, key factors and agents influential to the role of academic libraries were identified. Modernity, market, and quality as three interrelated discourses highlight the proposition that modernity is inseparable from the development of information technologies and infrastructure and that various professional networks in the library environment act as powerful institutional agents. Practices of market law application in universities have influence on the institutional logic of libraries which increasingly relies on the criteria of efficiency and rationality.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-744-3

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Younghee Noh, Ji-Yoon Ro and Dae-Keun Jeong

The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibilities of prioritizing tasks, actual sharing of libraries, collaboration policies and the directions via quantifying the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibilities of prioritizing tasks, actual sharing of libraries, collaboration policies and the directions via quantifying the relative importance of services for each value based on users’ perceptions observed from in-depth analysis of the investigation results. Through this, the study expects that libraries will provide high – level the sharing economy services, reflecting users’ needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This study surveyed public library users across the country have through the survey method and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method to examine the perceptions of users on the roles of libraries in the sharing economy’s environment to deduce the directions and priorities to activate the roles and functions of libraries in the era of the sharing economy.

Findings

The research results are as follow: first, public library users’ awareness of the concept of the sharing economy was low, but they observed a relation between the two concepts after understanding the concept of the sharing economy. Second, The users’ personal characteristics were observed to mostly affect knowledge information service, experience talent sharing, material sharing and space sharing. Lastly, the study sought to identify the relative importance (preference) of various library services which pursue the value of the sharing economy through AHP analysis method. The values of the sharing economy were preferred in the order of social>economic>technical>relational values which can be enumerated to convenience>knowledge>space>education>contents>new technology>experienced talent>object>network.

Originality/value

This study has a great significance in that it analyzed actual library users’ perceptions on the concept of the sharing economy and the functions and roles of libraries in the era of the sharing economy from a multifaceted angle. In addition, this study carries an important meaning as it provided an opportunity to vitalize libraries and explored the measures to actualize the roles of libraries in tandem with the environment of the sharing economy by recognizing the values of libraries based on the new concepts and values of the sharing economy and presenting the functions and roles of the libraries from the aspects of the sharing economy.

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Ming Zhan and Gunilla Widén

The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of public libraries in the context of Big Data.

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2595

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of public libraries in the context of Big Data.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method approach was used and had two main data collection phases. A survey of public libraries was used to generate an overview of which professional roles connect public libraries with Big Data. Eight roles were identified, namely, educator, marketer, data organiser, data container, advocator, advisor, developer and organisation server. Semi-structured interviews with library directors and managers were then conducted to gain a deeper understanding of these roles and how they connect to the library’s overall functions.

Findings

Results of the survey indicated that librarians lack a proper comprehension of and a pragmatic application of Big Data. Their opinions on the eight roles are slightly stronger than neutral. However, they do not demonstrate any strong agreement on these eight roles. In the interviews, the eight roles attained more clear support and are classified into two groups: service-oriented and system-oriented roles.

Originality/value

As an emerging research field, Big Data is not widely discussed in the library context, especially in public libraries. Therefore, this study fills a research gap between public libraries and Big Data. In addition, Big Data in public libraries could be well managed and readily approached by citizens in undertaking such roles, which entails that public libraries will eventually benefit from the Big Data era.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Book part
Publication date: 5 June 2011

Linda R. Most

Research into the library as place investigates the role of public library buildings as destinations, physical places where people go for various reasons ranging from…

Abstract

Research into the library as place investigates the role of public library buildings as destinations, physical places where people go for various reasons ranging from making use of the library's resources and services or seeking to fulfill an information or reading need to less easily identified reasons that may include using the library's building as a place to make social or business contacts, to build or reinforce community or political ties, or to create or reinforce a personal identity. This study asks: How are one rural US public library system's newly constructed buildings functioning as places? The answer is derived from answers to sub-questions about adult library users, user, and staff perceptions of library use, and observed use of library facilities. The findings are contextualized using a framework built of theories from human geography, sociology, and information studies.

This case study replicates a mixed-methods case study conducted at the main public libraries in Toronto and Vancouver in the late1990s and first reproduced in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2006. It tests methods used in large urban settings in a rural, small-town environment. This study also expands on its antecedents by using thematic analysis to determine which conceptualizations of the role of the public library as place are most relevant to the community under investigation.

The study relies on quantitative and qualitative data collected via surveys and interviews of adult library users, interviews of library public service staff members, structured observations of people using the libraries, and analysis of selected administrative documents. The five sets of data are triangulated to answer the research sub-questions.

Thematic analysis grounded in the conceptual framework finds that public realm theory best contextualizes the relationships that develop between library staff members and adult library users over time. The study finds that the libraries serve their communities as informational places and as familiarized locales rather than as third places, and that the libraries facilitate the generation of social capital for their users.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-014-8

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Book part
Publication date: 26 February 2016

Ursula Gorham, Natalie Greene Taylor and Paul T. Jaeger

This chapter summarizes the core human rights and social justice functions of libraries.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter summarizes the core human rights and social justice functions of libraries.

Methodology/approach

After reviewing how each chapter of this edited volume offers evidence of libraries’ clear contributions in the area of human rights and social justice, this chapter explores in greater detail how the current environment in which libraries operate impacts their ability to promote human rights and social justice.

Findings

In many communities, libraries are the only institution capable of fulfilling a wide array of social justice and human rights roles. As they seek to fulfill these roles, however, libraries face significant challenges related to the lack of emphasis on considerations of human rights and social justice within the pedagogy, research, and practice of our field.

Originality/value

This chapter serves as a call to action for library practitioners, educators, and researchers to better articulate the social justice and human rights roles of libraries to policy-makers, funders, politicians, and community members.

Details

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2020

Yun-Fang Tu and Gwo-Jen Hwang

This study aims to explore the transformation of the roles of libraries, application trends and potential research issues of library-supported mobile learning.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the transformation of the roles of libraries, application trends and potential research issues of library-supported mobile learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The publications in the Scopus database from 2009 to 2018 are reviewed and analyzed from various aspects, such as the roles of libraries in mobile learning, types of libraries, research foci and sensing or location-based technologies.

Findings

The role of libraries as learning material providers is examined the most in library-supported mobile learning studies, followed by the role as inquiry context providers and as knowledge-sharing platforms. In terms of the role as learning material providers, academic libraries were investigated the most and radio frequency identification (RFID) was mainly adopted. In terms of the role as inquiry context providers, special libraries were explored the most; adopted sensing technologies were more diverse (e.g. QR code, augmented reality, RFID and Global Positioning System). Only special libraries played a role as knowledge-sharing platforms, adopting augmented reality. Most research on library-supported mobile learning mainly focused on investigating the affective domain during mobile learning.

Practical implications

Five potential applications of educational roles in library-supported mobile learning are suggested based on the findings of the present study.

Originality/value

The current study provides insights relevant to the educational roles of library-supported mobile learning. The findings and suggestions can serve as references for researchers and school teachers conducting library-supported mobile learning.

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2020

Joel Nakitare, Emily Sawe, Joyce Nyambala and Tom Kwanya

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the emerging roles of academic librarians in Kenya, with a view to determining whether they perform better as…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the emerging roles of academic librarians in Kenya, with a view to determining whether they perform better as apomediaries or infomediaries. The specific objectives were to: examine the characteristics of the changing information universe in which academic librarians in Kenya currently operate; analyse the information-seeking behaviour of academic library users in the new information universe and examine the emerging roles of academic librarians in Kenya.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a descriptive research design and used an online survey research technique to collect data from practising academic librarians. This study targeted senior librarians from all the 67 private and public universities in Kenya. One senior librarian per university was purposefully selected to fill the questionnaire owing to their experience and expertise. 33 out of the 67 senior librarians responded to the survey. The collected data were descriptively analysed using SPSS, and as per the study objectives.

Findings

This study established that most library users are digital independent and access library resources remotely. Nonetheless, many users still borrow and utilize print books despite the ubiquity of digital platforms. The findings revealed that academic librarians to a great extent now play the role of apomediaries, going beyond information giving to empowering their users.

Practical implications

There is need for academic librarians in Kenya to not only be aware of the characteristics of their current users but also to continuously develop professionally so as to be able to adequately cater for the needs of their clients.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the scholarship on librarians' roles in Kenya by demonstrating that most of them are transitioning to the apomediary roles.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Evgenia Vassilakaki and Valentini Moniarou-Papaconstantinou

This paper aims to provide a systematic review of the specific roles information professionals have adopted in the past 14 years. It aims to identify the roles reported in…

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11300

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a systematic review of the specific roles information professionals have adopted in the past 14 years. It aims to identify the roles reported in the literature concerning developments in the Library and Information Science (LIS) profession.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted the method of systematic review. Searches were conducted in February and March 2014 on different LIS databases. From a total of 600 papers, 114 were selected, based on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. A thorough full-text analysis of the papers revealed six roles that librarians have adopted: teachers, technology specialists, embedded librarians, information consultants, knowledge managers and subject librarians.

Findings

New and evolving roles were identified, mainly in the context of academic libraries. Librarians’ educational responsibilities and their active involvement in the learning and research process were highlighted in all role categories identified. Collaboration among faculty and librarians was reported as a way of ensuring successful instruction. Librarians’ personal views of their new and emerging roles were more frequently reported; further research is needed to shed light on academics, students and other users’ perceptions of librarians’ engagement in the learning process.

Research limitations

The study considered only peer-reviewed papers published between 2000 and 2014 in English. It focused on information professionals’ roles and not on librarians’ skills and their changing professional responsibilities.

Originality/value

This review paper considers the development of the LIS profession in a changing environment and offers an understanding of the future direction of the LIS profession.

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