Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Albright, Kendra S. / Bothma, Theo J.D.

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.500
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.596

CiteScore 2017: 0.52

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.243
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.634

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 67, Issue 4


How is the Role of Academic Library Workers Perceived by both Faculty Members and Library Workers?

Liat Klain-Gabbay
  • Corresponding author
  • Main Library, The College of Management - Academic Studies, 7 Yitzhak Rabin Boulevard, Rishon Lezion, Israel
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Snunith Shoham
Published Online: 2017-11-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2017-0021


This study examined, qualitatively and quantitatively, how academic faculty members perceive the role of academic library workers (ALWs) and how these workers perceive their own roles in the library. Interviews were conducted with 20 faculty members and with 15 ALWs in three academic institutes in Israel, after which 191 faculty members and 50 ALWs from the same institutes completed a close-ended questionnaire. The interviews indicated that, in both study groups, a clear and unequivocal role definition for ALWs is currently lacking, while in both groups the definition “information scientist” has not yet been established, as some faculty members mentioned role definitions other than “librarian” or “information scientist”. The quantitative findings demonstrated that both study groups believe the role definition is mainly according to the library in which the ALWs work and that the main distinction between “librarian” and “information scientist” is being proficient in the field of information technologies.

Keywords: academic library; faculty members; librarians; information scientists; role perception


  • Aharony, N. 2006. “The Librarian and the Information Scientist: Different Perceptions among Israeli Information Science Students.” Library & Information Science Research 28 (2):235–248.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Almquist, A.J. 2014. “The Innovative Academic Library: Implementing a Marketing Orientation to Better Address User Needs and Improve Communication.” Journal of Library Innovation 5 (1):43.Google Scholar

  • Arendt, J., and M. Lotts. 2012. “What Liaisons Say About Themselves and What Faculty Say About Their Liaisons, a US Survey.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 12 (2):155–177.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Auckland, M. 2012. “Re-Skilling for Research: An Investigation into the Role and Skills of Subject and Liaison Librarians Required to Effectively Support the Evolving Information Needs of Researchers.” RLUK Report. Accessed December 29, 2012. http://www.rluk.ac.uk/files/RLUK %20Re-skilling.pdf.

  • Baruchson-Arbib, S., and S. Mendelovitz. 2004. “A Study of Israeli Library and Information Science Students’ Perceptions of Their Profession.” Libri 54 (2):82–97.Google Scholar

  • Belzowski, N.F., J. Parker Ladwig, and T. Miller. 2013. “Crafting Identity, Collaboration, and Relevance for Academic Librarians Using Communities of Practice.” Collaborative Librarianship 5 (1):3–15.Google Scholar

  • Berg, B.L. 2009. Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar

  • Borko, H. 1968. “Information Science: What Is It?.” American Documentation 19 (1):3–5.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Brown, S., and A. Swan 2007. Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and Their Services: A Report Commissioned by the Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries. Accessed October 19, 2017. https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/263868/1/libraries-report-2007.pdf.

  • Carr, D. 2003. “Information Professions.” In International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science, edited by J. Feather and P. Sturges. London, U.K.: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Corrall, S. 2012. “Roles and Responsibilities: Libraries, Librarians and Data.” In Managing Research Data, edited by G. Pryor. London: Facet.Google Scholar

  • Creswell, J.W. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar

  • Creswell, J.W., and V.L. Plano Clark. 2011. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar

  • Crosby, O. 2001. “Librarians: Information Experts in the Information Age.” Occupational Outlook Quarterly 44 (4):2–15.Google Scholar

  • Cuong Nguyen, L., H. Partridge, and S.L. Edwards. 2012. “Towards an Understanding of the Participatory Library.” Library Hi Tech 30 (2):335–346.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fleck, I., and D. Bawden. 1995. “The Information Professional: Attitudes and Images Examples from Information Services in Law and Medicine.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 27 (4):215–226.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Frank, D.G., G.K. Raschke, J. Wood, and J.Z. Yang. 2001. “Information Consulting: The Key to Success in Academic Libraries.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 27 (2):90–96.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Friend, F. 2008. “When Is a Librarian Not a Librarian?.” In Digital Convergence–Libraries of the Future, edited by R. Earnshaw and J. Vince. London: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Genoni, P., H. Merrick, and M.A. Willson. 2006. “Scholarly Communities, E-Research Literacy and the Academic Librarian.” The Electronic Library 24 (6):734–746.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gilman, I., and M. Kunkel. 2010. “From Passive to Pervasive: Changing Perceptions of the Library’s Role through Intra-Campus Partnerships.” Collaborative Librarianship 2 (1): 20–30.Google Scholar

  • Graves, C. 2017. “Liaison Librarians in the Know: Methods for Discovering Faculty Research and Teaching Needs.” Against The Grain 29 (2):55–56.Google Scholar

  • Harris, R., and C. Sue-Chan. 1988. “Cataloging and Reference, Circulation and Shelving: Public Library Users and University Students’ Perceptions of Librarianship.” Library and information science research 10 (1):95–107.Google Scholar

  • Horava, T. 2005. “A New Approach to Faculty–Librarian Collaboration: A “New Professors’ Fund” for Collection Development.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 31 (5):482–485.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hosburgh, N. 2011. “Librarian Faculty Status: What Does It Mean in Academia?.” Library Philosophy and Practice 1: 30.Google Scholar

  • Huvila, I., K. Holmberg, M. Kronqvist-Berg, O. Nivakoski, and G. Widén. 2013. “What Is Librarian 2.0–New Competencies or Interactive Relations? A Library Professional Viewpoint.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 45 (3):198–205. Accessed October 19, 2017 https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000613477122.Crossref

  • Jaguszewski, J., and K. Williams. 2013. New Roles for New Times: Transforming Liaison Roles in Research Libraries. Accessed October 19, 2017. http://www.arl.org/publications-resources/2893-new-roles-for-new-times-transforming-liaison-roles-in-research-libraries#.Weh59LVx1hE.

  • Khan, A., M.N. Masrek, and F.M. Nadzar. 2017. “Emotional Intelligence and Job Satisfaction of Academic Librarians: An Assessment of the Relationship.” Journal of Librarianship & Information Science 49 (2):199–210.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kotler, P., and K.F.A. Fox. 1985. Strategic Marketing for Educational Institutions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar

  • Lamothe, A.R. 2012. “The Importance of Encouraging Librarians to Publish in Peer-Reviewed Publications 1.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 43 (2):156–167.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Malenfant, K.J. 2010. “Leading Change in the System of Scholarly Communication: A Case Study of Engaging Liaison Librarians for Outreach to Faculty.” College & Research Libraries 71 (1):63–76.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Malenfant, K.J. 2015. “Leading Change in the System of Scholarly Communication: A Case Study of Engaging Liaison Librarians for Outreach to Faculty.” College & Research Libraries 76 (3):392–405.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mamtora, J. 2011. “Thinking Big Picture: Meeting the Needs of Researchers in Northern Australia.” Australian Academic & Research Libraries 42 (2):88–102.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mendeloviz, S. 2003. “Perceptions of Librarianship and Information Science within Information Science Students: Prestige and Status.” Bar-Ilan University, PhD dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Moniarou-Papaconstantinou, V., and K. Triantafyllou. 2015. “Job Satisfaction and Work Values: Investigating Sources of Job Satisfaction with Respect to Information Professionals.” Library & Information Science Research 37 (2):164–170.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pasek, J.E. 2015. “Organizing the Liaison Role a Concept Map.” College & Research Libraries News 76 (4):202–205.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Patton, M.Q. 2002. Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar

  • Perini, M. 2015. “The Academic Librarian as Blended Professional.” Dissertation, George Mason University.Google Scholar

  • Perini, M. 2016. “Conceptualizing Classified Staff as Collaborative Partners.” Collaborative Librarianship 7 (4):150–159.Google Scholar

  • Pham, H.T., and K. Tanner. 2015. “Collaboration Between Academics and Library Staff: A Structurationist Perspective.” Australian Academic & Research Libraries 46 (1):2–18.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Reitz, J.M. 2004. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. London: Libraries Unlimited.Google Scholar

  • Ross, L., and P. Sennyey. 2008. “The Library Is Dead, Long Live the Library! The Practice of Academic Librarianship and the Digital Revolution.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 34 (2):145–152.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sapsford, R. 1999. Survey Research. London: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar

  • Sare, L., S. Bales, and B. Neville. 2012. “New Academic Librarians and Their Perceptions of the Profession.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 12 (2):179–203.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Saunders, L. 2015. “Academic Libraries’ Strategic Plans: Top Trends and under-Recognized Areas.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 41 (3):285–291.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Schuman, P.G. 1990. “The Image of Librarians: Substance or Shadow?.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 16 (2):86–89.Google Scholar

  • Shen, L. 2013. “There Is No Association between Subject Liaisons’ Perception of Their Work and Faculty Satisfaction with Their Liaisons.” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 8 (4):142–144.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Silva, E., Q. Galbraith, and M. Groesbeck. 2017. “Academic Librarians’ Changing Perceptions of Faculty Status and Tenure.” College and Research Libraries 78 (4):428–441.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stauffer, S.M. 2016. “The Work Calls for Men: The Social Construction of Professionalism and Professional Education for Librarianship.” Journal of Education For Library & Information Science 57 (4):311–324.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stieg, M.F. 1992. Change and Challenge in Library and Information Science Education. Chicago: American Library Association.Google Scholar

  • Szpunar, R. 2017. “Collaborating for Impact: Special Collections and Liaison Librarian Partnerships.” College & Research Libraries 78 (5):729–731.Google Scholar

  • Tennant, M.R., T.T. Cataldo, P. Sherwill-Navarro, and R. Jesano. 2006. “Evaluation of a Liaison Librarian Program: Client and Liaison Perspectives.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 94 (4):402.Google Scholar

  • Walters, W.H. 2016. “Faculty Status of Librarians at US Research Universities.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 42 (2):161–171.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Watson, E.M. 2010. “Taking the Mountain to Mohammed: The Effect of Librarian Visits to Faculty Members on Their Use of the Library.” New Review of Academic Librarianship 16 (2):145–159.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wheeler, E., and P. McKinney. 2015. “Are Librarians Teachers? Investigating Academic Librarians’ Perceptions of their Own Teaching Roles.” Journal of Information Literacy 9 (2):111–128.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wusteman, J. 2008. “Editorial: Virtual Research Environments: What Is the Librarian’s Role?.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 40 (2):67–70.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wyss, P.A. 2010. “Library School Faculty Member Perceptions Regarding Faculty Status for Academic Librarians.” College & Research Libraries 71 (4):375–388. Accessed October 19, 2017 https://doi.org/10.5860/crl-53r1.Crossref

  • Yang, Z.Y.L. 2000. “University Faculty’s Perception of a Library Liaison Program: A Case Study.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 26 (2):124–128.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-03-22

Accepted: 2017-06-30

Published Online: 2017-11-14

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: Libri, Volume 67, Issue 4, Pages 261–281, ISSN (Online) 1865-8423, ISSN (Print) 0024-2667, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2017-0021.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in