At the Corner of Personality and Competencies: Exploring Professional Personas for Librarians

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jenny Dale, Information Literacy Coordinator and Associate Professor (Creator)
Lynda M. Kellam, Data Services & Government Information Librarian (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Cultural representations of the profession are familiar to librarians. Stereotypes are common, and when librarians appear in the media—whether in song, television, or film—there are certain assumptions about what librarians should look like (e.g., cardigans, buns, and glasses) as well as how they should act (e.g., timidity, rigid adherence to rules). One common theme is the personalities of library workers, and this chapter will examine how assumptions and stereotypes about personality do not necessarily hold true in the field—and even across specialties within it. This discussion will also provide an explanation and exploration of a library worker’s “professional persona,” which is defined as the intersection of an individual’s personality, competencies, and professional interests. An individual’s persona is a complex system that might include some traits, perspectives, and tendencies that align with librarian stereotypes and some that are at odds with those stereotypes. This chapter will situate the concept of persona in the existing literature on core competencies and career selection and then examine the implications of personas in the profession with a specific eye toward organizational design.

Additional Information

In N. Pagowsky & M.E. Rigby (Ed.), The Librarian Stereotype (pp.213-228)
Language: English
Date: 2014
Librarianship, Librarians, Core competences, Professional Personas, Stereotypes

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