Fostering the Evolution of Library Roles through Reframing

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Sawyer, Preservation Specialist (Creator)
Juanita Thacker, Information Literacy Lecturer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: In the previous chapter, we began with a discussion about how end users view each and every library employee as a librarian. "When people are seeking help in your library, YOU are a librarian," stated former youth services consultant for the State Library of North Carolina and current University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) library and information science (LIS) lecturer Lori Special.1 The typical library user sees someone who can provide assistance or services or help them solve a problem; to them, every library employee is a librarian, regardless of rank or title or affiliation. Interactions such as the one described above have prompted academic library leadership to shift priorities over the past decade from a department-centered service model to a user-centered one. The more traditional model still exists, as libraries were once primarily concerned with the stewardship of physical collections and users relied upon library employee knowledge to access these resources. The physical collections' growth in academic libraries has diminished exponentially as the vast majority of library collection budgets are spent on electronic resource licenses and related acquisitions to reflect our users' preference for accessing our collections online. However, users still rely on library workers to access physical collections even though their use is in decline. This evolution from print to electronic resource management leaves the door open for library administrators and employees to reframe the ways that they think about the role of non-MI.JS degree-holding public services and other staff. The move toward single service points and roving assistance in the stacks presents an exciting opportunity for the library staff to build relationships with library users and promote the library's brand by providing personalized service anywhere at any time. This new model of user service also serves to enhance library staff knowledge holistically by way of a comprehensive professional development plan implemented and supported by the administration.

Additional Information

In M.A. Crumpton & N.J. Bird (Ed.). Emerging Human Resource Trends in Academic Libraries (p.241-255). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Language: English
Date: 2021
libraries, roles

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