The Job Itself: The Effects Of Functional Units On Work Autonomy Among Public And Academic Librarians

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr.. Ericka Patillo, Associate Dean of Libraries (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Job autonomy is a topic that should be of concern to both library managers and employees because job autonomy may predict job satisfaction and retention. This article describes job autonomy among public and academic librarians using data reported by respondents to the Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science (WILIS1) Research Project1 survey. The authors extracted a subset of the LIS professionals, public and academic librarians, focusing on the autonomy measures and the variables related to the broad areas of responsibility: administration; access and collections; information services, education and research; digital information technology and Web access; and information technology and consulting. Findings indicate that there are significant differences in perceived autonomy based on areas of responsibility. Administrators and information technology librarians reported higher autonomy, regardless of type of library. Also, public librarians have less freedom in scheduling their time than academic librarians. As today’s professionals seek more autonomy and flexibility, managers struggle with the pressure of increased attention to accountability within their organizations. Library administrators will need to find a balancing point in order to maintain organizational effectiveness.

Additional Information

Patillo, Ericka J. et al. “The Job Itself: The Effects of Functional Units on Work Autonomy among Public and Academic Librarians.” Library Trends 58 (2009): 276-290. DOI:10.1353/lib.0.0081. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2009
public librarians, academic librarians, job autonomy, library administration, job satisfaction, library and information Science, organization effectiveness

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