ERIC Number: ED382197
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May
Reference Count: 0
Library Support Staff in an Age of Change: Utilization, Role Definition and Status. ERIC Digest.
Oberg, Larry R.
Staff utilization, role definition and articulation, task overlap, educational requirements, certification, and status have been difficult issues within the library profession for most of this century, and remain mostly unresolved today. Over the past 20 years, library automation and declining budgets have caused the redistribution of the library workload, and given rise to this new category of employee, the paraprofessional, a position which has been largely uninhibited by associational policy or guidelines. Today, paraprofessionals administer major functional areas in the library, are assigned reference and information desk duties, perform a variety of systems work, and catalog most of the books added to collections, coming to dominate the technical service workforce. In the future, an increase in both tasks and responsibilities can be expected. This task overlap with professional librarians raises issues concerning salary, status, and professional education. A growing consensus suggests that the roles of librarians and support staff must be redefined, but before support staff roles can be put in order, librarians must first redefine their own roles. While agreement exists that the roles of all library staff must be clarified, the same issues remain unsolved: staff utilization, role definition, qualifications, and status. (Contains 10 references.) (MAS)
Descriptors: Certification, Continuing Education, Librarians, Library Education, Library Personnel, Library Services, Library Technicians, Paraprofessional Personnel, Salaries, Staff Role, Status
ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, 4-194 Center for Science and Technology, Syracuse, NY 13244-4100 (free while supplies last).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, Syracuse, NY.
Identifiers: ERIC Digests; Role Delineation; Task Overlap