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ERIC Number: ED315090
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-May-3
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Online Searching and the Status of Librarianship. An Inquiry, Spring 1988.
Bell, Suzanne S.
This study investigated the impact of online bibliographic retrieval on the librarian's professional self-image. The question of online searching and professional status is raised primarily in response to Brian Nielsen's work in 1980 and 1982, and also motivated by the relatively low volume of work on this topic since Nielsen. A major aim of this study was to evaluate whether Nielsen's predictions about online searching deprofessionalizing librarianship were beginning to be realized. The study consisted of 8 interviews, lasting from 45 minutes to 3 hours, with librarians who do and supervise online searching in a variety of disciplines and settings. Thirty-three questions were asked under conditions of privacy to establish the basic background facts of each respondent's situation, and to elicit their perceptions of the effect of online searching on: (1) their image; (2) their role as teacher or as intermediary; (3) their interaction with patrons and end users; (4) their careers; and (5) their own personal attitudes toward online searching and its impact on their professional status. It was concluded that, although automation has made many tasks more routine, its effects have been an enhancement. In most situations where searches were being negotiated, librarians felt that they gave patrons more individualized attention. Furthermore, librarians generally felt that the addition of a computer had a professionalizing effect on librarianship. Copies of the interview questions and privacy statement are appended. (29 references) (SD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A