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ERIC Number: EJ936078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1531-2542
The Role and Work Perceptions of Academic Reference Librarians: A Qualitative Inquiry
Bronstein, Jenny
portal: Libraries and the Academy, v11 n3 p791-811 Jul 2011
This study explores the perceptions that Israeli reference librarians have of their jobs and their academic environment. Fifteen academic reference librarians were interviewed over a period of four months and their answers were analyzed using the thematic analysis approach. The analysis resulted in five major themes: 1) elements in reference work such as its essence, rotation of duties, and changes in the type of questions asked at the reference desk; 2) the skills and personality traits required for work in the reference department; 3) the effects of technological change on reference services; 4) students as information users, and 5) the future of reference work. Findings show that the essence of reference work has not changed despite librarians' expanding roles and the changing nature of the questions asked at the reference desk. Participants believed that reference librarians should be empathetic and patient when dealing with users, and should have excellent teaching and communication skills and the ability to learn new material independently. Participants perceived technological change positively and felt empowered through the adoption of new technologies. They envision future academic reference librarians as guides and counselors who will develop flexible services to fit diverse users. (Contains 70 notes.)
Johns Hopkins University Press. 2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Tel: 800-548-1784; Tel: 410-516-6987; Fax: 410-516-6968; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel