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"Du är rätt så borta om du inte vet vad studenterna talar om": Om universitetsbibliotekariers ämneskunskaper
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
“You are quite far off if you don’t know what the students are talking about” : The Subject Knowledge for University Librarian (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis discusses the subject knowledge of university librarians, gained through education and/or experience in the field. The aim was to investigate the subject knowledge for university librarians, how the existence of subject knowledge or the lack thereof affects the librarians’ work and how the users’ view on the librarians' subject knowledge. I also wanted to investigate if there were differences between librarians at the interdisciplinary libraries and special librarians and whether there were differences between disciplines. This thesis is based on professional theory and librarian occupation as a profession or semi-profession. Additionally I explored what previous studies (mostly American) had said about the subject knowledge of university libraries, both general and divided into different disciplines. For this study I used online questionnaires to 274 librarians, library assistants and other staff of university libraries and 169 users. The questionnaire for the libraries was sent out to contacts at selected libraries, which in their turn asked the staff at these libraries to participate. For user survey I asked users in the libraries personally to participate and then sent out email to them. The responses were analysed mainly on the basis of computer generated results in the web tool and these results was published in the form of tables and diagrams in the study. The results of this survey was mainly that the portion of librarians with subject background was quite low, particularly in terms of subject specific degree, and that experience was relatively high. They are also differences between librarians on interdisciplinary libraries and librarians on subject specialized libraries, mainly that the proportion of completed degree in library science is higher for the subject librarians and the proportion who think that subject knowledge is important is lower in the same group. There are also differences between different disciplines, mainly in the terms of degree, both in library science and other topics, experience, and if the subject knowledge is important in the field. Based on these findings I could conclude that the librarian occupation is a semi-profession rather than a profession. The main conclusions was that librarians think that subject knowledge is important but that this is not seen to the same extent in their education or training although that it partially counterbalanced by experience. Its users find the librarians' subject knowledge partly is quite poor but that they nonetheless receive sufficient help. There are according to me possible methods to raise the subject knowledge of university librarians, mainly by trying to associate librarians with appropriate education to subject libraries and to create a specialisation on university librarianship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 105 p.
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 671
Keyword [en]
Librarians, Subject Knowledge, Profession, University Library, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
Bibliotekarier, ämneskunskaper, profession, universitetsbibliotek, Sverige
National Category
Information Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257193Local ID: 671OAI: diva2:838697
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-07-01 Last updated: 2016-06-09Bibliographically approved

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