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Changing roles of librarians and library technicians

Faculty Advisor




librarian, library technician, change, work responsibilities

Abstract (summary)

What significant changes are librarians and library technicians experiencing in their roles? A survey put forward across Canada to librarians and library technicians addressing this question was conducted in February 2014. Eight hundred eighty-two responses were obtained from librarians, defined as MLIS graduates, and library technicians, defined as graduates from a two-year library diploma program. Respondents needed to have been employed in the last two years in these roles and students of either an MLIS or LIT program were also welcome to participate. The results suggest that both librarians and library technicians perceive their roles as growing in scope and complexity and that the lines of responsibility are blurring. A majority of respondents indicated that they perceive a change in their roles in the past five years and commented on what the perceived changes were. Librarian and library technician roles may be shifting away from what may be viewed as traditional or clearly defined responsibilities and both librarians and library technicians may be taking on new tasks as well as experiencing task overlap. All library staff will need to be fluid, adaptable, and open to change. Library school curricula and workplace training need to incorporate the development of these competencies.

Publication Information

James, N., Shamchuk, L., & Koch, K. (2015). Changing roles of librarians and library technicians. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 10(2), 1-29. doi:


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Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)