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Todaro ALA Initiative WORKSPACE "Libraries Transform: The Expert in the Library": Value Content for LIBRARIANS

This is a work space for draft documents only. Please see your workspace tab for more information.

Ultimately ...what we want for this page

So...what we want this page to become is a master list with either citations or links to citations from YOUR pages for value documents with specific reference (page numbers, etc.) on the value of librarians and library employees

Value Resources - LIBRARIANS

There is an additional, growing body of content on "what a 21st century librarian does;  the individual professional IN the profession with an exciting focus on traditional and non-traditional stereotypes, and this "new" professional with the link of what we do is "cool" and we are "cool" too. Other content in the professional literature for review presents the tenets of being a professional, requisite and recommended education, training and credentialing for the professional, a variety of competency sets, recommended curriculum for achieving the variety of levels of education, professional development and continuing education as well as a number of studies where survey research of constituents and administrators of umbrella organizations of libraries provide data on the perception of importance as well as the intrinsic value of the professional.

Libraries and information environments - on the other hand - have MANY studies of value and impact, and a growing number of them include information on the roles and responsibilities of professionals within those environments. So, we all know that first steps begin with a review of what IS out there. Watch this growing list of documents (classic or timeliness as well as current) on topic.

IMLS. Learning in Libraries. IMLS Focus. 2015

Littman. College, Career and Democracy ready? Not without a trained librarian. 2014.

Plutchak, T. Scott. Determining Value. J Med Libr Assoc. 2002 Jul; 90(3): 273–275.

Shamel. Building a Brand? Not Without a Librarian. 2001.

Sollenberger. "The Evolving Role of Libraries and Librarians in Health Care." JAMA. 2013


Value of LIBRARIANS - General Content

It is generally agreed that it is very hard to illustrate the economic value, the worth and the impact a professional brings to the organization, institution, community, business, etc. In fact, it is especially hard to identify value of professionals in non-profit or service environments, where constituents are "well or expertly served" but the service is funded as a not-for-profit or non-profit thus seemingly free or low fee in general and - often - less valued overall. Specifically, what we don't have or have very little of includes:

  • the value and worth of librarians and library professionals
  • the value of "us" within organizations (other than some special environments - primarily health care)
  • the value of "us" (and how we make a difference) in the lives of our constituents
  • the value of our unique curriculum and education
  • realistic value statements on the monetary value of the profession (with specifics on where, how and how much)
  • data visualization on the professional within organizations, communities, etc.
  • a statement of benefits of having and applying unique expertise
  • convincing arguments (general or specific) on why hire a library professional (including full time vs part time, etc.)
  • consequences of not having library professionals in the organization (beyond accreditation of workforce environments which is typically "not enough)
  • consequences of not having library professionals with up-to-date professional development

and I could go on, but I won't ...instead it's time to expand the work on focusing on people and the expertise it takes to manage library facilities, and the resources and services in library today. Scholarly materials, institutional repositories, destination buildings, infant story times, information literacy/instruction classes in using e-devices to download e-books, immigrant services, assistance for business start ups for community entrepreneurs, financial wellness materials, and parent programs on lifelong learning (to name just a few of the thousands of services out there) don't just "happen." Library professionals make it happen.

 So what is to be done? A roadmap might be:

  • a review of the literatuere of the value and worth of libraries
  • an extrapolation of content with the literature that pertains to librarians and library professionals
  • connecting the dots between and among librarians and what IS identified as having value in libraries
  • identifying and using terminology that illustrates the links between facilities, resources and services and the experts that build and deliver them
  • a focus on library professionals by branding them as experts in their profession
  • marketing the expertise of library professional alongside the value data of libraries and information centers and their resources and services
  • educating constituents by "looking below the hood" at required competencies, levels of education, ongoing continuing education


  • integrating these data with the perceptions of importance and the intrinsic value placed on these professionals in existing and ongoing research

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