Identifying the prevailing images in library and information science profession: is the landscape changing?
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This paper aims to provide a systematic review on library and information science (LIS) profession’s image and stereotypes from 1999 to 2013. In particular, it aims to identify and analyze the prevailing images of librarians in various contexts and explore possible changes occurring over time. Design/methodology/approach – The method of systematic review is adopted to identify the prevailing images in LIS profession. Specifically, 60 papers were selected and five main themes emerged such as “public’s perceptions”, “librarians’ perceptions”, “students’ perceptions”, “mass media” and “image as an issue” after a thorough analysis of papers’ aim. Findings – It was found that librarians were negatively perceived by both the wider public and the students. In terms of mass media, the image of “the old maid” was dominant, whereas newspapers focused on the male librarian who was perceived as glamorous. Positive stereotypes were also found in children books. On the whole, librarian’s image and relevant stereotypes have not changed considerably over time. Research limitations/implications – This literature review considered only papers published between 2000 and 2013 and only in English mainly due to language restrictions. Originality/value – This review identifies, critically analyzes and discusses the literature on the prevailing images and stereotypes associated with LIS profession in the past 13 years. In addition, it attempts to identify and discuss any changes that occurred in this time frame.
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