The impact of national library associations on their members, employing organisations and the profession

Henczel, S 2016, The impact of national library associations on their members, employing organisations and the profession, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The impact of national library associations on their members, employing organisations and the profession
Author(s) Henczel, S
Year 2016
Abstract Over recent years professional associations have experienced declining membership and participation levels across the professions globally. This is true for the national library associations that operate as the peak bodies for the profession of librarianship in their respective countries. As peak bodies they have responsibility for the accreditation of education for the profession, national advocacy and representation of the profession to government, funders, employers and to society in general. For national library associations to be sustainable and remain an important connection between the profession and employers, education, research, policy makers and funders, evidence is needed of the difference they make to the individuals within the profession, to libraries and other employing organisations and to the profession itself. This study aimed to provide that evidence.

Participants for this study were from four national library associations: the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the American Library Association (ALA), the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) and the UK’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). A modified form of the impact assessment framework provided by ISO 16439:2014 Methods and Procedures for Assessing the Impact of Libraries (International Organization for Standardization, 2014) was used to explore and gather evidence of impact across three categories: impact on the individual, impact on the employing organisation and impact on the profession.

The study focused on obtaining rich and detailed descriptions of the participants’ experiences to facilitate the development of an in-depth understanding of the perceived impacts and their causes. Data was gathered through 55 semi-structured interviews and analysed with the use of Atlas.ti. Predefined codes and categories from the Standard were applied, as were additional codes through open coding processes.

Twelve impacts were identified that reflected how association membership was perceived to impact on individuals, employing organisations and the profession of librarianship. For individuals, the perceived impacts related to improved skill and competence, attitude and behaviour, career success and individual well-being. For employing organisations the impacts related to corporate reputation, professional awareness and the understanding of the value of the profession to the organisation. The perceptions of impact that related to the profession were social inclusion and cohesion, information and education, promotion and sustainability. Three perceived causes of impact were identified. They were association participation, professional community and leadership.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Keyword(s) Professional associations
Librarianship
National library associations
Association membership
Impact assessment
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Created: Thu, 29 Sep 2016, 10:08:04 EST by Denise Paciocco
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