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Library Informational Technology Workers: Their Demographic Characteristics, Sense of Belonging, Role and Job Autonomy

Sook Lim

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


There has been considerable growth in hiring information technology (IT) workers in academic libraries. However, there exist few empirical studies regarding library IT workers beyond their tasks and responsibilities. In particular, little is known about library IT workers concerning their sense of belonging, their role, and their job autonomy. This study attempts to explore such characteristics of library IT workers as organizational members. The new knowledge about library IT workers contributes to both Library and Information Science research and organizational research.

The research questions include: 1. What are the characteristics of library IT workers? 2. To what extent do library IT workers have a sense of belonging to their organizations? 3. To what extent do library IT workers have job autonomy?

4. Is there a relationship between the role of IT workers as boundary spanners and their sense of belonging? 5. Are there any differences between systems librarians and non-librarian IT workers with respect to their sense of belonging, their role and their job autonomy? Finally 6. Do the characteristics of library IT workers overlap with those of IT workers in other organizations?

The major data collection method is a survey method. The population consists of the IT workers in each main library of the 100 university member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in the United States. The sample of the study will be the IT workers of ten university libraries in the mid-western United States. Two sampling frames will be used: the ARL directory and the library staff directories of each sample university library. This poster session will present the primary findings of the study.

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