ASIS&T 2014 Annual Meeting 
Seattle, WA | October 31 - November 5, 2014

Information Technology, Change and Information Professionalsí Identity Construction: A Discourse Analysis

Deborah Rachel Hicks
University of Alberta, Canada

Monday, Nov. 3, 8:30am


Increasingly, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are changing the way information professionals perform their day-to-day activities and how they interact with their clients. This study considers the ways in which the identities of information professionals are constructed and shaped by ICTs. Using data gathered from interviews, email discussion lists, and the professional literature, this study employed a textual analysis to examine the language resources information professionals used when constructing the professional identities, with particular attention to the role of ICTs in this construction. ICTs both challenged and enhanced the identities of information professionals. While the changes related to ICTs have left information professionals feeling insecure about their professional positions, they have also opened up new roles and opportunities for information professionals to pursue. Information professionals have a service-oriented identity and this identity is constantly evolving in response to ICT-related changes. These changes will challenge and benefit information professionals as they engage with these new ICTs and determine how, if at all, they can be incorporated into their day-to-day practice.