Dissertation Information for Rebecca Watson-Boone
- Rebecca Watson-Boone
- Library and Information Science
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA) (1995)
- Wayne A. Wiegand
- Jane B. Robbins
MPACT Status: Complete - Except Indecipherables
Title: A qualitative study of how librarians at a public research-I university envision their work and work lives
Abstract: Twenty-nine, non-administrative level librarians reveal meanings, values, and preferences they assign to work and work life. Demographic comparison with other academic librarians suggests participants may reflect a larger population.
Work life content and context consists of tasks performed; technological and work systems; working conditions and securities; work setting; and beliefs, values, and preferences. The constant comparative method (grounded theory) was chosen because it allows (1) use of open-ended questions and face-to-face interactions for participant-driven data; (2) flexibility in data collection, coding, and analysis--necessary for identifying similarities, differences, and consistencies of meaning across emerging concepts; and (3) acknowledgement of the researcher's previous experience in similar work settings.
Findings demonstrate that, as a group, these librarians engage in collection, catalog, reference, and learning-teaching-training work. Librarians define their work as "primarily" one of the first three; the fourth emerges from the data as a distinct kind of work. Librarians give greatest importance to primary work in a literal and conceptual sense. This work concept governs how they think, give order to each day, assign roles, determine the size of their work world, and define a sense of "place" and "fit" within life-at-work. In pictoral terms, librarians place primary work in the foreground, followed by colleagues. Less strongly depicted are library system-related matters (like policy, management, communication, loyalty, and responsibility); very few university images are visible.
Participants see academic librarianship as providing a professional identity associated with learning, teaching, and scholarship. They prefer as colleagues those who also approach work as thinkwork and puzzle-solving. They prefer users who learn to independently manipulate a library while working with librarians to master new information or knowledge-seeking techniques and resources. A service ideal operates, as does a sense of personal achievement in making things happen for themselves and users. Librarians believe they are most creative and do highest quality work when they control the various tasks that comprise work. Autonomy, variety, and choice are also highly valued elements in their work life.
MPACT Scores for Rebecca Watson-Boone
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calculated 2008-01-31 06:27:30
Advisors and Advisees Graph