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Dissertation Information for Benton Scheide

- Benton Scheide

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1973)

- Jesse H. Shera

- Conrad H. Rawski
- Marie R. Haug
- Thomas M. Watts

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: A Study of Professionalism in California Academic Librarianship

Abstract: The purpose of the study is to investigate the perceptions held by practicing academic librarians and library science students toward a set of theoretical concepts in professionalism as applied to academic librarianship. In an attempt to extend understanding of this occupation's involvement in professionalism, viewpoints toward essential professionalism concepts were investigated. A conceptual model, adapted from Marvin B. Sussman's Sociology and Rehabilitation, includes the core professional characteristics, Body of Knowledge, Service Orientation, and Autonomy. this investigation surveyed the participants' perceptions of these characteristics and a key relationship in professionalism theory-- derivation of Autonomy form Body of Knowledge and service orientation.

it is hypothesized that (1) administrators, non-administrators and library school students would differ in their perceptions of professionalism characteristics, (2) practitioners and students would perceive Service Orientation as the characteristics most evident in practice and the Autonomy characteristic as least evident, (3) these subjects would not perceived the characteristics autonomy as derived from the Body of Knowledge and Service Orientation characteristics, (4) practicitioners' perceptions of professionalism are related to position, educational background, prior occupational history and professional activities, (5) students' perceptions are related to educational background and prior occupational history, and (6) practitioners' and students' perceptions are not related to their ages or sex.

The data were gathered by mailed questionnaires seat to all librarians in the California State College system and to a stratified random sample of students in graduate library schools. the student sample selected gave proportional representation to the ten library schools from which the majority of the practicitioners held degrees. The student sample size (N=507) was determined so as to approximate the 1971 practitioner population (N=441). The response rate for students was 80.3% and for practitioners, 79.1%.

factor analysis was employed to revise the scale of questionnaire items used: Responses to this revised scale were analyzed through mean scores, percentages, Spearman rank order correlation, chi-square, and one-way analysis of variance.

Students were found to be more likely to accept the professional characteristics more so than practitioners, but perception differences between administrators, non-administrators, and students are inconclusive. Students and practitioners, however, agreed substantially on their rankings of the academic librarian's professional status. Respondents, as a whole, ranked the service Orientation characteristic most evident in practice, as postulated, but considered Body of Knowledge least evident. The student sample, taken separately, rated Body of Knowledge most evident and Autonomy least evident.

These findings indicate only slight differences in outlook by age categories but older subject seem to accept professionalism more often than the younger. Those whose work experience derived only from library work expressed less acceptance of professionalism than others and a majority of participants rejected certification and licensing for librarianship. Workshop participation, prior work experience, and association activities, identified supporters of professionalism. These variables, however, should not in themselves be interpreted as constitution professionalization.

Reliance by academic librarianship on such concepts of professionalism may be required if librarians wish to achieve more than the status of an "emerging profession" and maintain their service mandate.

MPACT Scores for Benton Scheide

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-02-07 10:56:49

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Students under Benton Scheide

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