A review of professionalism within LIS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of professionalism within Library and Information Science (LIS) and in doing so draw comparisons with the education and medicine professions.

Design/methodology/approach
The paper provides a review of the extant literature from the three professions and gives a brief review of the theoretical constructs of professional knowledge using the work of Eisner and Eraut to explore knowledge types. It then relates these definitions to knowledge use within LIS, education and medicine, before examining the roles that professional associations have on the knowledge development of a profession. It concludes with a reflection on the future of professionalism within LIS.

Findings
The literature suggests a fragmented epistemological knowledge-base and threats to its practices from outside professions. It does, however, find opportunities to redefine its knowledge boundaries within the phronetic practices of LIS and in socio-cultural uses of knowledge. It finds strengths and weaknesses in professionalism within LIS and its practitioners.

Originality/value
This review provides a contemporary update to several earlier, related, works and provides useful context to current efforts to professionalise LIS by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-152
Number of pages11
JournalLibrary Management
Volume38
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2017

Fingerprint

information science
profession
medicine
professional association
professionalism
knowledge
education
threat
methodology

Keywords

  • ethics
  • professionalism
  • professional associations
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
  • professional knowledge

Cite this

Cannon, Paul. / A review of professionalism within LIS. In: Library Management. 2017 ; Vol. 38, No. 2-3. pp. 142-152.
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A review of professionalism within LIS. / Cannon, Paul.

In: Library Management, Vol. 38, No. 2-3, 14.03.2017, p. 142-152.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of professionalism within Library and Information Science (LIS) and in doing so draw comparisons with the education and medicine professions.Design/methodology/approachThe paper provides a review of the extant literature from the three professions and gives a brief review of the theoretical constructs of professional knowledge using the work of Eisner and Eraut to explore knowledge types. It then relates these definitions to knowledge use within LIS, education and medicine, before examining the roles that professional associations have on the knowledge development of a profession. It concludes with a reflection on the future of professionalism within LIS.FindingsThe literature suggests a fragmented epistemological knowledge-base and threats to its practices from outside professions. It does, however, find opportunities to redefine its knowledge boundaries within the phronetic practices of LIS and in socio-cultural uses of knowledge. It finds strengths and weaknesses in professionalism within LIS and its practitioners.Originality/valueThis review provides a contemporary update to several earlier, related, works and provides useful context to current efforts to professionalise LIS by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

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