Opening the book on academic librarians: an agenda for investigating gender and professional status in a feminized profession

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Jacobs, Leona
Mellow, Muriel
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Librarians, as an occupational group, appear to have received surprisingly little attention from those who study work and gender. Like other feminized occupations, such as midwives and nurses, this group is of interest for how they have engaged in a project of professionalization in recent decades. Academic librarians have faced challenges to fully realizing a professional status because of their traditional organizational position as helpers or handmaidens to the professoriate. In order to more thoroughly outline a research agenda for examining this occupational group, this paper will present a review of the literature on the organization of librarians’ work from a sociological and library science perspective, using Sociological Abstracts and Library Literature to identify resources. The co-authors on this paper contribute their individual expertise by examining the literature that emerges from their respective disciplines and by entering into a cross-discipline discussion that will articulate the potential theoretical and practical outcomes of such a research agenda.
Feminized profession , Female-dominated professions , Work and gender , Professional status , Literature review , Sociological literature , Library literature
Jacobs, L., & Mellow, M. (2005, June). Opening the book on academic librarians: An agenda for investigating gender and professional status in a feminized profession. Paper presented at the 40th annual meeting of the Canadian Sociological and Anthropological Association, London, ON.