Publication Date

Fall 11-10-2019

Document Type



A survey concerning perceptions of academic librarians was conducted at a large, 4-year university with three populations: librarians, faculty, and undergraduate students. The high response rate and the use of an instrument based on previous studies offers the possibility of longitudinal comparison and the identification of relationships between groups within one environment. Results will be presented in a series of articles, beginning with this paper’s study introduction and literature review of librarian, faculty, and student perceptions of librarians. Subsequent papers will present results from the three surveys and offer analysis across the three groups. The literature review focused on research studies of U.S. and Canadian academic libraries since 2000 with relevance to these major research questions: perceptions about what librarians know (expertise and skills), what librarians do (role and duties), and what librarians are like (motivations and affective behaviours). Librarians’ perceptions of themselves as critically important yet underappreciated seem to have persisted, perhaps because they are the only group to see the university-wide scope of their jobs, whereas, non-librarian faculty and students have a more limited views of the profession. In contrast to previous studies, recent literature suggests that course-integrated information literacy (IL) instruction has increased the visibility of librarians as educators to both faculty and students. The influence of popular media on students’ perceptions seems less powerful, opening the door wider for library marketing and branding programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the journal New Review of Academic Librarianship on November 10, 2019, available online:



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