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A survey concerning perceptions of academic librarians was conducted at a large, 4-year university with three populations: librarians, faculty, and undergraduate students. This paper presents results from the faculty population, with comparison to the librarian sample. The major research questions address perceptions about what librarians know (expertise and skills), what librarians do (role and duties), and what librarians are like (motivations and affective characteristics). Results showed faculty perceptions to be more in-line overall with librarians’ perceptions of themselves than the literature might otherwise indicate, at least in domains where the faculty are actively engaged. Faculty also identified a role not explicitly mentioned on the survey: that of librarians as conduits between students and faculty. Gaps between librarian and faculty perceptions still exist relating to the extraordinary extent and diversity of librarian knowledge, skills, duties, and capacities, and with respect to the extent of librarians teaching. The study points to an ongoing need for marketing of library services and continued demonstration of library value.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the journal New Review of Academic Librarianship on September 9, 2020, available online:



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