Defending Professionalism
A Resource for Librarians, Information Specialists, Knowledge Managers, and Archivists
by Bill Crowley, Editor
May 2012, 235pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59884-869-4
$60, £47, 53€, A83
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-870-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Since the 2007 financial crisis, increasing numbers of experienced and newly degreed library, information, and archival professionals across the United States have lost their positions or been unable to secure a beginning professional position. In many instances, American public, academic, and school libraries have borne a disproportionate share of the cutbacks made by state and local governments, universities, and school systems.

This book provides overdue guidance for demonstrating and preserving library, information, knowledge, and archival professionalism in American, British, and Canadian communities and organizations.

There is no longer any way to deny or to escape the responsibility of marketing services and being an advocate for one’s profession. Practitioners also need effective arguments and approaches for combating library and information deprofessionalization. This book offers the antidote for ineptitude in the fight to preserve professionalism in all major library and information environments.

Composed of 14 chapters written by contemporary practitioners and practitioners-turned-theorists, Defending Professionalism: A Resource for Librarians, Information Specialists, Knowledge Managers, and Archivists clearly justifies the employment of the professional librarian, information specialist, knowledge manager, and archivist. The contributors offer both short-term and long-term political, cultural, and other approaches for the ongoing effort to retain and expand professionalism. The book provides managers, funding authorities, educators, and practitioners with practical, political, and theoretical reasons why it is in their self-interest to employ professionally educated personnel for positions within libraries, information or knowledge management centers, and archives.

Bill Crowley, PhD, is a tenured full professor at Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science, River Forest, IL, where he has been a faculty member since 1996. Crowley worked for 23 years in New York, Alabama, Indiana, and Ohio libraries and library organizations in capacities ranging from part-time clerk to deputy state librarian. He is the author of 37 articles and book chapters in the library science, information science, and higher education literatures, as well as two books—Spanning the Theory-Practice Divide in Library and Information Science and Libraries Unlimited's Renewing Professional Librarianship: A Fundamental Rethinking. He holds a master's degree in library service from Columbia University, a master's degree in English from Ohio State University, and a doctorate in higher education from Ohio University.


"Emphasizing the differences and similarities between cultures, organizations, countries, and positions, the scholarly and well-researched chapters will offer food for thought, evidence, and future areas to consider and work on in defining and defending the professions. This is of use to any librarian, information specialist, knowledge manager, or archivist who wishes to know more about how to defend and define professionalism in their own employment and the employment of others in similar positions."—ARBA, January 1, 2013

"The overall tone and writing style are clear and professional, with enough variety that the reader can draw useful conclusions no matter which aspect is addressed. Recommended for librarians interested in current library topics."—Booklist Online, August 3, 2012

"Included is a combination of practical and pragmatic ideas to improve marketing and advocacy for individuals, educators and organizations. . . . It is fair to say that this is certainly not a book for those wanting to take a back seat but it is a good addition to the bookshelf of anyone concerned with promoting the relevance of information professionals in the digital age."—Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table, March 1, 2012
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