A New Look for a New Role; Challenging Stereotypes of Librarian Style

YOUSSEF SALIB, Dina (2018) A New Look for a New Role; Challenging Stereotypes of Librarian Style. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 142 - New Professionals SIG, Management of Library Associations and Public Libraries.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

A New Look for a New Role; Challenging Stereotypes of Librarian Style

“Libraries Transform Societies”―to what extent could the way a librarian look like affect this fact. Is it possible that librarians are stereotyped? How would that be done? How librarians are being perceived now in terms of―how they look? This paper aims at giving a glimpse on the psychological influence of a professional look, and on how people’s judgments are affected by the first impression they get from the look of another person. Both appearance and non-verbal communication speak of a person’s personality, and they are reflected on how people react to him/her. The appearance is how a person dresses, how he/she talks (voice and choice of language), and how they behave. All these come first then comes the importance of their professional competence. The paper will also show examples of professional looks that by themselves would give an impression about someone as an authority before even uttering a word or behaving. In addition, the paper will examine the looks of librarians taking different roles in the profession, depending on the age group of the users they are dealing with, the users’ social and intellectual background, and the librarian job objectives. Moreover, the study will reflect on the developments in the role of librarians over the past years. By drawing a comparison between librarians in the past and nowadays, the paper will discuss how the look of librarians should change with the change in their roles in the society. Moving on from this point, the study will highlight some aspects that may affect the look of librarians; like traditions, religious constraints, social and financial barriers. The paper will conclude by providing some examples of successful library professionals who advocate for the library and information field at all levels.

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