Challenging librarians : the relevance of the doctorate in professional practice

Macauley, Peter 2004, Challenging librarians : the relevance of the doctorate in professional practice, in Challenging Ideas, ALIA 2004 Biennial Conference, Australian Library and Information Association, Gold Coast, Qld., pp. 1-7.

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Title Challenging librarians : the relevance of the doctorate in professional practice
Author(s) Macauley, Peter
Conference name Australian Library and Information Association. Biennial Conference (2004 : Gold Coast, Qld.)
Conference location Gold Coast , Qld.
Conference dates 21-24 Sep. 2004
Title of proceedings Challenging Ideas, ALIA 2004 Biennial Conference
Editor(s) Schmidt, Janine
Publication date 2004
Conference series Australian Library and Information Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7 p.
Publisher Australian Library and Information Association
Place of publication Gold Coast, Qld.
Keyword(s) Ph.D.
Summary We, as librarians, are adept at challenging academics, students and administrators about the crucial role of information literacy in higher education and lifelong learning. Consequently, the push for strategic partnerships with academics is frequently in the foreground of our thinking. Concomitantly, the push for academic status for librarians is raised occasionally, particularly as a pay and equity issue. Yet, our purposes may appear somewhat misguided or rhetorical when contrasted to the nominal prerequisites required for professional practice, especially when compared with those of academics. The issues of information literacy and knowledge production within a knowledge economy compound such debate. This paper argues that ‘credential creep’ is catching up with librarians in the university sector. In order to be regarded as integral to academic endeavour, those of us who ‘teach’ information literacy may need to match the qualifications normally required by academics. Consonant with this proposal is the Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: Principles, Standards and Practice (Bundy, 2004) of the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL). The Framework mirrors many of the desired outcomes of a doctoral degree, a degree possessed by approximately one per cent of Australian librarians but, in comparison, by more than fi fty-four per cent of Australian academics. This paper challenges—not academics—but librarians, to embrace the notion of undertaking doctoral study to enhance our professional (or amateur) practice and our information literacy. The recommendation is derived in essence from my study on doctoral research and information literacy (Macauley, 2001). It also incorporates the current discourse on these issues and uses personal narrative to articulate the findings. It seeks also to explore those tensions and contradictions commensurate with practising what we preach.
Language eng
Field of Research 080706 Librarianship
Socio Economic Objective 890302 Library and Archival Services
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2004, Australian Library and Information Association
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