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Visualizing academic librarians: an arts-informed inquiry
journal contributionposted on 2018-11-01, 00:00 authored by Rickie MoreyRickie Morey, Josephine Le Clerc, Marina MinnsMarina Minns, Deirdrie GregoryDeirdrie Gregory, Susanne Glynn
This research was undertaken by five librarians from Deakin University Library Australia as part of a professional development project. The objective was to collect qualitative data on the perceptions of librarians by academics and library colleagues from Deakin University. The ways in which academics perceive librarians, as well as how other library staff perceive librarians, are relatively under-explored areas. This study investigates the topic through an analysis of drawing and other visual representations, based on a study design that applied a visual, arts-based methodological approach. Participants were invited to focus groups where they were provided with a variety of craft materials, asked to create a visual representation of liaison librarians, then discuss their artifact. The data consists of twenty-eight artifacts, which were content analyzed, and semi-structured interview recordings, which were transcribed and analyzed for themes. Participants expressed liaison librarians positively, as helpers and connectors, as a gateway to knowledge, with complex and varied roles, as trusted sources, and as relationship builders. By drawing attention to these themes, the participants highlighted that liaison librarians are invaluable to Deakin University.