Event Title

Does Your Library Fit? Exploring Career Paths and Perceptions of Person-Job Fit among Distance Librarians

Session Format

Presentation

Conference Tracks

Research Design and Planning

Short Description

Person-job fit is a term used to describe both the degree to which a worker’s skills, education and temperament fit the job, as well as the ways in which the culture of the organization fits the worker’s values and needs. This presentation will explore questions raised in a recent survey of person job-fit and career paths of distance learning librarians. Through personal interviews, the researchers will explore questions raised by the survey, and present results that may provide insight into the recruitment and retention of distance and online librarians.

Long Description

In a survey conducted in 2018, exploring the perception of person-job fit and career paths among distance learning librarians, researchers drew some interesting conclusions. Study participants, who identified primarily as distance learning librarians, perceived a stronger fit between their skills and education with the job itself, but did not fit as well within their organizations. Those with some distance learning responsibility reported a stronger fit with their organization but did not see their skills and education matching the job quite as well. A majority of participants from both categories indicated that they accepted their current job as a means of advancing their careers. These findings raise questions that might have some interesting implications for the recruitment and retention of distance and online librarians.

The researchers will delve further into these conclusions through a series of personal interviews with survey respondents who indicated a willingness to participate in a follow-up study. They will conduct the interviews via a WebEx room in early 2020 and conduct a content analysis of the transcripts to find answers to the following questions. How do distance learning librarians perceive their roles within their libraries? Why do librarians accept positions dedicated primarily to the support of distance or online programs? Is distance learning librarianship a path to library administration? Do DL librarians perceive a better fit with their work than with their organizations?

As academic libraries grow to meet the evolving needs of higher education, librarians who support distributed learning may be in higher demand. Exploring the ways distance learning librarians fit with their job duties and within their organizations may provide valuable insights into best practices for recruitment and retention. This presentation will explore further the concept of person-job fit of distance learning librarians and offer results that may inform human resource administration in academic libraries.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will have a better understanding of the personal and organizational fit of distance and online librarians.

Attendees will have a better understanding of the career paths of distance and online librarians.

Library administrators may develop new best practices for recruitment and retention of distance and online librarians.

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Does Your Library Fit? Exploring Career Paths and Perceptions of Person-Job Fit among Distance Librarians

Person-job fit is a term used to describe both the degree to which a worker’s skills, education and temperament fit the job, as well as the ways in which the culture of the organization fits the worker’s values and needs. This presentation will explore questions raised in a recent survey of person job-fit and career paths of distance learning librarians. Through personal interviews, the researchers will explore questions raised by the survey, and present results that may provide insight into the recruitment and retention of distance and online librarians.