Intergroup Dynamics: Librarians and Paraprofessionals in the Workplace

by Fragola, Marian G.

Abstract (Summary)
Library literature and anecdotal evidence reveal issues of friction between professional librarians with MLS degrees and library support staff, often called paraprofessionals, who do not have MLS degrees. Few, if any, studies, however, have explored how librarians actually feel about paraprofessionals. This case study describes the intergroup dynamics at one public library system in North Carolina. Five professional librarians were given a survey instrument to test their level of in-group bias vis a vis paraprofessionals. Following the survey, the five professional librarians, along with six paraprofessionals, were interviewed to see if in-group bias, or the perception of it, has an impact on the intergroup dynamics in the workplace. While this study did reveal some level of in-group bias among professional librarians, it was of a lesser degree than what has been ascribed to them. A variety of factors, including a high level of personalized contact, may impact the low degree of in-group bias found among librarians at the library system studied.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Robert Losee

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:intergroup relations employee library technicians north carolina employees united states


Date of Publication:04/02/2008

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