Date of Award

Spring 3-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicole Vaux

Third Advisor

Dr. Pamela Spooner


Abbott (1988) theorized librarians belonged to a class of professionals whose division of labor required constant negotiate with other stakeholders. Regardless of or perhaps because of constant negotiation, librarians have advocated for and documented roles as educators, faculty, and professionals from the earliest days of the profession (Sawtelle, 1878) to the present (Coker et al., 2010; Cronin, 2001; Gabbay & Shoham, 2019; Galbraith et al., 2016; Garcia & Barbour, 2018; Hicks, 2014; Hill, 1994; Zai, 2015). To a lesser extent, librarians have also documented how others view librarian roles (Christiansen et al., 2004; English, 1984), and Fleming-May and Douglass (2014) called for more research into relationships between librarians and administrators after noting the lack of research. The present study sought to fill in a gap by comparing librarian and college administrator perspectives on roles played by academic librarians on campus. Using symbolic interactionism and role theory as theoretical frameworks, results suggested the neither group agreed on one definition for what librarians do. Differences did not emerge among groups but among individuals in terms of how they believed librarian responsibilities fit instructional and faculty roles. Finally, successful negotiation of role occurred when librarians aligned themselves with powerful allies who shared similar understandings of librarian roles and advocated to create or maintain roles for librarians based on those ideals.


Copyright 2021