Title

Contested power, identity and status : an historical case study of library paraprofessionals in Australia

Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Communications and Arts

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

Abstract

After an initial Interrogation of the theory of professions and historical writing, this study examined three major phases in the development of professional and paraprofesslonal library occupations in Australia. The early professionalising phase from the 1930s onwards where the Australian Institute of Librarians took control of education for librarianship was analysed In detail. Issues crucial to the understanding of subsequent development included the inequalities of library provision and funding, publicised by the Munn-Pitt Report of 1935 and reiterated by a series of later international consultants; conflict and contestation between librarians from different areas of the library and information sector; a lack of occupational status and measures undertaken to imrrove that status In the face of an Increasing femlnisation of the workforce. In a move to improve the status of librarians, the senior university librarians who dominated the Association's educational processes decided graduate qualifications would be essential. Although the Institute and later Library Association of Australia had evinced little interest In the education of 'non professional' or 'subprofesslonal' library workers, staff shortages In a time of higher funding levels resulted In the Victorian Branch of the Association sponsoring the first library technicians' course in 1970. As similar courses became available, the Association acted to ensure portabllity of qualifications and to enforce uniform educational standards.

Access Note

Access to this thesis - the full text is restricted to current ECU staff and students only. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

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