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Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research






academic librarians, college librarians, universities, librarianship, competencies


Describes publishing trends in academic librarian competency articles to provide context for a later investigation of definitions found in this library and information science (LIS) literature. Explores peer-reviewed articles from 2001 – 2005 to determine: who is writing on academic librarian competency, including any collaboration; whether there are areas of focus in the literature; if these articles are published in academic journals and to what degree; whether we incorporate other literatures, especially those relevant to competency; and what other trends may be important to an understanding of this topic.

Discovers three major areas of focus: management-related with 35 articles, 19 education and professional development articles and 12 articles on professional issues. Most are written by single authors and by authors associated with academic libraries or library schools. There are only three college-based articles. There is minimal collaboration across boundaries of any kind. Most of the authors associated with academic libraries are writing the management-related articles. The majority of these authors are US-based. The majority of articles on education and continuing professional development are written by authors at library schools. Furthermore, these authors represent a more international representation of this topic and a greater degree of international collaboration than found in the management articles. The authors who wrote articles on professional issues are almost equally split between library schools and libraries. The majority of citations of peer-reviewed literature (53%) were to journals with no LIS subject heading in Ulrich’s, illustrating that authors are incorporating literatures from outside LIS.


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