In the picture: Representations of librarianship in children's picture books published in the UK between 1994-2014

Bogard, Debbie A. (2018) In the picture: Representations of librarianship in children's picture books published in the UK between 1994-2014. Masters thesis, Aberystwyth University.

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to enhance understanding of how librarians are perceived by UK society, with the intention that such knowledge be used in campaigns to enhance their image, and thereby encourage more young people to enter the profession.

The following three objectives are utilised to accomplish this aim:
1. the literature review covers a range of sectors to produce a broad understanding of how children’s books reflect social ideologies
2. depictions of librarians and libraries in children’s picture books are analysed, contributing a unique perspective to existing library research
3. portrayals are discussed in terms of their accuracy and ideological attitude, with changes mapped over time.

Representations of libraries and librarians have been gathered from both the narratives and illustrations in a set of eight children’s picture books published in the UK between 1994 and 2014, using a custom data-gathering framework. This involves hermeneutics, semiotics and a ‘positive, neutral or negative’ ideology. Key data has then been transferred to a coding device to enable comparative analysis and compilation of overviews.

The thesis has found that depictions of libraries and librarians have been more favourable in the present century than they were in the last. Even when aspects of the stereotype were detected, they did not produce a negative view of the profession, and no correlation was found between stereotyping and the overall view of librarians. However, the interaction of the librarian with their patrons made a significant impact on overall ratings.

The textual analysis corroborated literature review findings of a lack in differentiation between professional and para-professional staff, which may be causing misunderstanding of the level of skills and knowledge that librarians possess. Comprehension of our value to society is therefore deficient and must be urgently addressed if we are to entice more young professionals.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Divisions: Departments > Library Services
Depositing User: Debbie Bogard
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2021 14:42
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 14:42
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/5967

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