Cameron Pierson

Public Librarians: Toward a typology of professional identity

Cameron Pierson
Cameron Pierson, PhD student


Supervisors: Professor Anne Goulding and Dr Jennifer Campbell-Meier


Cameron has worked in a variety of library and library-related positions in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. His practice of librarianship has brought him into contact with a variety of people of all ages and information needs, furthering his passion to serve and inquire. He is a Victoria Doctoral Scholarship recipient.


MLIS, Wayne State University, Detroit, US; BA, French & German, Grand Valley State University

Research interests

There is a state of affairs within librarianship, often referred to as a crisis, acting to compound an historic issue: defining the librarian. Efforts thus far, however, have not utilized a more unified approach to professional identity as a lens to examine the practicing librarian. This research will explore the professional identity of public librarians. Specifically, professional identity is the result of the influence occupational life has had on the pre-existing identity within its context, and therefore also influences self-perception and behaviour. In particular, this research will seek to construct a typology based on self-perception of professional identity. Additionally, it will seek to describe the resulting types and offer an explanation of why these types may differ. The mixed-methods model used in this research emphasizes qualitative data, which will be analysed with an inductive approach. This approach will inform a typology constructed directly from the community under investigation.

Research interests relating to this project include library and information science professional identity, the practice of librarianship, librarian stereotypes, institutional theory, and management and vocational theory. General research interests also include informational barriers and information seeking behaviour of minority populations, perception of libraries, and comparative practice.

Selected publications

Pierson, C. M., Goulding, A., & Campbell-Meier, J. (In press). An integrated understanding of librarian professional identity. Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication.

Pierson, C. (2017). Barriers to access and information for the LGBTQ community. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science. 41(4), 245-262.