Special Collections Faculty and Staff Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



research, academia, special collections, archives, academic freedom, censorship, academic library


In academic libraries, one of the lesser-explored discussions surrounds the value and validity of research done by librarians outside of their own professional literature (LIS). For this study, the authors surveyed seventy-five special collections librarians to assess their research activity; perspectives on non-LIS research; and experiences in the workplace regarding credit for non-LIS research. The quantitative data shows a large majority of respondents favored research outside of LIS, while the qualitative responses revealed strong opinions on research in and out of the profession, what constitutes a superior librarian, and the tenets of academic freedom. Almost all respondents agreed that the special collections librarian needs to make scholarship a priority in order to succeed and advance in the profession. Given the responses, this study should be considered a first step toward a fuller discussion of the value of research in academic libraries.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Reading Room, v. 1, issue 2, p. 49-64