Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > Bringing Professional Knowledge and Identity into a Grassroots Library Development Project: A Case Study of World Library Partnership Volunteers in South Africa

This case study describes how nine American librarians who participated in a short-term library development program run by the World Library Partnership carried their senses of professional identity and knowledge into new temporary work roles and library settings in South Africa. In-depth interviews with these volunteers revealed several important dynamics in which professional identity and knowledge came into play. These included (1) the interaction among expectations concerning library-related work, the volunteer librarian role, and the reality of these factors in South Africa; and (2) the role of prior experiences - both professional and non-professional - in adapting to unknown and unfamiliar situations. Additionally, this study considered the accomplishments volunteers perceived in their experiences and the various ways their senses of personal and professional identity have been affected by the program.