In the American Library Association’s “Core Values of Librarianship” (2004), Professionalism is listed as one of the Core Values, but its meaning is not settled. Framed alternately as an incomplete achievement of professional traits or a process of identity creation, the professional status of librarianship has been subject to debate since the field began to take its contemporary form in 1876. Understanding Professionalism as a discursive response to an urgent present can enable the field to locate the value of that status outside of the workplace hierarchies that professionalization inevitably produces.


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