• Melissa Wieser
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen

This thesis examines perceptions and attitudes about the use of uniforms and branded clothing in university libraries in Denmark among library staff.

Methods: Following an initial pilot study, which examined current use of uniforms in university libraries, an exploratory sequential mixed methods study was designed. Attitudes and perceptions among library staff were explored in depth by using a qualitative interview study. Ten staff members were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using grounded theory, which yielded both qualitative results and the forming of four hypotheses, which were tested statistically through a survey study. A survey was sent to staff at all university libraries in Denmark and 468 responses were received and analysed using hypothesis testing, exploratory correlation analysis and descriptive statistics.

Results: Positive attitudes toward uniforms focused around visibility for users, professional appearance and staff not having to decide what to wear in the morning. Weak correlations were found between younger staff and staff with fewer shift hours per week and positive attitudes about uniforms when tested statistically using the survey data.

Negative attitudes about library uniforms focus on lack of identity and individuality, concerns with the quality and fit of the uniforms, as well as uniforms projecting a lower standard of knowledge.

Staff actively think about the choices of clothing that they wear for a shift, as well as being as presentable and welcoming in their body language for library users, thus using both their aesthetic and emotional literacies as well as their information literacy skills. Shift work at the library is emotional labour where staff must both project positive emotions and suppress negative emotions.

Conclusion: University library staff members have focus on being visible and welcoming to users, but the majority of staff members view uniforms to be unnecessary and perhaps even damaging to the service interaction between library staff and library user. User studies should be performed before introducing mandatory uniforms at university libraries.

SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato1 aug. 2014
Antal sider73