A shift in library and librarian identities occurs as libraries and library workers evolve and explore new practices. These changes prompt a discussion of what constitutes “traditional” and “non-traditional” practice in libraries. Identity and gatekeeper theories provide a lens through which the process of introducing and incorporating professional practices in libraries can be understood and offer insights into how ‘non-traditional’ ideas can be incorporated into the concepts of what constitute library collections and services for library workers and other stakeholders. Acceptance of non-traditional practice is aided by three factors. First, library organizational and professional identities must be sufficiently broad to incorporate non-traditional elements. Second, non-traditional elements must be successfully linked to stakeholders’ perspectives of libraries’ missions and mandates. Finally, institutional barriers to the introduction of non-traditional elements should be identified and addressed.



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