From the Bottom Up: Convergence, Professional Identities, and LAM Training

Sarah Kelly


Convergence is a widespread topic that, as libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) face similar challenges and user expectations in today’s digital world, has become increasingly technology-centered. This changing climate has elicited discussion of convergence focussing on digital perspectives as well as larger outlooks and concerns regarding LAM identities and roles. This paper argues that technology-centric convergence should not be a hasty solution for institutions pressured by forces calling for a more converged approach to the cultural sector. Rather, it explores the nuances of traditional and expanding professional identities within LAMs and suggests a more holistic approach to theory and practice, placing more value on the role of LAMs in everyday lives rather than what they do. Starting from the ground up with LAM training, this paper discusses traditional and current understandings of professional identities and common ground among them to cultivate a cross-disciplinary outlook for LAMs that work with each other.

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