Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Service as Theatre: The Customer Service Behaviour of Librarians in a Market Driven World

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Version 1 2021-11-10, 05:28
posted on 2023-02-23, 01:00 authored by Cherry, Jane

The purpose of this research is to explore the attitude of librarians to service. Previous studies showed that although many librarians identified service as their most important value, librarians were still perceived by many customers as unfriendly and unhelpful. Using Goffman's theory of dramaturgy the study looks at the relationship between the library service ethic and the market driven service ethic attributed to retail, and whether there is conflict between these two models, and if so what affect this is having on the attitudes and behaviour of librarians. This qualitative study uses focus groups to gather data. Focus group participants were all practicing librarians from the Wellington area. The research concludes that there is a conflict between the two service models which is directly affecting the attitude and thus the behaviour of librarians. The marketing model is perceived as a threat to the core functions of libraries because of its 'one size fits all' approach to service. Participants felt this model was a threat to genuine authentic service and personal autonomy.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Library and Information Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Calvert, Philip