Mapping the landscape of practice across library communities

Drew Whitworth, Maria Carme Torras I Calvo, Bodil Moss, Nazareth Amlesom kifle, Terje Blåsternes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two academic libraries undergoing significant organizational changes were the location for a project that researched how staff members and subunits of the libraries made collective judgments, negotiated what is sometimes called the “landscape of practice”—the collective body of knowledge of their profession—and thus came to collective understandings about how to manage the changes they faced. Over a period of one year, participants engaged in a series of facilitated sessions of concept mapping in which they created maplike diagrams depicting their knowledge of the library’s operation. These sessions both facilitated and recorded the intersubjective agreement that staff members reached regarding the relevance of the various resources available to them. These mapping sessions helped participants cross the boundaries between different communities of practice, groups of people working in the same professional area. The sessions enhanced participants’ reflection on their own practices and their knowledgeability of other practices across the landscape of the library. The project shows how techniques for learning stewarding and enhancing knowledgeability can be integrated into a workplace environment, whether in an academic library or elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-579
Number of pages23
JournalPortal: Libraries and the Academy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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