Avocado toast and pot roast: exploring perceptions of generational communication differences among health sciences librarians

Rachel Keiko Stark, Jenessa McElfresh

Abstract


Objective: This research explored health sciences librarians’ perceptions of intergenerational communication in the workplace.

Methods: The authors developed and sent a survey to health sciences librarians through email discussion lists from August 2018 to September 2018. A chi-square test was performed to determine whether one’s length of employment as a librarian was associated with belief that age and/or generation impacts communication in the workplace.

Results: A total of 150 respondents from 5 countries completed the survey. There was no significant association between length of employment as a librarian and respondents’ belief that age and/or generation impacts communication in the workplace. However, regardless of length of employment, most respondents indicated that generational differences do have an impact on communication in the workplace. Also, most respondents expressed interest in institutional initiatives to foster intergenerational communication.

Conclusion: The authors found that health sciences librarians believe that differences among generations impact communication in the workplace. Librarians, managers, and library organizations should consider providing training and other opportunities for health sciences librarians to improve their intergenerational communication skills.

Keywords


Intergenerational Communication; Age Diversity; Workplace Experiences

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2020.851

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