Purpose – The paper's purpose is to share the insights that the staff of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Libraries (Wallace Library, RIT Archives, and the Cary Collection) gained into the role of reference librarians in establishing and operating an institutional repository (IR).

Design/methodology/approach – The paper conducts a literature review on a range of published (1999-2005) works to research the background of IRs and to incorporate it with the authors' own experiences.

Findings – The research findings, involving implementing IRs and specifically the effect on the role of the reference librarian in academic libraries, were found to be not as extensive as expected.

Originality/value – This paper is intended for those who are involved in developing and promoting IRs. The outcome of the paper is to stimulate thought and to contribute to the dialog on the topic of how IRs impact reference librarian roles and careers.

Publication Date



This is the post-print of an article published by Emerald. Copyright 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. The final, published version can be located here: https://doi.org/10.1108/00907320510611320

Additional identifier, ISBN: 1-84544-600-3 ISSN:0090-7324 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

The Wallace Center


RIT – Main Campus