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Age diversity in the U.S. library workforce is a contemporary issue that reflects the large number of generational cohorts currently present in the labor pool. Despite predictions of workplace turnover, older generations are working past the traditional age of retirement, contributing to the unprecedented field of experience in the library workplace (Munde, 2010). Complicating this age diversity, studies indicate that generational difference can contribute to workplace conflict between employees of different generations (Cogin, 2012). This issue is felt acutely by medical librarians due to specialized knowledge and traditionally small staffing models.

This intergenerational diversity plays out in many ways, but is felt acutely in interoffice communication as different generational cohorts interact. When properly utilized, the great diversity of experience amongst medical librarians can be harnessed to foster greater communication and interplay between medical library employees. However, first the complexities of intergenerational communication must be understood.

The purpose of this study was to review the existing literature on intergenerational workplace communication among librarians and other front facing service employees, with the goal of identifying trends or research pertaining to medical or health sciences library employees. Our hypothesis is that there is no current literature on intergenerational communication among health information professionals, demonstrating a need for further study in this area.


Presented at the Medical Library Association Annual Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA, presented on May 20, 2018.