Diversity and equality in libraries: as services, as workplaces

In general, libraries are considered as inclusive institutions, where all users expect to receive the same level of service regardless of personal characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation or social class.

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Poster presentation in Copenhagen: Mapping the UK Information Workforce at #asist2016

Heering Copenhagen

Some colour under a cold grey sky in Copenhagen

I’ve been in Copenhagen since the end of last week, participating at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology. I’ve been enjoying the presentations – from Greg Welch‘s keynote on telepresence to Debbie Rabina‘s account of research of prisoners’ information needs examined through discourse analysis – and catching up with colleagues from around the world.

There’s some really interesting work being conducted in Information Science across the globe, and I’ve learnt about some tempting job opportunities too. For example, if you’re functionally bilingual in English and French, and looking for a tenure-track position in North America, the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies – l’École des sciences de l’information (ÉSIS) – is hoping to recruit an Associate Professor who can make contributions to teaching and research in  library and information management. Do contact Mary Cavanagh (mary.cavanagh@uottawa.ca,@mfcavanagh) if this is of interest to you. I’ve also managed to play tourist a little with a short visit the city (in the cold and grey) on Sunday morning with my Finnish colleague Gunilla Widen. Continue reading

Demographics of the UK information professions: fact sheets published by CILIP and ARA

This week the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Archives and Records Association (ARA) published a series of 24 fact sheets on the demography of the UK workforce in libraries, archives, records, information management, and knowledge management. The data, presented in the fact sheets by sector and region, derive from the findings of the Workforce Mapping Project.

This project was completed in 2014/15 by an Edinburgh Napier University team that comprised three staff from the Centre for Social Informatics (Hazel Hall, Christine Irving and Bruce Ryan) and three from the Employment Research Institute (Robert Raeside, Tao Chen and Matthew Dutton). In November 2015 CILIP and ARA used data from the final project report to publish the headline findings from the study. Continue reading

Research impact from LISResearch.org to LISResearch.org.au #LISRAproject

LIS Research Coalition DREaM RiLIES logosBetween 2009 and 2012 I led the implementation of the UK’s Library and Information Science Research Coalition. The broad mission of the Coalition was to facilitate a coordinated and strategic approach to Library and Information Science (LIS) research across the UK, strengthening links between LIS researchers and LIS practitioners, and between research and practice. This was achieved through the activities of the Coalition as a whole, and its ‘daughter’ projects: Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM), and the two-part Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study. Continue reading

Who is the ‘typical’ UK information worker? Headline findings of the CILIP/ARA Workforce Mapping Project

Workforce Mapping Project executive summary

The executive summary is available from the CILIP web site

Last week the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Archives and Records Association (ARA) held a launch event in London. Here an executive summary of the Workforce Mapping Project, with which I have been heavily involved over the past 15 months, was presented. The summary distributed at the launch notes key findings of the study.

These include:

  • The estimated size of the UK workforce in the Library, Archives, Records, Information Management, and Knowledge Management professions is 86,376.
  • Women dominate the workforce (78.1% of the workforce is female, and 21.9% male), yet earn less than men, and are not so well represented in senior management positions.
  • The workforce is highly qualified: 61.4% hold postgraduate academic qualifications.
  • The workforce is ageing: 55.3% of its members are over 45 years of age. (The equivalent figure for the UK workforce as a whole is 41.1%.)
  • There is low ethnic diversity in the workforce: 96.7% identify as ‘white’.

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More men wanted – to complete the Workforce Mapping Project survey

Workforce mapping project banner
The Workforce Mapping Project survey is found at http://bit.ly/workforcemap

The Workforce Mapping Project survey closes at the end of the month on Thursday 30th April. The Edinburgh Napier project team is keen to encourage those who work within the UK in roles associated with libraries, archives, records, information, and knowledge management, and who have not already done so, to make their contributions to the study.

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Put yourself on the map: complete the Workforce Mapping Project survey

Workforce mapping project bannerThe Workforce Mapping Project survey is live at http://bit.ly/workforcemap

This is a call to workers in the library, archives, records, information, and knowledge management sector to contribute to a research project by completing a short survey. If you work in this sector, please read on to learn more about the project and how you can contribute to it.

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