Defining the UK information worker: the CILIP/ARA Workforce Mapping Project #lib_research17

Senator William McMaster, founder of McMaster University

William McMaster

Yesterday I delivered a presentation about social media research undertaken by staff and students within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University (slides available on SildeShare) at McMaster University.

Today I am returning to campus to contribute to the McMaster Library Research Symposium 2017.

At this event I will be relating the main findings of the CILIP/ARA Workforce Mapping Project completed in 2014/15, and the impact of the work to date. The slides for my presentation are available on SlideShare, and below.

 

In the presentation I will first explain the purpose of the research: to enhance the understanding of the UK’s workforce in Library, Archives, Records, Information, Knowledge Management, and related professional roles. Then I will introduce the project team – myself, Christine Irving and Dr Bruce Ryan of the Centre for Social Informatics, and Professor Robert Raeside, Dr Matthew Dutton and Dr Tao Chen of Edinburgh Napier’s Employment Research Institute – and outline the two main project phases of this ‘ambitious project’.

I will then draw attention to some of the main findings from the analysis of data supplied in 9,103 usable survey returns:

  • The estimated population of information workers is 86,376 people, 21.6% of whom work in higher education, and 12.6% in public libraries, and 59.4% in libraries
  • The majority of the workforce works in England, with high proportion in London (22.6%) and the south east (19.4%)
  • The nation with the highest proportion of senior roles is England (8%, as opposed to 7.5% in Wales, 7.3%, and 3% in Northern Ireland)
  • The workforce is well qualified: 61.4% hold postgraduate qualifications (and 57.2% hold professional qualifications, and 53.6% hold professional memberships)
  • When compared with the general working population information workers appear to be well paid – but this conclusion need to be treated with caution given that this workforce is highly qualified, and there is evidence of long service and low pay
  • The highest earners are professionally qualified men, who hold professional memberships, work in Records, Information and Knowledge Management, and are based in commerce, business, higher education, national libraries, and law
  • The workforce is dominated by women (78.1%) – yet women earn less than men, and are less likely to hold senior roles
  • There is low ethnic diversity in the workforce: 96.7% identified as ‘white’ (the UK figure as a whole at the time of the study was 87.5%)
  • The workforce is ageing: 55.3% is over 45 years of age (the UK figure as a whole at the time of the study was 41.1%)

In the second part of the presentation I will consider the impact of the project. Initial press interest in the findings focussed on the issues of (1) low ethnic diversity and (2) the gender pay gap. The media also noted CILIP’s call for a National Library and Skills Strategy, which was made at the time of the project launch.

Not long after the completion of the project, in March 2016, its findings contributed to a Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) consultation on the future of public libraries, with a commitment to a Public Library Skills Strategy. Such a strategy was published last month in July 2017. A further ‘external’ impact of the work has been the impetus for additional research in the domain, such as a Masters study on the reception of the project findings related to diversity.

CILIP has used the project findings internally for a number of purposes:

  1. Policy development, for example to inform its business plan and targets for growth, its Workforce Development Strategy, and its Equalities and Diversity Action Plan
  2. Marketing in general, for example some project data is now included in the standard slide deck that CILIP staff use in presentations
  3. Marketing of membership and qualifications, for example the project data has informed decisions on regions and sectors to target

 

Research into social media practices and social media practices for research

Downtown Toronto

Downtown Toronto last Friday

I’m currently working in Canada, where I am a guest of McMaster University, hosted by Dr Brian Detlor.

This week, amongst other activities at McMaster, I am delivering two invited papers. The first paper, which I am presenting twice to two different audiences on Monday 14th August, is about social media research undertaken by staff and students within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. The slides for this presentation are available on SildeShare and below.

Continue reading

Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017 review #i3rgu

CSI staff Peter Cruickshank, Dr Laura Muir, Professor Hazel Hall & Visiting Professor Brian Detlor at #i3RGU

Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Peter Cruickshank, Dr Laura Muir, Professor Hazel Hall & Visiting Professor Brian Detlor gather at #i3RGU

Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017 took place at Robert Gordon University at the end of last month from Tuesday June 27th until Friday June 30th 2017, with a packed programme for delegates who had travelled to Aberdeen from across the world. As in previous years, staff and research students from the Centre for Social Informatics (who didn’t have too far to travel) enjoyed participating at the event. We delivered a total of nine papers, as summarised in the table below. Continue reading

Congratulations Lyndsey Jenkins: awarded a John Campbell Trust travel bursary

Lyndsey Jenkins

Lyndsey Jenkins

Many congratulations to Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Lyndsey Jenkins on the award of a John Campbell Trust travel bursary.

Lyndsey will use the bursary later this year to support a visit to Turku, Finland, where she will gather case study data for her ESRC-funded doctoral study on workplace learning and innovative work behaviours. Professor Gunilla Widén, and other members of the Information Studies group at Åbo Akademi University, will host Lyndsey’s visit. Lyndsey also intends to deliver a seminar presentation on her study while she is with Gunilla’s team.

The John Campbell Trust was established as an independent charitable trust through the bequest of the late Dr John Campbell. Campbell was an early member of the Institute of Information Scientists. The trust is administered by a body of Trustees under the chairmanship of Professor Adrienne Muir (Robert Gordon University). The purpose of the Trust is to further the education and development of information professionals through grants, scholarships, research or travel awards, to enhance the knowledge and experience of the information community as a whole.

A successful CPCI symposium #CPCINapier #ELIS

#CPCINapier bannerResearchers with interests in Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS) and information behaviours in online environments gathered at the Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart campus for the Connecting People, Connecting Ideas (CPCI) symposium last month on 22nd June 2017. The event was organised by Frances Ryan, with assistance from colleagues in Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Social Informatics. Continue reading

Skills in sight: how social media affordances increase network awareness #ECKM2017

Iris Buunk

Presenter Iris Buunk

The 18th European Conference on Knowledge Management (#ECKM2017) takes place this year in Barcelona at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) on 7th and 8th September. ECKM is the longest running academic conference on knowledge management in Europe, attended by academics and practitioners from 40+ countries eager to engage in the packed conference programme.

With my colleagues Iris Buunk and Dr Colin F Smith, I am co-author of one of the papers to be presented at the conference: ‘Skills in sight: how social media affordances increase network awareness’. Continue reading