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

 

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

Tackling gender inequality from the classroom to the boardroom: workshop preview

Pirate or princess?

A pirate princess gender stereotype compromise?

  • Why do we continue to see gender stereotyping in education?
  • What is the impact of such gender stereotyping on the labour market?
  • How does gender stereotyping limit career opportunities for individuals?
  • What are the wider impacts of gender stereotyping on society at large?
  • Which approaches work best in achieving sustained change with respect to gender imbalance in educational settings and the workplace?

These questions will be addressed at a half-day workshop on tackling gender inequality, hosted by the Employment Research Institute (ERI) at Edinburgh Napier University from 10:00-13:00 on Tuesday 10th May 2016. The discussions will take into account recent research on gender imbalances in education and key sectors of the economy undertaken at the ERI. Continue reading

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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Applications invited for PhD studentship: Enhancing the capacity for workplace learning and innovation in Scotland

We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. The studentship is advertised on the Edinburgh Napier University vacancies web site, and on jobs.ac.uk. The title of the study is Enhancing the capacity for workplace learning and innovation in Scotland.

  • Applications are due by Monday 20th April 2015.
  • Interviews are planned for Thursday 14th May 2015.
  • The studentship will start on Thursday 1st October 2015.

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