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.
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 (email@example.com,@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
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
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.
- 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’.
Since the end of May my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan and I have been investigating the long-term impact of the AHRC-funded DREaM project (for which I was Principal Investigator in 2011 and 2012), and the forms that such impact has taken.
As part of this work we have been considering what ‘impact’ means in the context of library and information science (LIS), and how this relates to conceptions of the term in other domains where there is a perceived research-practice gap, such as policing, social work and nursing. This first part of the study has been based on an analysis of the extant literature. We intend to write this up as a review paper.
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.
Given that I am currently leading a research project to map the UK workforce in library, archives, records, information and knowledge management sectors, I was interested to come across some results of a recent YouGov survey yesterday. These claim that the job of librarian is the ‘second most desirable’ in Britain. Is this really the case, and (if so) why?