The role of library and information professionals is to find, share and connect. To connect people with ideas, books, information, knowledge, resources and the broader community. Library services enable discovery and innovative thinking, and, as information professionals, we are trusted guides. In a global knowledge economy, our information skills have never been more important.
In 2010 the ALIA Special Library Advisory Committee (SLAC) determined to undertake a statistical study of special libraries in Australia.
The purpose of the study was to enable ALIA, special libraries members and employers (management) to gain a better understanding of the current state of specialist information services in Australia.
Health libraries across Australia, and indeed the world, are under pressure from funding cuts, and it is against this backdrop that Health Libraries Inc and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) have collaborated to carry out this investigation into the value of health library and information services in Australia.
There are some 1,505 public library service points across Australia, including 1,429 fixed point and 76 mobile libraries. These services are funded by local and state or territory government in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, and by the State Government in Tasmania and the ACT Government in Canberra.
All of the ALIA members want to know what the future holds for library and information services. Of course, it is impossible to predict in exact terms, but using global trends, early indicators and futurist thinking to develop themes can guide the discussion about where it might be headed. For the purpose of this discussion paper, ALIA has looked at the broad role of library and information services, and specific circumstances relating to school, public, academic and special libraries, and collecting institutions.
This document summarises how people who work in the library and information field want the new Australian Government to engage with library and information services during its term of office. In the run up to the federal election, we will be lobbying for The Library and Information Agenda – four themes and 10 items which we believe are essential for promoting literacy, enabling citizens to be well informed, supporting socially inclusive communities and contributing to the success of Australia as a knowledgebased economy.
This report presents the background and rationale to the collaborative research project, which was born from the fundamental belief that there was a nexus, a deep connection, or indeed a series of connections, between education, curriculum, recruitment, retention, training and development that was necessary to sustain and develop the LIS workforce in Australia.
This report gives educators, employers and students greater clarity about the education and employment landscape in Australia in 2014. In 2014, there were 26 institutions delivering 39 ALIA accredited courses around Australia. There were approximately 4,800 students studying for an LIS qualification every year, 25% through higher education, 75% through VET. LIS workers were significantly older, with the median age between six and 10 years higher, compared with all occupations. In the last five years, there has been a 22.5% drop in the number of Librarian positions in the workforce.
This report concludes that baby boomer retirees from the LIS sector are creating the job opportunities for graduates and other entrants to the LIS job market. Educators are in a challenging period, but this isn't restricted to the LIS sector. Data shows that more employers are recruiting candidates without LIS qualification to provide frontline services. ALIA's aim is the encourage non-LIS professionals employed in the sector to study for LIS qualifications or at least gain a better understanding of the library environment by joining ALIA’s proficiency recognition program.