Our future – as the 21st century library and information workforce – is intrinsically linked to our ability to innovate, initiate and inspire. Can workforce planning help us get there?

Hallam, Gillian C. (2007) Our future – as the 21st century library and information workforce – is intrinsically linked to our ability to innovate, initiate and inspire. Can workforce planning help us get there? In Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) National Library and Information Technicians Conference 2007, 9-12 October 2007, Melbourne.


The challenges facing us are great: the themes of this conference highlight how digital technologies and social change are impacting on both our working environment and on the communities we serve. The expectations of our stakeholders – our customers and clients, our managers and our funding bodies – are changing rapidly. Our ability to respond to the complex demands placed upon us by this myriad of stakeholders and to demonstrate our true value requires us to have the aptitudes to be nimble, flexible and adaptable. Can we achieve this, at both the institutional and personal levels?
If we believe that our future journey requires innovation, initiation and inspiration, then we need to ensure that we have the capacity not only to retain our talented leaders, but also to inspire others to become committed to professional development to ensure the workforce truly embodies the knowledge, skills and attributes required for a strong and vibrant future. Importantly, we need to have strategies to attract new people to the library and information sector and to scaffold and support their career aspirations. The people we recruit and retain must be able to embrace change and diversity. A propensity to stick to the tried and true is counterproductive – innovation will only be stifled. The proposed paper reviews the findings of the neXus research project (supported by ALIA, QUT and CAVAL) which sought to better understand the characteristics of the current library and information workforce in Australia, drawing specifically on the survey responses from library and information technicians. While the paper presents an analysis of the data that is of immediate relevance to the paraprofessional workforce, it also challenges us to consider the implications of the findings. Workforce planning is a critical factor in determining our future, whether seen from the institutional perspective of the current and future staffing needs or from the individual perspective of career planning.

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ID Code: 11677
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Librarianship, Librarians, Information professionals, Workforce planning
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Librarianship (080706)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Australian Library and Information Association
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:34

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