Future perfect – will we have made it? Workforce planning issues in the library and information sector

Hallam, Gillian C. (2006) Future perfect – will we have made it? Workforce planning issues in the library and information sector. In ALIA 2006 Biennial Conference: Click06, 19-22 September, Perth, Australia.


While the impact of the shortage of doctors makes front page news and political parties promote rival strategies to increase the number of apprenticeships for the trades, to date little attention has been paid to the workforce challenges that the library and information profession will inevitably face in the next five to ten years. As business and governments focus ever more keenly on knowledge and innovation as key drivers for social and economic development, library managers must consider their ability to recruit, retain and develop the talented and committed workforce needed to contribute to this dynamic information environment.

While anecdotal evidence indicates that the ageing workforce will lead to staff shortages, the problem is compounded by the changing skill set that librarians need in the Information Age. What are the predictions for potential labour shortages, what types of jobs will be available through the combined factors of the retirement of workers and the creation of new jobs, what is the skill set required for current and future jobs? Critically, the future of the library profession in Australia requires a more strategic approach to workforce planning and career development in an increasingly competitive employment market.

This paper reports on a current project, coordinated by Queensland University of Technology in conjunction with ALIA and CAVAL, which aims to foster an awareness of the importance of workforce planning and to develop a collaborative framework for career long learning for the library profession, bringing together employers, educators, trainers and individual practitioners.

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ID Code: 5225
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: librarianship, workforce planning, career development
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 2006 Gillian C. Hallam
Deposited On: 06 Oct 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:24

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