Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Future of Librarians in the Workforce

The OCLC Library and Information Center received an e-mail yesterday letting us know we'd been selected to be part of a study on the future of librarians in the workforce. The principal investigator for the study is Dr. Jose Marie-Griffiths, whom I was privileged to know when we were both working in Michigan. She is now the dean of the School of Library and Information Science at UNC Chapel Hill. The survey is funded by IMLS and supported by SLA, the Special Libraries Association. (The Library is part of my portfolio at OCLC.)

This sounds like a fascinating project. The survey is intended to give us some ideas about the staffing and service needs of libraries over the next 10 to 15 years. The project will survey (or at least attempt to survey---your cooperation will be invaluable in this) 40,000 libraries to assess, in the words of the e-mail, "trends in services provided, functions performed, and competency requirements." The survey will be split into sections with different libraries being asked subsets of the questions to reduce the burden on each participant. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that OCLC VP of Marketing and Library Services Cathy DeRosa is on the advisory panel for the project.

This is the kind of study that can affect the field for years: our education programs, our hiring decisions, our relationships with other institutions. If your library is selected to participate, I hope you'll take the time to answer the survey fully and honestly.

1 comment:

Eric said...

N.B. in the June 2006 (#246) issue of A Bimonthly Report on Research Library Issues and Actions from ARL, CNI, and SPARC there is an article on The Future of Librarians in the US Workforce project and some items about workforce diversity in ARL libraries.