Back to where we get library staff from. And thank you Jenelle Cleary, who took notes at the session that Indra Kurzeme and I ran at the recent Melbourne Unconference, on the future library workforce. This is maybe the major topics of discussion amongst Australian librarians at present.
For Victorians, Gillian Hallam was in town last week, speaking about the library workforce at the State Library of Victoria. It is interesting that some of the main issues she has pulled out of the joint study she is doing with CAVAL also resonated with the Unconference group that met a few weeks earlier. Some of those issues were:
- Boundaries are blurring between libraries and other occupations, like IT, with big implications for the cohesion of our profession
- There is now a wide range of possible qualifications ranging from certificates (both TAFE and graduate certificates) to postgraduate masters degrees, and they are being offered by a wide range of faculties and disciplines too.
- The impression people receive is that there are not many opportunities for employment for new graduates, and there are different perceptions of why this might be the case.
- The role of our professional association in course recognition needs to be considered.
Our session on the library workforce at the Unconference also highlighted issues about our brand as librarians. The brand does not serve to attract people - why is that? Accountants have recently been through a rebranding exercise. Maybe there is a need to create and foster a coherent and attractive image of what we do. It doesn't mean a total re-brand, just a more engaging picture.
My last post on these issues brought out several comments, and it is clearly a major issue for us. Any more comments?