I guess you are wondering: what are the issues for a library workforce summit? And, what library workforce summit? The library workforce summit will be after Easter, 2008. Here are the main issues which we have identified
- The skills and attributes required by employers
- Recruitment - getting and keeping the best people
- Defining the scope of the "library and information" sphere
- The qualifications we should require of new librarians
- The role of ALIA in relation to the library workforce
There may be some agreement that many of the questions about the future library workforce are in fact existential questions, rather than simple issues like what training is required, which credentials, what attributes and skills do employers seek, and the like. In other words, who are we, as much as questions like - what should we be able to do? Not that the other issues are irrelevant, just that there is a dependency.
There is also a long-held belief that most library skills are learned on the job, and that it is the role of professional education to establish an identity and an orientation, as well as introducing the person to the existence and outline of a variety of relevant disciplines. But most librarians learn most of their skills by doing them. I did, anyway.
Let me know what you think.