Occupations and preoccupations of the Australian library profession: An analysis of job advertisements and professional literature

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Abstract

The aim of this paper was to find out how knowledge and skills in demand by libraries compare with librarians’ preoccupations and aspirations. Two sets of data were analysed using content analysis. A) 972 criteria in 127 Australian library-related job advertisements (from 2021) were coded against ALIA’s Foundation knowledge for entry-level library and information professionals. B) 465 articles published in INCITE (an Australian professional LIS magazine) from 2018 to 2020 were mapped against the framework afforded by the IFLA Trend Report 2019 Update. From the ten domains in ALIA’s foundation knowledge, behavioural skills were the most sought domain in the job advertisements (84.3% of advertisements), followed by those of leadership and management (58.3%), digital technologies (49.6%), and literacies and learning (22%). Professionalism (5.5%) and research (14.2%) were the least sought domains. Of the three key trends identified by IFLA, the top preoccupation in the professional literature was found to be ‘dealing with uncertainty’ (60.2% of articles). This is the first study to analyse both job advertisements and professional literature and map them against expected professional competencies and the sector’s emerging trends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-250
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of the Australian Library and Information Association
Volume72
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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