What Do They Want? A Study of Changing Employer Expectations of Information Professionals.

Mary Anne Kennan, Patricia Willard, N. S. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study of position vacant announcements appropriate for library and information studies (LIS) graduates appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald over a four week period in each of the following years: 2004, 1994, 1984 and 1974. The period studied witnessed change-demanding developments in information technologies as well as changes in workplace conditions and client expectations. The study collected data on the demands of employers as expressed through job advertisements that included data on work status (full-time, part-time, contract, casual), qualifications and the experience required of the information professional at the selected timeslots. To investigate similarities and differences between periods a content analysis and co-word analysis of the job advertisements was undertaken. The ads indicated a movement from simple advertisements in 1974 inviting applications for reference or technical services librarians, to complex and specialised positions being advertised in 2004 where the most called for attributes were interpersonal skills and behavioural characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-37
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Academic and Research Libraries
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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