Who are Australia's information educators?

Helen Partridge, Philip Hider, Sally Burford, Leonie Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In recent years, there has been considerable discussion of the challenges facing the future of information education in Australia. This paper reports a study that explored the characteristics and experiences of Australia's information educators. The study was undertaken as part of a larger project, which was designed to establish a consolidated and holistic picture of the Australian information profession and identify how its future education could be mediated in a cohesive and sustainable manner. Sixty-nine of Australia's information educators completed an online questionnaire that gathered data on aspects such as age, gender, rank, qualifications, work activities and job satisfaction. The key findings from this study confirm that a number of pressing issues are confronting information educators in Australia. For example, Australia's information educators are considerably older than that of the total Australian academic workforce; over half the information educators who participated in the study are looking to retire in the next 10 years; and Australia's information educators spend more time on service activities than members of other disciplines within Australia's education system and place a stronger importance on teaching over research. Left unaddressed, these issues will have significant implications for the future of information education as well as the broader information profession. Many of the key observations drawn from this study may also have relevance to other disciplines in the Australian educational context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-291
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Library Journal
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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