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Type: Journal article
Title: Professional development in the South Australian library and information services sector: an examination of current trends, needs and opportunities
Author: Pamment, M.
Citation: Library Management, 2008; 29(8/9):657-670
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0143-5124
Department: University Library : Barr Smith Library
Statement of
Terri Pamment
Abstract: Purpose – In a climate of under employment and perceived lack of upward career opportunities for new graduates, this study explores the role of professional development (PD) in assisting established and new Library and Information Services’ (LIS) practitioners to update and extend their knowledge and skills. Design/methodology/approach - Three methods of data collection have been used: literature review, content analysis of job descriptions and interviews. Findings – The literature identifies PD as an integral part of being professional and a review of job advertisements indicates an employer demand for a wide range of generic skills in addition to library specific skills. Interviews with LIS practitioners and graduates determines PD is a useful tool in expanding knowledge and skills, with evidence of a generational difference in needs. Research limitations/implications The study is limited to a research sample of ten persons and was conducted in the calendar year of 2006. Volunteers were recruited with the aim to discuss their PD activities, therefore it is a reasonable assumption that all participants would have some commitment to PD. Although this study has identified that some employers require generic skills at a high level a study comparing job advertisement requirements with the skills of successful applicants may give a truer indication of the current skills level of the 21st century LIS worker. Originality / value – This study offers a snapshot of generic skills required in the twenty-first century Library and Information Services industry. It identifies how, in a depressed labour market, PD can be an useful tool to assist established practitioners and new graduates to remain current, competitive and to fulfill basic professional requirements. The generational approaches to PD offers an useful insight into meeting the wants and needs of work.
Keywords: Libraries; professional education; information services; Australia
Rights: © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
RMID: 0020083214
DOI: 10.1108/01435120810917288
Appears in Collections:Library reports and papers

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