Librarian skills in the 21st century workplace: the development, running and analysis of a training scheme for non-traditional library work contexts
Contributor(s)Underwood, Peter G.
Library employment opportunity
Training of librarians
Library education (Continuing education)
Fieldwork (Educational methods)
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractResearch suggests that recently graduated librarians are failing to find work in the traditional library context and consequently are seeking employment in related fields; also that internships are recognized as a valuable component of professional training, that students find them useful in developing skills, with demand outstripping supply. This study consisted of setting up, running, and analyzing an experimental intern training programme for MLS students outside the traditional library context. Its aims were to : i) Develop and manage an intern training programme (ITP) specifically focused on mentoring recent graduates and students in the application of their library skills in a non-library work context; ii) Use this model to facilitate students and recent graduates in transferring their library skills to a non-library work context; iii) Gauge whether participants found the ITP effective in preparing them for finding work – either in a traditional library or outside the traditional library setting. Through setting up this programme and running it since 2013, this study has made a primarily applied contribution to the discipline. In this written component of the study the researcher offers the documentation of the programme as a live case study analysed using a combination of tools including surveys, interviews and both qualitative and quantitative methods. Findings show that interns expect to use internships in the job searching process; that they expect to acquire new skills not developed on their MLS programmes; that they would still prefer traditional library jobs but that they expect their careers to involve non-traditional work contexts. Related to this, participants believe the internship has raised awareness of a wider range of suitable jobs. This indicates that they see the nature of librarianship changing – something reinforced by the way they believe librarianship is evolving through, for example, integrating social media into the role of the librarian. This study and its findings contributes to raising awareness in the library sector of the changing nature of the world of work for the next generation of librarians and, in turn, contribute to MLS programmes by indicating how they may adapt as the 21st century workplace continues to evolve.
D. Litt et Phil. (Information Science)