Abstract

The purpose of this article is to document the demographic characteristics of the library and information science (LIS) workforce and to discuss the implications of these findings for education and workforce planning. Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science 1 (WILIS 1) is a collaborative research partnership of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and the University of North Carolina Institute on Aging, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its Librarians for the 21st Century Program. Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science 1 (WILIS 1) is a comprehensive study of the career patterns of graduates of LIS programs in North Carolina since 1964. This article examines data from 1,903 working LIS graduate respondents. The results of this study suggest that the LIS workforce is predominantly female, underrepresented in terms of race/ethnic minorities, and consists of slightly older workers than the workforce overall. Comparisons of earnings reveal a substantial wage gap between the males and females in the sample (men earn more). We also find significant race, sex, and gender differences in factors that motivated respondents to enter an LIS program and qualities of jobs that respondents find desirable. Based on these findings, we suggest the following strategies to increasing diversity: (1) focus efforts on recruiting race/ethnic minorities to the LIS profession; (2) structure LIS jobs to accommodate the needs of women workers; and (3) plan for and accommodate the large segment of older and retiring workers.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0682
Print ISSN
0024-2594
Pages
pp. 192-214
Launched on MUSE
2010-03-18
Open Access
No
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