Workforce analysis of the Northern Territory library and information sector

  • Christine Yvonne Ruzic

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU

    Abstract

    This paper is an exploratory study that seeks to extend the knowledge of available information on the library and information services workforce of the Northern Territory. The study describes staffing levels, age profiles, turnover rates and evaluates recruitment and training needs to ensure the future workforce's demands are adequately met.

    Discussion of the workforce's supply, demand and training characteristics are based on results of a workforce planning questionnaire that was distributed in late 1998. The conceptual framework of the questionnaire was developed by UNESCO and has been used in a number of countries. For use in the NT, the questionnaire required few changes, thus ensuring consistency of data within the industry and allowing analysis and comparison with previous studies.

    The results described a workforce with: over 60% of positions requiring accredited library qualifications; over 50% of arrivals at the professional level being recruited from outside the Northern Territory library and information services workforce; and a lack of opportunity for career path development for paraprofessional staff. While coping with unprecedented change there was an optimistic outlook for growth in staffing in the medium term future.

    A number of contradictions appeared in the study that require further individual research: different types of libraries run the risk of future professional staffing shortages, particularly school and public libraries; the data also suggested that 'underemployment' exists - a situation where trained staff are unable to obtain positions at an appropriate level, and accept positions intended for people with a lower level of training or experience; and males and young people are not being attracted into the profession.
    Date of AwardFeb 1999
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSajid Anwar (Supervisor)

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