Volume 27, Number 1, Spring 2005

IMLS Announces National Research Study on the Future of Librarians in the Workforce

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced an award of $994,369 to the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill for a national research study on the future of librarians in the workforce. The principal investigator, Dr. Jose-Marie Griffiths, was recently appointed Dean of the School of Information and Library Science at UNC.

The two-year study will identify the nature of anticipated labor shortages in the library and information science (LIS) field over the next decade; assess the number and types of library and information science jobs that will become available in the U.S. either through retirement or new job creation; determine the skills that will be required to fill such vacancies; and recommend effective approaches to recruiting and retaining workers to fill them. Project reports will include: The Current LIS Workforce; Outlook for the LIS Workforce: 2006-2016; Outlook and Opportunities for LIS Education: 2006-2016; Why Libraries? The Importance and Value of Libraries; and, Information Professionals: Survey of an Evolving Field. The anticipated long-term outcomes include better tools for workforce planning and management, better match of demand and supply, and improved recruitment and retention of librarians.

Dr. Robert Martin, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, said, "We are pleased to make this award to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the leading schools of library and information science. Dr. Griffiths is an internationally recognized researcher and scholar in information and library science, and we believe that her leadership of this major research project will be of enormous value to the library profession."

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities. The Institute fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation's 15,000 museums and 122,000 libraries. The Institute also encourages partnerships to expand the educational benefit of libraries and museums.