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LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE UTILIZATION A STATEMENT OF POLICY

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In 1999 the 1st Congress on Professional Education created four task forces. Task Force #4, Personnel Stratification, now Library Career Pathways, was charged with the review of the means, methods, and expectations for entry into the library professions.

Early in their work, the Task Force reviewed a policy statement entitled, “Library Education and Personnel Utilization” which the Council of the American Library Association adopted on June 30, 1970. This ALA policy document appeared in need of some, but remarkably little revision, given its age. The Library Career Pathways Task Force updated the statement, incorporating a more current view of librarianship and its partner professions.

********************************************************** Major revisions to the document include:

  • The substitution of Library and Information Studies and the inclusion of the title Specialist where the terms Library Education, Librarianship, and Library Assistant/Technical Assistant have previously appeared;

  • The recognition that the Library and Information Studies realm of practice includes several professions at various levels of entry;

  • The acceptance of support staff as integral contributors to and participants in the Library professions;

  • A statement encouraging professional preparation which would include a broad educational background for study in the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences, over preference to a narrowly defined, specialized field of study.

The document continues to demonstrate several points of career entry at levels from high school graduation through the Masters level, considered the terminal degree for professional practice. Qualifications and expectations at all levels are described in narrative form, and through the means of a graphic “Career Lattice”.

The statement on career development and continuous learning draws a distinct difference between the individual responsibility for professional development expected of librarians and specialists, and library managers’ responsibility for providing access to continuous learning for support staff contributors.

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