Library and Information Studies and Human Resource Utilization*
A Statement of Policy Adopted by the Council of the American Library Association, January 23, 2002.**
*The policy statement adopted by ALA with the title Library Education and Manpower. In the spring of 1976, the Office for Library Personnel Resources Advisory Committee edited this statement to remove sexist terminology. This version of the statement includes changes recommended by the Library Career Pathways Taskforce in January of 2002 and is offered to the ALA Council for their adoption at the 2002 Midwinter meeting. From January through December 2001, the statement was offered to the library community for comment.
**Throughout this statement, wherever the term "librarianship" is used, it is meant to be read in its broadest sense as encompassing the relevant concepts of information science and documentation; wherever the term "libraries" is used, the term refers to public, academic, corporate, medical and other special libraries; current models of media centers, learning centers, educational resources centers, information, documentation, and referral centers are also assumed. To avoid the necessity of repeating the entire gamut of variations and expansions, the traditional library terminology is employed in its most inclusive meaning.
1. The purpose of the policy statement is to recommend categories of library personnel, and levels of training and education appropriate to the preparation of personnel for these categories, which will support the highest standards of library service for all kinds of libraries and the most effective use of the variety of skills and qualifications needed to provide it.
2. The phrase “library and information studies” is understood to be concerned with recordable information and knowledge and the services and technologies to facilitate their management and use. Library and information studies encompasses information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management.
3. To meet the goals of library service, both professional and supportive staff are needed in libraries. Thus, the library occupation is much broader than that segment of it which is the library profession, but the library profession has responsibility for defining the training and education required for the preparation of personnel who work in libraries at any level, supportive or professional.
4. Skills other than those of librarianship also have an important contribution to make to the achievement of superior library service. There should be equal recognition in both the professional and supportive ranks for those individuals whose expertise contributes to the effective performance of the library.
5. A constant effort must be made to promote the most effective utilization of personnel at all levels, both professional and supportive. The tables in Figure 1 suggest a set of categories which illustrate a means for achieving this end.