Last month, I received an email stating that a post graduate course, Master of Information Management course, will not be run anymore. Australian Library and Information Association investigated the value of the courses offered by the Library and Information Sector and to strengthen the value of the courses has arrived at this conclusion.
As I had just skimmed and scanned the email which requested all the students of the library and information course at Curtin University to join a club to represent the case, I became panic stricken and wondered what value the course I was currently pursuing would have as far as the job market is concerned. I thought about the subjects I had the opportunity of studying as part of Graduate Diploma in Information and Library Sector and realized that the courses prepared students for various jobs related to the LIS. There is no way the course would not have any value in the future not with Management in Information Services, Collection Management, Conservation and Preservation, Resource Description and Access, Reference Services, Information Literacy, Postgraduate in Information Design and Postgraduate Information design being on the enrolment list.
Public Libraries, University and Private libraries offer positions such as Collection librarians, Liaison librarians, Research and Reference Librarians besides the Specialist Lifelong learning, Coordinators and Branch Manager’s positions. Galleries, Museums and Archives offer the roles of Digital Archivist, Records and Information managers, Metadata librarians/ professionals, Project Managers, Cataloguing Coordinators/deliverers/management officers, News librarians (Media like SBS) Curators, Library officers, community museum officers, Senior Library Developer, conservation managers and officers, preservation advisers and supervisors etc. Employment opportunities is what decides the value of the course for majority of the students who are prospective job seekers.
With council’s continual planning to expand to cater to the needs of the ever increasing population of the suburbs that come under its jurisdiction, hundreds and thousands of original paper records containing information about land, roads, public facilities, buildings, parks etc., which are fragile and have not been digitized for a period of 25, 50, 70 years etc., have to be preserved in the digitized form mandatorily for various reasons. Besides long term preservation depending upon the value the records have for future generations, the need to free more space in the archives to accommodate new records, to protect old vital records from risks such as loss, destruction etc., and to improve business and staff efficiency creates new job opportunities for GD-INFLIB graduates in the councils for projects such as back-capture digitization, labelling and classification etc. Here is a short talk about the future of libraries and librarians which could change the way people think about these outdated institutions.