This research paper describes the results of a survey of specialist UK library and information sector (LIS) employment agencies concerning employability of library and information management (LIM) graduates and introduces the follow‐up actions that are being undertaken to create new teaching materials that address their concerns.
A survey of four UK specialist employment agencies was undertaken in 2005 using semi‐structured interview schedules. The aim was to identify the various specific employability areas that recruiters felt were needed for 11 LIM sectors. Quantitative research of individual employers has been undertaken previously, but it was felt that agencies had a unique perspective of sector requirements. This was followed by visits to LIM academic departments to discuss whether the results matched the perceptions of academic staff.
It was clear that different LIM sectors had different emphasises in terms of the employability skills required. Second, the LIM departments visited also identified the desire to address gaps in provision of employability skills within curricula.
The survey was a snapshot of perceptions in early 2005. The employment market is a fast‐changing environment and further follow‐up surveys annually might be valuable to establish trend lines. The research is qualitative and subjective in nature.
The paper describes how funding has been provided to empower LIM academics to create new teaching materials by buying their time out to address the gaps in available materials. In addition, these materials will be made freely available to the whole UK LIS sector and networks established to maintain them. Such co‐operation is unusual and could result in significant time savings in the preparation of teaching material and enhancement of graduates' readiness for employment.
Stephens, D. and Hamblin, Y. (2006), "Employability skills: are UK LIM departments meeting employment needs? The results of a survey of employment agencies identifies gaps in UK LIM curricula in the UK", New Library World, Vol. 107 No. 5/6, pp. 218-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074800610665211Download as .RIS
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