This paper aims to explore the attractiveness of Library and Information Science (LIS) careers to students and alumni and examine their decision-making process and perceptions of the field with an eye on discerning the best ways to build and develop the recruitment narrative.
The authors reached out to 57 LIS graduate programs in Canada and the USA accredited by the American Library Association through a Web-based survey; the questions presented a combination of multiple-choice, short-answer and open-ended questions and generated a wealth of quantitative and qualitative data.
The online survey has disclosed that students may not have an in-depth understanding of current trends, the diversity of LIS professions and the wider applications of their education. A significant disconnect exists in how the goals of LIS education are seen by certain groups of practitioners, students and faculty members.
Creating a program narrative for the purposes of recruitment and retention, departments should not only capitalize on the reach of the internet and the experiences of successful practitioners. They should also ensure that faculty know their students’ personal backgrounds, that students empathize with demands of contemporary academia and that a promotional message connects pragmatic educational goals to broader social applications. By exposing and embracing the complexity of LIS education and practice, the paper chooses a discursive path to start a conversation among major stakeholders.
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