Our aim is for the Australian library workforce to be as diverse as the communities we serve. In 2019, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) examined Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data to measure the level of diversity among library and information science (LIS) workers over the last decade and to provide a basis for future trend reporting.
Since 2014, we have published the annual ALIA LIS Education, Skills and Employment Trend Report. This 2019 publication is intended to complement the Trend Report and it will be updated following the release of the 2021 Census data.
Our intention is to put hard facts to aspects of employment where we have previously relied on anecdotal evidence. The report provides statistics about diversity in the sector by comparison with the labour force norm. This does not mean that the labour force norm is the ideal, but it does give the sector a benchmark against which we can set aspirational goals. We hope employers will use the information in this report to inform their recruitment practices, further increasing the diversity of the sector’s workforce. We will be using the information as part of our response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 5, gender equality, Goal 8, decent work and economic growth, and Goal 10, reduced inequalities.
Five issues have been identified for the GLAMR sector to rectify in order to have a representational workforce.
- Encourage people to consider library and information as both a first and second career.
- Find ways to significantly increase the number of male library and information workers.
- Aim to double the number of Indigenous workers.
- Continue to open up career opportunities for people living with disability.
- Seek to recruit people born in Asia and/or from languages other than English households with Asian first languages.