Professional development for library and information professionals

The phrase 'library and information professionals' refers to those members of the profession who have completed an entry-level qualification in library and information management at either Associate or Library Technician level.

ALIA objects addressed

To promote and improve the services provided by all kinds of library and information agencies.

To ensure the high standard of personnel engaged in information provision and foster their professional interests and aspirations.


Library and information professionals have a responsibility to commit to professional development and career-long learning. Similarly, their employers and the Australian Library and Information Association have a responsibility to provide opportunities which enable library and information professionals to maintain excellent service delivery.


Professional development demonstrates the individual practitioner's personal commitment of time and effort to ensure excellence in performance throughout his or her career. The dynamic and changing library and information environment demands that library and information professionals maintain and continue to develop their knowledge and skills so that they can anticipate and serve the information needs of society and their individual clients.

Professional development includes many learning experiences - within and outside the workplace - which aim to increase knowledge, develop library and information skills and attributes and broaden the range of vocational competencies. Learning activities may relate to an extension of general or specialist areas of library and information management education, development of the body of knowledge underlying professional practice, development of the reflective practitioner, development of research expertise, or studies from another discipline which lead to personal and professional development.

The Australian Library and Information Association expects that learning opportunities will be made available in a number of different formats and offered in a variety of different delivery modes. Learning experiences include but are not limited to formal education at advanced (post-first qualification) level, formal training courses informal learning activities, mentoring, workplace learning, seminars, presentations, research and service activities.

The Association's commitment to its members achieving their career goals is demonstrated by:

  • providing mechanisms which enable members to plan and undertake learning and other development activities;
  • offering a mentoring program to assist members in their ongoing professional development;
  • organising partnerships with other professional and training organisations to make available learning activities and opportunities in library and information management and other disciplinary studies;
  • formally recognising members who participate in ALIA's professional development certification scheme;
  • facilitating forums where knowledge can be created, shared and disseminated to enable members to better understand the dynamic environment in which they, as library and information professionals, and their clients operate.

Amended 2009