ALIA is undertaking a boldly ambitious initiative to strengthen the profession, increase diversity and help create a future-ready workforce named 'Professional Pathways'.
A diverse, valued and supported Library and Information Sector (LIS) workforce with the skills, knowledge and ethics needed to deliver quality library and information services that anticipate and meet the needs of the population.
As the national professional body for the library and information services sector, ALIA is committed to supporting our Members’ professional journeys, and ensuring that their professionalism is recognised and valued.
The Professional Pathways Technical Report was released in March 2022 and marked the conclusion of the foundational discovery phase. There are four recommendations to guide the next stage:
Recommendation 1: Develop a framework of knowledge, skills and ethical behaviour
It is recommended that ALIA develops a comprehensive framework of knowledge, skills and ethical behaviour that represents a sector-wide, whole-of-career resource, supporting the learning and development needs of all library and information professionals while recognising specific needs within areas of specialisation. The framework should be developed in consultation with people across the sector, and draw from the evidence in this report and ALIA’s Foundation knowledge for entry-level library and information professionals.
Recommendation 2: Work with educators to strengthen accredited courses
It is recommended that ALIA work with educators and the industry to strengthen the ALIA-accredited qualifications with specific attention to industry engagement, practical experience, and quality improvement. ALIA should work with educators to better track the student cohort diversity measures and to attract and support talented students from diverse backgrounds.
Recommendation 3: Develop new professional pathways
It is recommended that in implementing the new framework (Recommendation 1) consideration is given to new pathways into the profession, professional registration, and revalidation of professional status. ALIA should work with educators and other partners to identify existing and potential CPD offerings which will integrate with the new framework.
Recommendation 4: Progress employer engagement strategy
It is recommended that ALIA develop an employer engagement strategy to build a deeper appreciation of the importance and value of professionalism, continuing professional development, and the whole-of-career framework as implemented.
Where are we now and where are we going?
The Professional Pathways project was announced in 2019. The following timeline lists the activity to date and future milestones.
The professional Pathways Team
Professional Pathways Board
Comprising 16 representatives from across the library sector, the Board provides strategic oversight and leadership to ensure the successful development and implementation of Professional Pathways.
Trish Hepworth – ALIA Director of Policy and Education
Dr Phoebe Weston-Evans – Research Assistant
Dr Gillian Hallam (external consultant) – Technical Report and consultation
Dr Lyn Hay (external consultant) – School library consultant and research
Rebecca Simone – ALIA Marketing and Communications Manager
More than 600 people have contributed to the project so far.