Professional Pathways

Across the next few years ALIA is undertaking its boldly ambitious initiative to strengthen the profession, increase diversity and help create a future-ready workforce named 'Professional Pathways'.

The draft of the plan can be read below, as well as a special message from our President Viv Barton, a presentation from ALIA’s Director of Learning, and messages of support from leaders in school, public, special and academic libraries. We have also prepared a page that addresses many questions that we anticipate will arise out of this plan.

A message from Viv Barton, ALIA President 2020-21

At its core, ALIA exists to support the library and information profession. It’s why the Association exists. One of the critical factors in being a profession is that you have an accepted body of learning and qualifications. We’ve known for some time that our professional education needed attention and when I became President, I took the Future of LIS Education as my theme.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen this initiative evolve, developed hand-in-hand with our members and with major employers and I would like to thank every one of the 500 or so people who have helped us reach the point.

What you’re seeing today is the outline plan, but there’s still a lot of detail to work through. We would love your help with this.

Please join us and help us shape the future of the library and information profession in Australia.

Select the above image to watch the video message from Viv Barton, ALIA president.

Introduction to Professional Pathways

This 10-minute presentation from Kate Bunker, ALIA Director of Learning, summarises the Professional Pathways initiative, outlining the background leading up to this point, explaining its key elements, and the steps that will follow in the coming years.

Consultation Draft

This document (PDF, 1.03 MB) provides a detailed outline of the initiative. Select the image below to view.

Online Town Hall meetings:

From 3 December 2020 to 28 January 2021, ALIA held a series of nine online Town Hall meetings to give ALIA Members and other interested parties an opportunity to engage in discussion around this plan. Some of the sessions were themed around specific sectors, which were attended by hundreds of interested parties across the Australian Library and Information Sector. Feedback received through these meetings is being collated as part of ALIA's ongoing consultation into the proposed plan.

We continue to welcome feedback and questions - please direct them to


The Future of LIS Education 

This initiative was previously known as as the Future of LIS Education. 

Viv Barton, ALIA President chose education as the theme for her Presidential year, from May 2020 – May 2021.

Since October 2019, ALIA held focus groups, published an ALIA issues paper, carried out a survey of the sector, consulted with major employers and special interest groups, and produced The future of library and information science education in Australia discussion paper, which generated further feedback.

On 30 November 2020, ALIA released the Professional Pathways plan for the future of the library and Information profession, as the culmination of consultations across the sector over the past year, with close to 450 active participants.  

This page is accurate as of 5 February 2021 and will be updated as needed.