Sunday, June 1, 2014

Librarianship - the statistical analysis begins!

I'm going to try to revive this blog... it's been a while. Hopefully more crafts and more books and library musings. I'll start with that one as I'm working on some things that are taking up a lot of my out-of-work time.

I'm doing some information-gathering to put together a presentation that I'll be giving later in the year - my topic centres around new library graduates and the future of the professional workforce. It's a huge topic so I won't be able to cover all aspects but I'm finding some things that I really want to talk about that I haven't heard presented before. Mostly thus far I'm analysing census data and talking to people who've graduated in the last five (or so) years. Some of the output, should it be of interest to you... it's appeared on Twitter but I haven't been able to talk about it much due to the whole character limitation thing. Here 'librarians' are defined as people who have had their profession from the census put into the 'librarians' unit group in ANZSCO.

The average age of librarians is roughly consistent across the country and it doesn't surprise me at all to see that many are at the older end of the workforce, that's consistent with the experiences of people I've talked to. Tasmania, ACT and the Northern Territory are a bit different but I strongly suspect that the low populations in these three places strongly contribute to this.

This graph I found especially interesting. 'Information and organisation professionals' is the ANZSCO minor group that librarians fit within (used for the census, explanation here). This includes a number of other occupations including archivists, curators, records managers, economists and statisticians. First off, across the minor group there is a much more even age spread with a slight bias towards workers in their twenties and thirties, second, while information and organisation professional age stayed roughly the same between censuses librarians clearly aged with it. A suggestion, perhaps, that we're mostly looking at the same people five years later rather than seeing much movement in and out of the profession.

I plan on extracting more census data over the next couple of weeks. Firstly I want to extract data on the Librarianship and Information Management qualification field to see how that compares. Secondly, although my focus is on professional librarians I want to chart information on the other two library occupations in ANZSCO - Library Assistant and Gallery, Library and Museum Technicians. The latter is a little broad as although there is a Library Technician listing in ANZSCO the tool I'm using to extract data, Australian Bureau of Statistics' TableBuilder Basic, doesn't have listings to that level.

I'll share that information and some thoughts when I have it - and if you're not the library type or the data type, don't worry, there will be blog posts on other topics soon.

Edit: updated the first chart as the scale on the horizontal axis labelling was out of whack.

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