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Important LIS career survey to be launched in September 2007 Susan Rathbun-Grubb 09 Aug 2007 22:02 UTC

Where are you now?

Over 8,000 alumni from six North Carolina LIS programs will have an
opportunity to make their voices heard through a study funded by the
Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C . The Workforce
Issues in Library and Information Science (WILIS) project is exploring
educational, workplace, career and retention issues faced by graduates of
North Carolina LIS programs over the past 40 years. If you are not a
graduate of a North Carolina LIS program, information about a follow-up
grant that will include a broader range of LIS programs in different
locations is outlined below.

NC graduates who have not already done so should send their name and e-mail
address to: in order to receive information about how to
respond to a web survey. If you participated in the pilot survey conducted
during Spring 2007, thank you for your  contribution to the project; you
will not receive a duplicate request for participation in the September

Since LIS is not a licensed profession, very little is known about what
happens to graduates of LIS programs, in particular factors that affect
recruitment, retention and job satisfaction. This study will also provide a
greater understanding of the impact of trends such as workforce aging and
technological change. These are trends that affect LIS practitioners,
employers and educators every day.

Your participation in this unique study will help to inform the field as a
whole about LIS careers. This is an opportunity for you to contribute to the
development of more effective educational and workforce planning in the
future. We look forward to sharing the results of this study with the

The participating NC LIS programs are:
- Appalachian State University Library Science Program
- Central Carolina Community College Library and Information Technology
- East Carolina University Department of Library Science and Instructional
- North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information
- UNC Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science
- UNC Greensboro Department of Library and Information Studies

For further information, please see the project website:

WILIS 2: The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has recently
provided researchers at the University of North Carolina's School of
Information and Library Science (SILS) and Institute on Aging (IOA) with a
second award to modify the initial WILIS study survey and methodology for
use by a broader range of LIS programs in different locations.

WILIS 2 researchers will assess the alumni tracking needs of LIS programs
and include as many participants as possible in a staged launch of the
modified career-tracking model. The WILIS team will develop a system to
administer the surveys and provide access to results for the participating
LIS programs. The project will also explore options for sustaining the
career-tracking model, disseminate findings and publicize the availability
of the alumni tracking system  to all LIS programs.

Susan Rathbun-Grubb
Doctoral student, SILS, UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Assistant, WILIS Project