A Follow-Up Study of the Factors Shaping the Career Choices of Library School Students at the University of Alabama

Stephanie D. Taylor, R. Alexander Perry, Jessica L. Barton, Brett Spencer


Our paper presents the results of a survey of MLIS students’ motivations for choosing a library career, as well as their outlook on the job market, preference for various subfields, and dreams about the future. In 2004 several researchers conducted a survey of MLIS students at the University of Albama’s School of Library and Information Studies and reported the result in a 2006
article. In a field of constant change, it is essential that a new study is conducted to glean current motivations for pursuing a MLIS degree. New technologies, economic issues, and other factors could affect a new generation of linrarian’s mindsets. Therfore we replicated the earlier survey, added some new questions, and compared our results. This article describes the results of the current survey. It shows that myriad reasons motivate students to pursue the MLIS, and librarians who have an interest in their new colleagues will find this paper of interest. We also suggest some practical steps that reference librarians (as well as human resource officers and library school administrators) can follow to recruit new librarians. This paper is based on a poster presented at the Alabama Library Association conference (ALLA), April 10, 2009, in Auburn, Alabama.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.50n1.35


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