Information Services Careers Outlook
The information services field is growing in more nontraditional settings. Cutbacks in library budgets will decrease opportunities for information services professionals, but the growth of our information-based society may counteract the decline. Easy access to recorded knowledge has become an essential part of life for information professionals in traditional libraries as well as for individuals, employees of research centers, professional firms, and businesses, and information brokers and research consultants.
Librarian positions are expected to increase more slowly than the average occupation through 2014, whereas jobs for library assistants and library technician will have growth that is close to that of the average career. Many libraries now assign technicians and assistants to perform tasks once handled exclusively by more highly paid professional librarians. Although this is in part a cost-cutting move, the reassignment of responsibilities allows librarians to dedicate more time to other responsibilities. However, computerized ordering, cataloging, and information retrieval programs require specialized training. Professional information scientists will continue to be necessary to direct, review, and coordinate such systems and to train and supervise operations.
Job prospects are expected to be best in privately financed special libraries. In addition, librarians with special qualifications, such as languages, computer services, or children’s services, can anticipate better opportunities. Jobs requiring knowledge of science, mathematics, and business are considered difficult to fill because of fewer graduates with these backgrounds. Overall, the best opportunities for information services careers will be outside of the library, with private corporations, consulting businesses, and information brokers. Rather than being called librarians, these information professionals might be called database specialists, researchers, or systems analysts.
In the future, libraries will increasingly become a part of a national network linking public, academic, and special libraries into a single information source. Each library will retain its own identity and serve its own clientele, but information in any one location can be made available to patrons in any part of the country. Many systems, such as a central library catalog, perhaps supplemented by regional catalogs, will be made available by way of high-speed electronic communications.
The information services industry is reflecting this trend toward linking information, and it is forging ahead to increase the opportunities created by the Internet. Expanding technologies of our society have made information part of a global network. As information continues to expand and to reach out to all corners of the earth, information services professionals will be needed to help these technologies make the world a much more easily accessible place.
Related Career Fields:
- Book Conservators
- Information Brokers
- Library Media Specialists
- Library Technicians
- Music Librarians
- Research Assistants
For More Information:
- Computer Science Careers
- American Association of Law Libraries
- American Library Association
- American Society for Information Science and Technology
- Association of Independent Information Professionals
- Association of Research Libraries
- Medical Library Association
- Music Library Association
- Special Libraries Association
- Canadian Library Association