The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded researchers at the University of North Carolina's School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and Institute on Aging (IOA) a $566,385 federal grant to continue studying career patterns of library and information science graduates.
The grant will be used to extend the work done in a previous IMLS-funded SILS/IOA project, "Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science (WILIS): Developing a Model for Career Tracking of LIS Graduates."
WILIS is exploring educational, workplace, career and retention issues faced by graduates of six North Carolina library and information science programs over the past 40 years. The new project, dubbed WILIS 2, is a three-year effort to generalize the career-tracking survey and methodology used in the first study into a national career-tracking model for LIS graduates.
WILIS 2 researchers will work to recruit as many LIS programs as possible to participate in a staged national launch of the career-tracking model, conduct surveys and provide access to results for the participating LIS programs. The project will also explore options for sustaining the national career-tracking model, disseminate findings and publicize the availability of the model to all LIS programs.
"WILIS 2 gives us a great opportunity to share what we have learned in our career study of LIS graduates in North Carolina with other programs," said SILS professor Joanne Gard Marshall, principal investigator on both WILIS and WILIS 2. "The end result will be a model that educators, employers and other stakeholders can all use to better understand what happens to LIS graduates, thereby allowing us to take an evidence-based approach to educational and workforce planning."
As WILIS 2 begins, researchers continue to work on the first phase of the WILIS project. They are preparing to launch a Web survey in late August and are recruiting graduates from North Carolina library and information science programs for the survey.
Those who graduated between 1964 and 2005 from:
- the Appalachian State University Library Science Program,
- Central Carolina Community College Library and Information Technology Program,
- East Carolina University Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology,
- North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences,
- UNC at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science or
- UNC at Greensboro Department of Library and Information Studies
are asked to contact the WILIS team with their contact information if they have not already done so. Inquiries, including the graduate's name and email address, may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the WILIS Project, Institute on Aging - UNC Chapel Hill, 720 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, CB #1030, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1030.