Relevance of the Rising Job Market for LIS Professionals versus Competencies Needed with Reference to Indian Context

Bobby Goswami Baruah, P Hangsing


Purpose: The study attempts to understand the changes required for library and information science profession in view of the present job market. The paper tries to answer pertinent questions like whether the training imparted in the teaching departments of library and information matches the competency requirements in the job market or whether course revision really look into the required competencies.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Survey method and content analysis is used to arrive at the objectives of the paper. To collect data for the expected competency requirement skills of LIS professionals from the perspective of various LIS professionals, a web-based questionnaire was designed. The questionnaire was released through various prominent India-specific discussion groups and forums. Different course titles and course contents from different departments running full-fledged full time Master of Library and Information Science courses in India were collected which were either downloaded from the website or a soft copy was collected through request via email. The syllabi of 45 departments were shortlisted and the curricula were then downloaded and entered into a database to measure the frequency count of the course content and related areas.

Limitations: The area of coverage for studying the LIS curricula is restricted to only 45 departments offering library and information science courses in India. University departments teaching library and information were selected on the basis of two criteria: the department offering a full fledged Master of Library and Information Science course of two years duration or equivalent, and the latest syllabus of the department that qualifies the above condition with all the course content being displayed on their website. The study is also limited to academic and corporate libraries.

Findings: It is evident that there is an ever widening gap between the competencies required at the job market and the course structure. The paper also suggests ways to bridge the gap between the two.

Keywords: Library Information Science Professionals, Job Market, Skills, Competencies, Course Content, Curriculum, Syllabus.

Paper type: Survey cum Research

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