Inside Higher Ed says :  "Libraries and Librarians Aren't About to Disappear"

A widely shared article declaring libraries and archives to be among the fastest-declining industries in America has been debunked, writes Lindsay McKenzie, January 5, 2018. 

A December 2017 article in 24/7 Wall St. which was recently republished by USA TodayYahoo Finance and many others, ranked libraries and archives as one of the fastest-declining industries in the U.S., second only to video tape and disc rental...24/7 Wall St. calculated that the employment change in libraries and archives from 2007 to 2016 was -80.3 percent, with a current employment total of 33,033...

But let’s unpack that...In 2007, employment data for libraries and archives was reported for the federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector. In the following years, however, data for state and local government employment were reported to BLS but not disclosed to the public, as "data do not meet BLS or state agency standards." The years in which the data were withheld were incorrectly counted as zero in the “dying industries” analysis, explaining the purported 80 percent drop in employment.

Inside Higher Ed  spotted the discrepancy and brought it to the attention of the article's authors and officials at the Labor Bureau.

Officials at the Bureau of Labor Statistics were not able to share the undisclosed data with Inside Higher Ed  but have projected, using separate survey data from the National Industry-Occupation Employment Matrix, an increase in employment for both librarians and archivists in the next 10 years. Read the complete article.

“It’s gratifying that Ms. McKenzie’s fact-based reporting confirms what those of in the field knew all along,” says Dr. Carol Barry, Director of SLIS. “Four out of five current graduates of LIS programs are employed full-time (Library Research Service Report) and we expect to see healthy job growth between 2016 and 2026. To imply that this is a dead or dying field is, you’ll pardon the expression, fake news. And in this age of fake news, the need for information professionals is greater than ever. We’re here to stay.”


About SLIS

The School of Library & Information Science (SLIS) provides a 100% online education in library and information science. SLIS offers an undergraduate minor and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in library science, an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science, and Graduate Certificates in Archival Studies, Records & Information Management, and School Librarianship. SLIS is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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