Professional Pathways

Across the next few years ALIA is undertaking its boldly ambitious initiative to strengthen the profession, increase diversity and help create a future-ready workforce named 'Professional Pathways'.

The draft of the plan can be read below, as well as a special message from our President Viv Barton, a presentation from ALIA’s Director of Learning, and messages of support from leaders in school, public, special and academic libraries. We have also prepared a page that addresses many questions that we anticipate will arise out of this plan.

A message from Viv Barton, ALIA President 2020-21

At its core, ALIA exists to support the library and information profession. It’s why the Association exists. One of the critical factors in being a profession is that you have an accepted body of learning and qualifications. We’ve known for some time that our professional education needed attention and when I became President, I took the Future of LIS Education as my theme.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen this initiative evolve, developed hand-in-hand with our members and with major employers and I would like to thank every one of the 500 or so people who have helped us reach the point.

What you’re seeing today is the outline plan, but there’s still a lot of detail to work through. We would love your help with this.

Please join us and help us shape the future of the library and information profession in Australia.

Select the above image to watch the video message from Viv Barton, ALIA president.

Introduction to Professional Pathways

This 10-minute presentation from Kate Bunker, ALIA Director of Learning, summarises the Professional Pathways initiative, outlining the background leading up to this point, explaining its key elements, and the steps that will follow in the coming years.

Consultation Draft

This document (PDF, 1.03 MB) provides a detailed outline of the initiative. Select the image below to view.

Online Town Hall meetings:

To give ALIA Members and other interested parties an opportunity to engage in discussion around this plan, ALIA is holding a series of online Town Hall meetings. Some of the sessions are themed around specific sectors, but you can participate in any – and if you’d like to attend more than one, you will be very welcome.

Public libraries discussion with special guest ALIA President Viv Barton, who heads up City of Stirling libraries and is incoming Chair of the Australian Public Libraries Alliance.

​School libraries discussion co-hosted by Anne Girolami, ALIA Schools Convenor, with special guest Dr Margaret Merga.

ALIA Health Libraries Australia Session, with special guests Ann Ritchie and Gemma Siemensma, HLA Executive Committee.

Open session for ALIA Members, with ALIA Board Directors and introducing Trish Hepworth, ALIA’s new appointment to head up the team delivering the Professional Pathways initiative.

Special libraries session for people working in health, law, government, corporate, arts, media and other special libraries. with special guests Laurie Atkinson, Director, Law Library of Victoria, and Cynthia Love, Executive Manager, Information Services, CSIRO.

University libraries session, with special guest Jill Benn, University Librarian, University of Western Australia, and Chair of the Board, Council of Australian University Libraries (CAUL).

National, state and territory libraries session, presenters Vicki McDonald, State Librarian and CEO, State Library of Queensland, and Geoff Strempel, Director, State Library of South Australia.

General session held via Microsoft Teams.

Students and New Graduates 


Please direct any questions to


The Future of LIS Education 

This initiative was previously known as as the Future of LIS Education. 

Viv Barton, ALIA President chose education as the theme for her Presidential year, from May 2020 – May 2021.

Since October 2019, ALIA held focus groups, published an ALIA issues paper, carried out a survey of the sector, consulted with major employers and special interest groups, and produced The future of library and information science education in Australia discussion paper, which generated further feedback.

On 30 November 2020, ALIA released the Professional Pathways plan for the future of the library and Information profession, as the culmination of consultations across the sector over the past year, with close to 450 active participants.  

This page is accurate as of 19 January 2021 and will be updated as needed.