ALIA report indicates 1000 new librarian jobs by 2023

The Australian Library and Information Association’s 2018 ALIA LIS Education, Skills and Employment Trend Report indicates an increase of 400 jobs in the sector by 2023, with the number of librarians increasing by 1000 and the number of library technician and library assistant positions predicted to reduce by 300 each over the same time period.

‘We have been publishing the Trend Report since 2014 and a picture has emerged over the last five years of an industry that took a big hit in terms of loss of jobs between 2010 and 2015 but has since shown some elements of recovery.

‘Library technician jobs are still under pressure and this is reflected in the fact that many of our Diploma-qualified ALIA Members are undertaking further study,’ Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO, said.

This annual report is produced by ALIA’s Learning team and is used by educators, employers, students and industry partners to understand the potential future of the industry.

  • Key findings: The Department of Employment Australian Jobs 2018 report projected that in the five years from May 2018 to May 2023, there will be 1000 additional Librarian positions in the workforce; 300 fewer Technician positions, and 300 fewer Library Assistant positions.
  • Part-time work remains a significant characteristic in our workforce with the majority, approximately 63%, of Library Assistants working part-time, just under half of Technicians (45%) and over one third of Librarians (38%).
  • The unemployment level for Librarians was average when compared with other occupations, while the level for Library Technicians and Library Assistants was below average. The top three states in terms of the number of job opportunities continued to be NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Sue McKerracher continued, ‘We are concerned about the lack of diversity in the sector and the gender imbalance, with approximately 85% of the workforce being female. We know that individual employers are addressing this, and ALIA is supporting two Indigenous scholarships for LIS students in 2019 – but there is no quick fix.’

Read the full report here.

About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector.

With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.


Kate Bunker, ALIA Education, Research and Policy,

Monday 17 December 2018 1:15pm