Where are they now? Results of a career survey of library and information science graduates

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This paper provides an overview of Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science 1 (WILIS 1), a large scale retrospective career study of graduates of all library and information science (LIS) programs in North Carolina from 1964–2007. The interdisciplinary research team used a multiple methods approach to data collection consisting of a survey of LIS graduates, a survey of administrators of LIS programs, and key informant interviews. This article presents an overview of the study design and methods followed by key results from the survey of graduates. The specific research goals of WILIS 1 were: (1) to gain a comprehensive understanding of the educational, workplace, career, and retention issues facing LIS graduates; (2) to investigate the way in which LIS programs track their graduates and use these data for educational and workforce planning; (3) to explore possibilities for a career tracking model that could be used by all LIS programs in the future; and (4) to disseminate the study results in a manner that would facilitate LIS workforce planning. WILIS 1 has now been joined by a second study known as WILIS 2, which is further developing the alumni tracking model that all LIS programs can potentially use.