Public librarianship as a career: Challenges and prospects

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Over twenty-five years of research has shown that in spite of low salaries, few opportunities for advancement, and challenging work environments, most public librarians are satisfied overall with their jobs and careers, primarily because of the intrinsic rewards of the profession. In this article we present results from the Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science 1 (WILIS 1) project1 that are related to public librarianship. We give an overview of the careers and perspectives of current and former public librarians with respect to their experience of the challenges and rewards of public library service, and compare their views with those found in previous research