Letting go, Holding on, or Re-Envisioning? Challenges and Opportunities for LIS Education in Australia

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Library education -- Australia, Public libraries -- Australia, Professional education -- Australia


Purpose - This chapter provides a historical overview of libraries and library and information science/studies (LIS) education in Australia, charting the changing nature of the Lis academy and the profession. The chapter then examines the knowledge, skills, and qualifications required for current and emerging LIS professionals, discussing how we embrace new knowledge and analyzing whether there are aspects of current LIS education that we need to hold on to or let go of in order to re-envision LIS education in the future. Design/Methodology/Approach - A brief historical analysis of Australian librarianship, library associations, and LIS education, dating from european colonization in 1788 to the present, 2017, sets the context and informs the discussion. Findings - This chapter demonstrates how social, political, technological, and educational forces have influenced libraries, librarianship, and Lis education. Within this context, we propose ways forward, such as partnering with broader information communities, adopting emerging specialties, building closer relationships between academia and practice, and considering "letting go" of some of the old as we add the new. Originality/Value - by providing an original historical overview of librarianship in Australia with a particular focus on Lis education and how the goals and focus of both librarianship and LIS education have evolved over the centuries, this chapter contributes to an informed discussion designed to assist in re-envisioning the information professions and disciplines in the future.