Who chooses librarianship? A survey

Yesterday @Rosie_Lake asked for ideas for her LIS dissertation topic on twitter. I have been wondering about research project lately, and was keeping it back as a potential PhD topic (not that I am signed up for a PhD or anything). It sparked a little discussion on twitter, so I decided to post a quickly constructed survey here to see where the land lies (or not). I would love for Rosie to research this!

My theory: People who grew up as single children (or with a 5+ year gap to the nearest sibling) and/or were ‘sickly’ and/or ‘overly-pampered’ children (any or all of these) are more likely to choose librarianship as a subject at university.


Note added on 26 September: I have reached the 100 response limit that Survey Monkey has in its free version, so this survey is now closed.

NB. My theory does not look at success of these people, if they make ‘better’ librarians or if they even become practising librarians. It’s purely about the fact they study librarianship at university.

NB2. This is not a fully developed research project at all.

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8 Responses to Who chooses librarianship? A survey

  1. What about *when* they studied librarianship – as first career or as a career change? If you think childhood experience of these types influence librarianship as a career choice, then shouldn’t you separate out those with significant adult experiences leading to it?

  2. Ned Potter says:

    *raises only child hand*…

    My only problem with this is that I wouldn’t describe myself as having chosen librarianship at University. (I know some people have done the undergrad version of the degree but it’s rare.) I would describe myself as having found out you need a Masters and reluctantly enrolled at a University to complete one… Choosing at University suggests a more specific decision-making process than most librarians (from what I remember of the Library Routes Project) went through, most just fell into it!

    All that said, will be interested in the results!

    • Carolin says:

      I wonder whether that is were this research might fall down… In the UK a lot of people seem to have fallen into the profession, as you say, but it’s still a sort of choice to me, I guess, but the question might have to be about working in libraries rather than studying. Let’s see.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Currently working in a library, doing part-time librarianship degree, I feel like most of those questions are totally off the mark for me. 1. I have several siblings. 2. There’s a 2-yr gap between each of us. 3. I was/am disgustingly healthy. 4. Umm, my parents valued education and supported my learning – is that pampering? 5. Nope, I did an arts degree, and I’m doing the PG degree in ILS because I’m working in a library, not the other way around. Perhaps this theory of yours might be more the case for those who pick it as an undergrad option?

  4. Pingback: Who chooses librarianship – the results | Growing a library

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