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“Libraries of today are community hubs providing spaces for people to meet up, socialise, learn and read,” says Julie Barkman, a TAFE NSW head teacher of Library and Information Studies.
"Look at the number of new and recently renovated libraries across Australia – city and rural, public, academic and school libraries."
Julie says libraries offer accessible and affordable access to all, and provide an opportunity to work with people by:
“Working in the library and information industry provides opportunities to learn and develop skills in customer service and communication, technology, organisation, research and information management. These skills are transferable across the sector and to many other professions, too.”
All teaching staff have formal qualifications in Library and Information Studies – usually a Degree – as well as teaching qualifications, participate in ongoing professional development, and are members of ALIA – the professional body for library and information industry.
Philippa Richardson, pictured, worked in Corporate Finance, but felt it was time to take a step back and think about what she really wanted to be doing.
“I have always loved the idea of being a librarian but never really understood what it entailed,” says Philippa, who signed up for a ‘Job Ready’ course in Library and Information Services (LIS) at TAFE NSW as an introduction.
“That short course gave me a taste of what LIS was about. It inspired me to pursue this as a new career.”
She then completed a Certificate IV and is following that up with a Diploma.
“Not only are the subjects interesting and thought-provoking, the teachers and other students are inspiring. It’s a really supportive environment.”
Already employed at the Australian Catholic University as a library assistant, Serena Salib wanted to formalise her qualifications.
Serena, pictured below, credits the flexibility of learning through TAFE Digital as key to her successful completion of her Library and Information Services course.
"The flexibility of being able to complete units throughout my university break meant that I was consistently working on my written, as well as my critical thinking skills,” Serena says.
“The number of practical tasks meant that any feedback I received from TAFE Digital teachers was directly applied in my field of work."
According to the Australian Library and Information Association, the unemployment level for librarians is below average when compared with other occupations; the top two states in terms of the number of job opportunities are NSW and Victoria.