An analysis of the library and information science (LIS) job market in South Africa

  • Dennis Ocholla Professor, Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand
  • Mzwandile Shongwe University of Zululand
Keywords: Adverts, content analysis, newspaper scanning, library, LIS, job market


This paper explores and discusses the library and information science (LIS) job market in South Africa through an analytical literature review and the content analysis of recent longitudinal newspaper scanning (2009 - 2012) of LIS job advertisements in the country. We note that the LIS job market in South Africa experienced steady growth from 2009 to 2011, but declined in 2012. The results reveal that the public sector is still the main employer of LIS professionals. We also note the growing number of new job titles and functions relevant to the information/knowledge economy. Furthermore, information technology (IT) has become an important skill for LIS professionals to possess. We conclude that the study could inform curriculum review in LIS schools in South Africa, and recommend that LIS schools explore and exploit new directions and ideas as they prepare students for the library and general information service sector. The paper is divided into three parts: i) an overview of LIS education in Africa; ii) the LIS job market in Africa and South Africa; and iii) job trends in South Africa. Suggestions for further exploration are provided.

Author Biography

Mzwandile Shongwe, University of Zululand
Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand


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