Information professional

Traditionally, an information professional is someone who collects, records, organized, stores, preserves, retrieves, and disseminates printed or digital information. [1]

The term is most frequently used interchangeably with the term ‘ librarian ‘, [2] or as a progression of it. Librarians traditionally managed information contained in books or other paper records. Nowadays, however, libraries make extensive use of modern media and technology, hence the role of librarians has been enhanced. The versatile term ‘information professional’ is also used to describe other similar professions, such as archivists , information managers, information systems specialists, and records managers . [3] Information professionals work in a variety of private, public, and academic institutions.


Since this occupation is also varied. A Gartner report in 2011 [4] pointed out that “Professional roles focused on information management will be different from that of established IT roles. Number of specializations “. Thus, an information professional can possess a variety of different skills, depending on the sector in which the person is employed.

Some essential cross-sector skills are: [5]

  • IT skills, such as word processing and spreadsheets, digitisation skills, and conducting internet searches, together with skills in digitization, loan systems, databases, content management systems, and specially designed programs and packages.
  • Customer service . An information professional should have the ability to address the information needs of customers.
  • Language proficiency . This is essential in order to manage the information at hand and deal with customer needs.
  • Soft skills . These include negotiation, conflict resolution and time management, which are useful for all interactions at a workplace.
  • Management training. An information professional should be familiar with notions such as strategic planning and project management.

Moreover, an information professional should be skilled in planning and using information systems, in capturing and securing information, and in accessing it to deliver service whenever the information is required. [6]


Many universities around the world offer Library and Information Science (LIS) academic degrees, or degrees on related subjects such as Archival Studies, Information Systems, Information Management, and Records Management. In addition, many of the associations and unions offered information management training, and there are also e-learning resources, some of which offer certification for information professionals. The American Library Association (ALA) in the USA, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in the UK,

Africa : Information development in Africa. [7] and expertise and resources to manage digital infrastructure. [8] University of Nairobi (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda), University of Botswana (Botswana), University of Botswana , And University of Nigeria (Nigeria).

Asia : LIS-related studies are available in more than 30 Asian countries. [9] Some examples are: Information Science at Anhui University (China), Library and Information Science at the University of Kelaniya (Sri Lanka), Educational and Information Science at Fo Guang University (Malaysia), Library and Information Science at International Islamic University (Malaysia), and master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Kuwait University (Kuwait).

Australia : The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) list Currently 22 undergraduate and postgraduate university accredited courses for ‘Librarian and Information Specialist’ on Their official website. [10]

Europe : The majority of European countries have universities, colleges, or schools which offer bachelor degrees in LIS studies. University of Barcelona (Spain), Loughborough University (UK), and Aberystwyth University (Wales, UK) also offer PhD degrees.

North America : Information and Academic Institutions in the US and Canada. US professional associations, together with their European Counterparts, have undertaken many educational initiatives and pioneered many advances in the field of Information Studies, such as increased interdisciplinarity and more effective delivery of distance learning. [11]

South America : There are many schools and colleges in Latin American countries which offer courses in Library Science, Archival Studies, and Information Studies, but these subjects are taught completely separately. [12] The University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Pontifical Xavierian University (Colombia) and the National University of Costa Rica (Costa Rica).


Most countries have a professional association that oversee the professional and academic standards of librarians and information professionals. Some of these educational institutions refer to themselves as an iSchool , such as the CiSAP (Consortium of iSchools Asia Pacific) in Asia and the iSchool Caucus in the USA. There are also international associations related to LIS, the most prominent of which is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

See also

  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
  • UKSG
  • International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO)
  • List of Library Associations
  • Library and Information Science (LIS)
  • I-School
  • Education for librarianship
  • Archival Science
  • Information retrieval


  1. Jump up^ Introduction to the Library and Information Professions, by Roger C. Greer, Robert J. Grover, Susan G. Fowler,[1], pp. 12-15
  2. Jump up^ US Occupational Outlook Handbook (2008-2009 edition),[2], page 266
  3. Jump up^ Introduction to the Library and Information Professions, by Roger C. Greer, Robert J. Grover, Susan G. Fowler,[3], pp. 12-15
  4. Jump up^ John F. Mancini. “Rise of the Information Professional” (PDF) . AIIM : 4.
  5. Jump up^ “The demand for and supply of skills in library and information sciences …” (PDF) . National Archives and Records Service (NARS, South Africa). 2010-03-15: 87-88.
  6. Jump up^ “Become a Certified Information Professional (CIP)” . AIIM.
  7. Jump up^ [4]
  8. Jump up^ [5]
  9. Jump up^ [6]
  10. Jump up^ [7]
  11. Jump up^ Global Library and Information Science,[8], pages 549 and 552
  12. Jump up^ Global Library and Information Science . p. 414.

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