Magazine article Information Outlook

BLS Drafts New Definition of "Librarians." (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Magazine article Information Outlook

BLS Drafts New Definition of "Librarians." (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Article excerpt

Last year, SLA worked hard to negotiate with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to make changes in the proposed Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) definition of "librarians." Many members and staff worked together to communicate the need for a more modern definition in today's economy. After nearly one year of review by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the new definition has been released.

OMB is now seeking public comment on the Standard Occupational Classification Revision Policy Committee's final recommendations for revising the 1980 SOC occupational units and aggregate groups presented in the Federal Register on August 5, 1998. The new occupational classification system will cover all jobs in the national economy, including occupations in the public, private, and military sectors.

All federal agencies that collect occupational data will use the new system. Similarly, all state and local government agencies will be encouraged strongly to use this national system to promote a common language for categorizing occupations in the world of work. The new SOC system will be used by the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics program for gathering occupational information. It will also replace the Bureau of the Census' 1990 occupational classification system and will be used for the 2000 Census. In addition, the new SOC will serve as the framework for information being gathered through the Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network, which is in the process of replacing the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

The following is the definition proposed by SLA last year:

"Provides timely, working information to a specialized clientele to further the objectives of libraries, educational institutions, museums, non-profit organizations, government agencies, corporations, news organizations, law firms, and health care providers. Possesses expert knowledge of information resources, and anticipates the needs of the organization or client. Critically evaluates and filters information to design tailored information products that can meet the strategic goals of the organization or client. Functions also include acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, collections maintenance, and reference services; compiling, analyzing, writing, editing, computer programming, and systems design. …

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