Leaving librarianship: a study of the determinants and consequences of occupational turnover Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Rathbun-Grubb, Susan R.
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • The purpose of this study was to better understand occupational turnover among librarians and archivists by examining the careers of individuals who have left or intend to leave the profession, in order to identify the factors associated with turnover, and to discover the career outcomes of those who leave. The dissertation analyzes a subset of the data collected in 2007 by the Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science 1 (WILIS 1) project, a study of the career patterns of the graduates of five LIS master's programs in North Carolina from 1964-2007. The framework of the life course perspective was used in the analysis of quantitative and textual survey responses to facilitate a more nuanced interpretation of careers and the process of turnover in the context of personal relationships and timing over the life course. Themes related to career patterns, work values, work mismatches, turnover, and outcomes of career transitions were identified. Occupational turnover rates for this sample are low. Only 13% have left the profession, and only 2% indicate that they will leave the field within three years for reasons other than retirement. Good work relationships and opportunities for career development and advancement are important to job satisfaction, and most respondents are satisfied with their LIS work and career. Those who intend to leave or have already left cite low salaries, overwork, bureaucratic or poor management, a lack of opportunities for advancement, and the unavailability of flexible scheduling or part time work as influences on their turnover decisions. Geographical mismatches or conflicting work and family responsibilities also play a role in turnover decisions. Of those who have left library and archival work, their career outcomes are typically positive, and 91% are satisfied with their current employment. Binary logistic regression analyses with nested models confirm that the hypothesized predictors that emerged from the survey data and career narratives - job satisfaction, availability of career development opportunities, relationships with co-workers, and salary influence organizational turnover intention. Job and career satisfaction as well as the intent to leave the organization predict occupational turnover.
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  • In Copyright
  • Marshall, Joanne Gard
  • Open access

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