12 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 295 2018 new professionals who are somewhat older, with an average age of 35. What’s more, ARL libraries are increasingly likely to skip the hiring of new professionals and instead recruit individuals with experience: the percentage of new professionals among new hires has declined from 35% in 1986 to 26% in 2015. A Case of Very Delayed Retirement? Examining the age of subgroups in the ARL population reveals that delayed retirement is a remarkably consistent phenomenon throughout the data. With the important exception of the Canadian population noted above, in 2015 we find proportionally heightened numbers of individuals aged 65+ across ARL subgroups, such as Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) status, public or private institution, sex, region, and most jobs. Previous analyses have noted unusual aging among department heads and administrators, but in 2015, these positions no longer stand out. They remain somewhat older than other positions, a natural function of the experience they generally require, but to judge by the 65+ age cohort, they are retiring along with everyone else. There is one glaring exception to this rule, however, and that is library directors. Going back to 1986, we find that about 3% of directors placed in the 65+ cohort, matching the overall population year after year. Then comes 2005, when the portion of directors 65+ jumped to 35%, from just 2% five years before. This extraordinary change in behavior carried on through the 2015 data, where a whopping 39% of ARL directors were aged 65+.
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