29 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 295 2018 Figure 11 This is the context for understanding the steady increase in professional staffing reflected in Figure 4. Since 2000, the student and support staff share of total staffing declined from 72% to 62%. Put another way, in 1990, a typical ARL library had twice as many support staff as professionals. By 2015 support staff held only an 11% advantage. If this trend continues, in the next few years we will see professionals outnumber support staff for the first time. The underlying narrative places research library staffing squarely in the mainstream of global labor force trends, wherein lower-skill, repetitive, piece-work oriented tasks are disappearing, replaced by networks and technologies. To this, research librarianship can add the nearly wholesale migration of scholarship from print to digital formats. The impact of these environmental changes on the library workforce cannot be overstated. Lower-skill tasks are indeed disappearing, and they will never come back. In their place, the emerging library workforce will be smaller, younger, with higher levels of more diverse skills. It will draw from a broader
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