The theme of employability was introduced in Chapter 1 and this chapter demonstrates the many different ways in which academic library and information services are working to support student employability. It covers the following topics: academic libraries and employability, graduate attributes and working with students.
The library and information profession has responded to the increased focus on employability through a number of reports and reviews, for example SCONUL commissioned a review of the literature on current practice in the development of employability skills and the role of the academic library (Wiley, 2014), and CILIP published a report by Inskip (2014). There is evidence of changing and developing practices at professional conferences, e.g. see www.lilacconference.com/. Wiley (2015) provides an excellent summary of the current situation including a detailed bibliography.
In addition, the SCONUL Employability Toolkit (www.sconul.ac.uk/page/ employability) gives an extensive range of resources, including a literature review and a series of contemporary case studies.
Academic libraries and employability
Traditionally, employability has been the territory of the careers service, but increasingly library and information workers are becoming involved in it as employability requires digital and information literacy. Library and information service staff support students (and staff) in the following areas:
Wiley (2015, 72) provides a useful summary of employability and its relevance to library and information workers in higher education. She includes the following observations on supporting students’ employability: