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Title: A comparative study of the job functions of university and university of technology graduates and diplomates in special libraries and engineering firms
Authors: Rajagopaul, Athena 
Keywords: Library employees;Engineers--Employment--South Africa;Special librarians--Employment--South Africa;Job analysis;Engineering--Study and teaching;Library education;College graduates--Employment--South Africa
Issue Date: 2008
This study investigated the job functions of university and university of technology
graduates and diplomates in the staff structures of special libraries and engineering
firms in KwaZulu-Natal. The objective of the study was to draw on possible trends
and best practices in the latter for the Library and Information Services (LIS) work
environment, as engineering like LIS draws its personnel from both traditional
universities and universities of technology (UoT). Hence, the main target population
for the study was university and UoT graduates and diplomates in special libraries and
engineering firms in KZN. Graduates and diplomates were chosen for inclusion in the
study using a census because of the smallness of the staff complements in these
organizations. Two sets of self-administered questionnaires were distributed, one to
graduates/diplomates and the other to employers in the selected organizations. Data
collected was analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Findings of
the study revealed inconsistencies with the National Diploma: Library and Information
Studies (ND: LIS) where these diplomates occupy paraprofessional as well as
professional positions in special libraries whilst engineering graduates and diplomates
tend to occupy job titles according to their highest academic qualifications. In both
special libraries as well as in the engineering environment there is much task overlap
and downshifting of job functions between paraprofessional and professional
university and UoT graduates and diplomates. This study has revealed a valuable best
practice from the engineering discipline for the LIS profession, which is that of
professional registration. Professional registration of engineering staff with the
Engineering Council of South Africa is a statutory requirement in the engineering
profession and allows for the growth and development of those in the profession. It is
recommended that the LIS profession, and the Library and Information Association of
South Africa (LIASA) specifically, investigate a mechanism for professional
registration of library and information workers.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Technology Degree in Library and Information Studies, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2008.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Accounting and Informatics)

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