The emerging information professional market in botswana
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The Emerging Information Professional Market in Botswana. Ojedokun , A. A. & Moaki , K. H. The emerging market for information professionals in Botswana, and the skills requirements. (2005) Education for Information, 23, 129-139. An Article Critique by Leah L. Coffin LIBR 285

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The Emerging Information Professional Market in Botswana

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The Emerging Information Professional Market in Botswana

Ojedokun, A. A. & Moaki, K. H. The emerging market for information

professionals in Botswana, and the skills requirements. (2005)

Education for Information, 23, 129-139.

An Article Critique by Leah L. Coffin

LIBR 285

Prof. LiliLuo

April 26, 2009

Research Need

  • There is an emerging market for information professionals with talent, know-how & experience. However, current LIS graduates often feel they are taught skills which go unused in the current workplace.

  • Libraries in Botswana are major information custodians. All but a few are automated, all have internet access. Two of the largest employers of University of Botswana (UB) MLIS graduates are government organizations; the other two are major libraries.

  • The study asked UB MLIS graduates and their employers:

    What is the current status of the information professional market in Botswana, and what is the level of readiness for current MLIS graduates?

Literature Review

The article cites several related studies conducted in other African countries:

  • Ghana (Kisiedu, 1993) Respondents suggested strengthening the Information Technology component of the LIS curriculum.

  • Nigeria(Onadiran, 1988) Respondents recommended greater subject expertise, additional coursework in science, arts, & social sciences.

  • Kenya (Aina, 1993) 60% of LIS job advertisements were in non-traditional library work.

    Qualitative surveys of LIS graduates indicate a growing perceived need for both IT and subject-based expertise, while quantitative research of the job market suggests an increased need for information professionals to possess non-traditional skills and talents.


  • 71 total UB MLIS graduates between 1996-2003. No sampling frame was available, so researchers used “snowballing” to identify 32 graduates currently employed in Gaborone.

  • Purposive sampling of employers found 4 major organizations: University of Botswana Library (UBL), Botswana National Library Services (BNLS), Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA), Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC).

  • 19 respondents interviewed in workplace, comprising 59.4% of the sample. Separate interview also conducted with relevant senior staff at organizations.

Data Collection

LIS graduates were asked:

Employers were asked:

How is IT affecting your organization & your organization’s need for information professionals?

In light of the above, what are the skills you require from information professionals to support your organization’s mission objectives?

What is your impression of the need for information professionals in Botswana? Is there an emerging market for them?

  • Do you think there is an emerging information market for LIS graduates in Botswana?

  • If so, what are the indicators of the emerging market?

  • What skills are required?

Interviews were analyzed to establish patterns in both categories of respondents’ perceptions on the emerging information professional market in Botswana.




The emerging market exists, but so do negative perceptions about LIS graduates and their degree.

Dominant culture in LIS programs must reconcile with current IT requirements in job market.

IT professionals must take an active approach to finding out the best way to serve an organization’s information needs.

  • Many organizations now embrace IT, regardless of field.

  • Both traditional and non-traditional skills needed in emerging markets.

  • IT affects different workplaces to varying degrees, depending on their specific needs.

  • Employees need “profound” IT understanding.


Qualitative research can “fill in the blanks” in quantitative research by providing potential solutions to the problems it exposes.

Appropriate sampling & interview techniques can have cultural as well as technical aspects.

Interviewing different groups on the same subject from the appropriate perspective can yield useful qualitative results.

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