Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science (WILIS) was a program of research designed to study the educational, workplace, career and retention issues faced by library and information science (LIS) graduates. WILIS 1 and 2 were partnerships of the UNC School of Information and Library Science and the UNC Institute on Aging. WILIS was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The WILIS project had three major components:

WILIS 1 (2005-2008) was the initial study that focused on LIS graduates from programs in North Carolina. A comprehensive web-based survey was used to collect data on the long term career patterns of those who graduated from LIS programs in North Carolina between 1964 and 2007.

WILIS 2 (2007-2010) built on the findings from WILIS 1 to create an alumni tracking system that all LIS master’s programs could potentially use. Using a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, the study refined the WILIS 1 career tracking model and tested it with 33 LIS programs.

WILIS 3 (2010-2013) was a three-year project that built on previous WILIS studies by focusing on a collaborative approach to data sharing. WILIS 3 has accomplished the following goals: created publicly accessible de-identified datasets from WILIS 1 and 2; developed an interactive program-specific data system to enable LIS programs to explore their own data and benchmark with other programs; and produced the Guide to Data Curation for Researchers web site.

View a video about the project and access to the data archive: