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Qualifications held by school library staff in New Zealand


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Conducted by Softlink on behalf of the school library sector, the annual New Zealand School Library Survey looks at key statistical information related to school libraries. The aim of survey is to support staff to advocate for school libraries by providing relevant data.

In the 2021 Survey, we asked questions about school library staffing.

Key staffing findings

  • 55% of respondents said that they think their school library is adequately staffed.
  • 79% of respondents said that their staffing levels had not changed from 2019, 9% reported an increase in staffing, and 12% reported that staffing levels had decreased.
  • The top 4 responsibilities of school library staff (over and above managing the collection) were:
    • Curating relevant information and resources to support the curriculum (46%)
    • Providing 1 on 1 research assistance to students (45%)
    • Providing regular timetabled library lessons (39%)
    • Delivering ad-hoc library lessons (39%)

The survey also asked an open-ended question about qualifications held by staff in their school library.

Overall, 50% of New Zealand schools reported that no staff in their library had school library related qualifications, 10% reported that they have more than one qualified staff member working in the library, and 4% reported that at least one member of their library staff is currently studying to obtain a qualification or upgrade their qualification.

A breakdown of reported specific qualifications by school library staff has been provided below.

Contributing school library staff qualifications overview

When looking at the qualifications held by contributing school library staff, 80% reported that no staff in their library had school library related qualifications, 2% reported that they have more than one qualified staff member working in the library, and 2% reported that at least one member of their library staff is currently studying to obtain a qualification or upgrade their qualification.

Qualifications held by contributing school library staff

The top reported qualifications held by contributing school library staff include:

  • Qualified Librarian: 5%
  • Bachelor of Education: 3%

Other reported qualifications held by contributing school library staff include: Master of Library and Information Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science, Diploma in Library and Information Management, Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5), New Zealand Certificate in Library Studies, Certificate in Library and Information Services for Children and Teens (Level 6). 

Full Primary school library staff qualifications overview 

When looking at the qualifications held by full primary school library staff, 65% reported that no staff in their library had school library related qualifications, 9% reported that they have more than one qualified staff member working in the library, and 2% reported that at least one member of their library staff is currently studying to obtain a qualification or upgrade their qualification.

Qualifications held by full primary school library staff

The top reported qualifications held by full primary school library staff include:

  • Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 6): 11%
  • Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5): 7%
  • Qualified Librarian: 4%

Other reported qualifications held by full primary school library staff include: Master of Library and Information Science, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Applied Science (Information and Library Studies), Diploma of Teaching, New Zealand Certificate in Library Studies, Certificate in Library and Information Services for Children and Teens (Level 6).

Secondary (year 7-15) school library staff qualifications overview

When looking at the qualifications held by secondary (year 7-15) school library staff, 33% reported that no staff in their library had school library related qualifications, 11% reported that they have more than one qualified staff member working in the library, and 4% reported that at least one member of their library staff is currently studying to obtain a qualification or upgrade their qualification.

Qualifications held by secondary (year 7-15) school library staff

The top reported qualifications held by secondary (year 7-15) school library staff include:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Library Studies: 11%
  • Diploma of Library and Information Services: 7%
  • Diploma of Teaching: 7%

Other reported qualifications held by secondary (year 7-15) school library staff include: Master of Library and Information Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Information Studies, Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Library and Information Studies, Diploma in Library and Information Science (Level 6), Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5), Diploma in Children's and Young Peoples Literature, Certificate in Library and Information Services for Children and Teens (Level 6), Qualified Librarian.

Secondary (year 9-15) school library staff qualifications overview

When looking at the qualifications held by secondary (year 9-15) school library staff, 20% reported that no staff in their library had school library related qualifications, 22% reported that they have more than one qualified staff member working in the library, and 4% reported that at least one member of their library staff is currently studying to obtain a qualification or upgrade their qualification.

Qualifications held by secondary (year 9-15) school library staff

The top reported qualifications held by secondary (year 9-15) school library staff include:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Library Studies: 16%
  • Qualified Librarian: 13%
  • Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 6): 11%

Other reported qualifications held by secondary (year 9-15) school library staff include: Master of Library and Information Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Information Studies, Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Humanities & Information & Library Studies, Bachelor of Library and Information Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Library and Information Sciences), Diploma in Library and Information Science (Level 6), Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5).

Composite school library staff qualifications overview

When looking at the qualifications held by composite school library staff, 33% reported that no staff in their library had school library related qualifications, 20% reported that they have more than one qualified staff member working in the library, and 13% reported that at least one member of their library staff is currently studying to obtain a qualification or upgrade their qualification.

Qualifications held by composite school library staff

The top reported qualifications held by composite school library staff include:

  • Master of Library and Information Science: 13%
  • Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5): 13%
  • New Zealand Certificate in Library Studies: 13%
  • Qualified Librarian: 13%

Other reported qualifications held by composite school library staff include: Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship), Diploma of Library and Information Services, Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 6), Diploma in Library and Information Science (Level 6), Certificate in Library and Information Services for Children and Teens (Level 6).

More from the School Library Survey

  • To access the full 2021 New Zealand School Library Survey Report, visit our resources page
  • Find out about the qualifications held by school library staff in Australia in this blog 
  • To read feature articles based on comments in the School Library Surveys, read this blog

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