May 28, 2022

New Article: “Supporting the Next-Generation ILS: The Changing Roles of Systems Librarians”

The following article appears in the latest issue of The Journal of Library Innovation.


Supporting the Next-Generation ILS: The Changing Roles of Systems Librarians


Ping Fu
Central Washington University


The Journal of Library Innovation
Vol 5 No. 1 (2014)


This paper compares current responsibilities of systems librarians supporting the traditional ILS with anticipated responsibilities associated with supporting the next- generation ILS.

An examination of how the roles of systems librarians will change due to the migration to the next-generation ILS is included. The method used for this study was content analysis of online job banks with archives of five years of job postings. The analysis results demonstrate a shift is happening in the primary roles and responsibilities of systems librarians supporting the next-generation ILS. The job responsibilities are becoming more human/organizations related than those positions supporting the traditional ILS where responsibilities are concentrated on information technology.

Overall, this suggests that systems librarians are expected to manage much less in terms of tasks directly related to information technology. Consequently, systems librarians should re-engineer themselves accordingly so that they will be able to support more critical issues in the library.

Direct to Full Text Article (13 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.