How many jobs are there for paraprofessionals in public, school, and academic libraries in Colorado? What does the outlook for their employment look like for the rest of this decade? Data available from the Library Research Service (LRS) and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) help to answer these questions. According to the LRS’s 2000 data files, all posted or at http://www.LRS.org:
- Colorado public libraries employ at least 307 and as many as 1,868 ”paraprofessionals.” This particular sector of the library community demonstrates how difficult it can be to define and count people in this category of employment. Of those with the rank or title of librarian, 307 do not have master’s degrees in library science (MLS) accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). In addition, public libraries reported a total of 1,561 ”other” staff. This category includes library assistants and technicians, pages and shelvers, and miscellaneous other staff. It may also include some professionals or ”paraprofessionals” in other fields such as human resources, marketing, and technology. These two categories together—non-MLS librarians and other staff—total 1,868.
- The state’s academic libraries reported 521 ”other” staff (i.e., not librarians, contributed staff, or student assistants).
- Colorado school libraries reported 1,130 FTEs of library aides.
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