Frequently asked questions
A few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and answers about Information Studies.
All three of these professional groups are responsible for the organisation of information and for helping people to find and use it. Librarians mostly deal with information which is published; that is publicly available. This does not have to be in printed books – web sites, DVDs, databases and other formats all contain publicly available information. Records managers mostly deal with the records of private and government organisations; information which enables the organisation to operate and to satisfy the demands of the law. However, they are increasingly becoming involved in all aspects of corporate information use in a digital age. Archivists deal with older records which are judged to have historical importance and which may be made publicly available to researchers and the general public.
Employment for archivists, curators and records managers grew by 88 per cent in the last two years*.The demand for librarians has been steady and, despite all kinds of predictions about the death of libraries because of the Internet, is increasing rather than diminishing. Good records managers are in heavy demand. All organisations, whether government or private, are feeling increasing pressure to be accountable for their actions, and for this good records are needed. There are relatively few openings for archivists who concentrate only on historical records, but many records managers will also need to deal with archival records.
* Information sourced from Joboutlook.gov.au and accurate as at 1/07/2015
We believe that there is no clear distinction between the two professions. Records move gradually from being current documents to being historical archives and there is often no clear break in this process. All records managers need to know about archives and all archivists need to know about how records are created and used. We therefore teach them together. Another justification is that there are relatively few openings for ‘pure’ archivists, although the demand for qualified archivists is increasing with the advent of electronic records and recognition worldwide of the need to preserve cultural heritage.
Curtin has been teaching in this area for over thirty years and pioneered the introduction of a degree-level undergraduate course in records management. We have a reputation for emphasising both theory and practical skills and aim to produce graduates who can assume a wide range of responsibilities in a variety of information services and systems. Information Studies has an experienced and well-qualified staff.
Our courses contain a core of theory and practical skills supplemented by a range of optional units covering subjects like digital libraries, internet content management and public librarianship. The courses offer flexibility and an opportunity to study in areas of individual interest.