Generations of librarians
The other day when I posted about the rising number of MLIS degrees conferred since 2000 it may have seemed obvious to assume that 2008 (7,191 degrees) was the peak. But this is actually not the case. The peak on record is actually the 1975-1976 academic year. with 8,037, and 1970-1971 was pretty close to the end of the 2000s with 7,001. Additionally the National Center for Education Statistics was only keeping data for every 5th year at the time, so there may have been another, even higher peak during this time.
If you’ve ever talked to newer (years of experience, not age) librarians you may have heard about feelings of a divide between ‘old’ and ‘new’ librarians. This data shows that this is not merely the feeling that any newcomers to a profession would have. We can see that there really is are 2 distinct periods of ‘boom’ in the library profession, the early-mid 1970s and the mid-late 2000s. So there are large groups of librarians clustered around 2 very different periods of time.
Data source: Digest of Education Statistics (2010)