The average age of library professionals in the latest Association of Research Libraries (ARL) demographic data was 49, older than at any time in the past 29 years, which is when the association began collecting data.

This change in the landscape is in part because baby boomers are not retiring as early as previous generations. It can also be attributed to a decrease in those entering the profession at all. This appears to be a phenomenon unique to the United States, but leaves many concerned about the appropriate number of professionals prepared to step into the roles.

Melody K. Smith

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