This study endeavoured to establish what influences students to undertake library and information studies. Are prospective students of library and information studies choosing their course and future occupation for the same sorts of reasons as in the past? Are prospective students well informed about their future occupation when they choose a course of study? What is the relative importance of some of the factors influencing their choice? Do metropolitan, regional and isolated students have the same understanding and expectations of their course and future occupation? A study of first year undergraduate students of library and information studies at three universities sought to provide answers to these questions. A quantitative and qualitative comparison of first year undergraduate students of Library and Information Studies at the University of Canberra and a random group from the same University was also undertaken in order to provide some comparative data. The findings showed that reasons for choosing library and information studies have generally not changed as much as one might expect. An interest in books and reading still ranks as a relatively important factor in students’ choice, though there is some evidence of an increased interest in career and employment issues. Library and information studies students without an occupational background in the discipline generally have a hazy picture of what is involved in their future occupation and this lack of knowledge is compounded where students are located in regional or isolated areas. Generally most library and information studies respondents expressed a desire to enter ‘traditional’ workplaces in libraries rather than entering the broader information management field.
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