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Information Careers. LS 501: Introduction to Library & Information Studies. Revised Summer 2006, 2010, 2011. C.2003, Deborah J. Grimes. Working Conditions for Librarians. Significant amount of time at desks & computer terminals (eyestrain, headaches, CTS)

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information careers
Information Careers

LS 501: Introduction to Library & Information Studies

Revised Summer 2006, 2010, 2011

C.2003, Deborah J. Grimes

working conditions for librarians
Working Conditions for Librarians
  • Significant amount of time at desks & computer terminals (eyestrain, headaches, CTS)
  • Variety of library users need assistance requires and patience and good “reference interview” skills
  • Smaller libraries -- more breadth in daily tasks and responsibilities; larger libraries -- more depth in daily tasks and responsibilities
  • School librarians -- same weekday schedule and holidays as students
  • Special librarians -- same schedule and holidays as business/industry (but may work longer hours during peak periods)
  • Public and academic librarians -- often work weekends, evenings, holidays
  • Some physical work necessary in most positions; some tedium and details; much bureaucracy (at organization level) but autonomy (at individual level)
  • More than 20% librarians work part-time
  • Rapid technological change at the present
degree requirements for librarians
Degree Requirements for Librarians
  • Professional positions generally require Master’s degree in librarianship, library science, library studies, information studies, etc.
  • Minimum requirement for some positions may be Master’s in any field with 18 hours in library studies; school library positions vary and sometimes require teaching certification.
  • Special librarians and subject bibliographers often need additional graduate or professional degree -- or no library degree at all!
  • Ph.D. is often required for library educators, top administrative jobs in colleges, universities, or large library systems.
is the mls a legitimate credential
Is the MLS a legitimate credential?
  • Cottam points out that exceptions to the “rule” do not challenge the MLS as a legitimate credential and that the few who wish to do library work without the credential do not threaten the profession.
  • But what is the public perception of the work and the job of a librarian? Do credentials help explain librarians’ roles to the public?
  • Other librarians consider it legitimate and a minimum qualification (and who hires & reviews applications?).
  • MLS considered to be minimum qualification for most academic libraries (see ACRL minimum competencies and statement on MLS)
  • MLS affects promotion and rank, particularly at academic institutions with faculty status for librarians
  • When considering jobs and positions: what really matters are the requirements of the library and/or institution with the job
  • P.S. Only one Librarian of Congress has had a library degree (L. Quincy Mumford, BS, Columbia University, 1929)
job outlook for librarians occupational outlook handbook 2010 11 ed

Currently 159,900 librarians at work

Job Outlook for Librarians,Occupational Outlook Handbook , 2010-11 ed.
  • Employment is expected to grow as quickly as average rate in other jobs through 2018 (about 8%), but retirement of large numbers of librarians will lead to need for replacements.
    • More than 3 in 5 librarians are aged 45 or older and will become eligible for retirement in the next 10 years.
  • OTOH, systems librarians will be needed, along with librarians who can use technology to meet user needs.
  • There will be more competition for jobs in large metropolitan areas and less competition in rural areas.
  • 59% jobs will be in public and private educational institutions; 27% will be with local governments
the boomer brain drain the last of a generation
“The Boomer Brain Drain: The Last of a Generation”

SO WHAT?!

Published in Library Journal (May 1, 2000), pp. 38-43, by Evan St.Lifer (AVL)

Why, then are recent grads still finding boomers holding onto their jobs?

how to locate library jobs
How to Locate Library Jobs
  • UA SLIS Placement Materials
  • Chronicle of Higher Education (Academe Today at http://www.chronicle.com
  • ALA online (plus placement center at conferences)
  • Library Journal (print and online)
  • ALLA -- http://allanet.org/www/employment.htm
  • APLS -- http://www.apls.state.al.us/webpages/news/jobs.htm
  • Libraryjobs -- http://www.libraryjobpostings.org/
  • Special libraries -- http://www.ibiblio.org/slanews/jobs/jobs.html
  • Lib Jobs -- http://www.libjobs.com/
  • UIUC Library School site -- http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/gslis/resources/jobs.html
  • Local newspapers, school boards, listservs, etc.
slide9

Number of Placements and Full-Time Salaries of 2009 US Graduates (by Region)

Why the differences?

From ALA Annual Survey, pub.in Library Journal, October 1, 2010

alabama graduates employed 2008
Alabama Graduates/Employed, 2008*

From ALA Annual Survey, pub.in Library Journal, October 2, 2010

*Probably due to number responding – So please respond when you get the survey!

salaries for librarians1
Salaries for Librarians

“In fact a few simple mathematical calculations reveal that if reference librarians were paid at market rates for all the roles they play, they would have salaries well over $200,000." Will Manley in The Truth About Reference Librarians, McFarland, 1996, p. 30.

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook , updated 12/09 (http://www.bls.govocc/print/ocos069.htm)
  • OOH Earnings in 2008
    • Median earnings = $52,530
    • Middle 50% = $42,240 and $65,300
    • Lowest 10% < $33,190
    • Highest 10% > $81,130
    • Median annual earnings where most librarians are employed
    • Elementary/secondary schools = $54,050
    • Junior Colleges = $55,250
    • Colleges & universities = $55,180
    • Local government = $54,650
    • Other information services = $40,000
salaries placements for librarians
Salaries/Placements for Librarians
  • Annual Salary Survey in Library Journal (October issue)
  • Salaries increased fastest in MW and esp. SW, chiefly in academic and vendor positions
  • Average starting salary LIS grads in 2008 gained by 1.5% to $42,215
  • But unemployment was reported 7.8% higher (with length of search averaging 5 months) with grads down 7%
    • Hiring freezes, mandated furloughs, budgets
    • More placements outside libraries than previous years (41%)
  • Gender gap and glass ceiling increases, esp. minority women
  • 22.8% in part-time positions
  • 44.6% graduates returned to their current jobs
  • Location matters -- higher average salaries in West ($50,343 or 16% higher); placements decreased in SE by 10% with 8.5% unemployment
advancement in the field
Advancement in the Field
  • Experience
  • Additional education, degree, training
  • Publications, presentations (especially academic librarians)
  • Special skills (especially computer skills), foreign language abilities
  • Willingness to relocate
  • Networking
where else can your mls take you
Where else can your MLS take you?
  • Information specialist for government officials or city management
  • Associate Product Manager, eBay (Nancy Firchow)
  • Librarian, Johnson Publishing Company, Chicago
  • Librarian, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Digital Librarian, Anti-Defamation League, NYC
  • Librarian, The Freedom Forum, Washington, DC
  • Project Manager, Zimmerman Associates, Washington, DC (digitizing historical collection of US Mint)
  • Library school professor (with doctorate)
  • Tribal libraries and educational programs
  • “Answer Lady,” Facts for Fiction (verifying info. for authors)
  • Archivists, curators, museum technicians
  • Information industry jobs (publishers, jobbers, systems vendors, etc.)
  • Information brokers
  • Information architect
let s revisit is librarianship a profession
Let’s Revisit: Is Librarianship a Profession?
  • Characteristics of a profession (mostly from Goode)
    • Autonomy -- individual choice in standards of excellence; judged by peers not outsiders; accountability
    • Professional associations
    • Higher incomes than other workers
    • Prolonged specialized training
    • Code of ethics
    • Body of knowledge, ongoing research attached to learning and philosophy in the field
    • Service orientation (client’s needs more imp. Than self-interest)
let s revisit is librarianship a profession1
Let’s Revisit: Is Librarianship a Profession?
  • Continued: Characteristics of a profession (mostly from Goode)
    • Making sacrifices (pro bono work, risking life or other things)
    • Time and money is spent on recruiting superior candidates and better training.
    • Elite members know what to do (ethics, service, lobbying, curricula, fund-raising, research, image).
    • Public must believe and be aware that there is a specialized body of knowledge.
    • ‘Backstage’ activities more important than what the public sees.
is librarianship a profession
Is Librarianship a Profession?
  • Continued: Characteristics of a profession (mostly from Goode)
    • Rise to administrative levels later in careers
    • Understanding of client’s needs rather than wants (puts their good first); decisions are made by the professional and not by the client
    • Little competition -- distinct function?
    • Hierarchy within the field (Robbins)
    • Degree to which perceived as public good (i.e. high social value)

Trade

Continuum

Profession

what do you think
What Do You Think?

CLASS EXERCISE:

Is the MLS DOA?