Posted by lpearle on 23 December 2008
Over on NEXTGENLIB there’s been a lot of discussion about the US News & World Report article that says being a librarian is one of the best careers of 2009.
Some of the discussion has revolved around the fact that the American Library Association tells of an upcoming lack of librarians, a problem they’ve been touting for years. Problem is, these jobs don’t seem to be readily available. Entry level jobs in almost all professions don’t pay a lot, and librarianship is no different.
The other thread has been about the skills need to be a librarian. The reality is that there are different types of librarians, with different skill sets (eg, a law librarian needs a JD as well, while an archivist needs preservation skills that a reference librarian won’t probably use). Technology does play a large part, though, no matter which type of librarian you aspire to be.
At MPOW we’re embarking on a search for a new librarian. Technology skills will be important, as this person will be expected to teach databases and help update the website, among other things. We’re not looking for someone who just wants to read books all day, nor are we looking for someone that meets the Disposable Librarian criteria.
What determines a “best career” for US News & World Report is not necessarily what determines a “best career” for any individual. And for me, this isn’t a career… it’s a fulfilling way to spend my days. Let’s hope our future hire feels the same.