May 16, 2005
The (sad) State of Entry Level Jobs in Librarianship
/* begin rant
If you haven't yet read the LJ article The Entry Level Gap by Rachel Holt and Adrienne L. Strock, you should. It's a sobering look at the much-debated issue of (non)availability of jobs in LIS. Much-debated indeed. So much so that I finally had to cancel my subscription to NEXGENLIB-L because it was, well, becoming overwhelming if not depressing.
I was spoon-fed the library job hype all while attending library school from 2000-2002. In fact, it was one of the preeminent marketing tools used to recruit people into the program, and the 'hype' simply doesn't bear out. The article focuses on the US, and I would also argue (anecdotally, of course) that the situation is even worse in Canada (notice where I'm working?) Library schools need to shake the candy-coated groupthink and stop misleading LIS students into thinking that they're going to graduate and land jobs paying $50 000 (I was told this on more than one occassion). Give people the straight goods and let them make informed choices based on accurate information - surely not a foreign concept to . . . librarianship!?
I was very fortunate when I graduated and landed a two-year internship at the University of Winnipeg. I was immersed in all aspects of academic librarianship, and had the elbow room to learn while growing into the profession without all the tenure and publishing pressures. I can't stress strongly enough how crucial the internship experience was to my ability to find a job, and I'm constantly amazed that more libraries don't offer the same opportunity. Here are the two programs that I'm familiar with:
More libraries should follow their lead . . .
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Posted on May 16, 2005 9:38 PM to on my mind . . .