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Re: [contrarianlibrarian] Career change

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  • Brian Gray
    Sounds like you have a very biased view of the profession. Brian mindspiral@gmail.com ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 28, 2006
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      Sounds like you have a very biased view of the profession.

      Brian
      mindspiral@...

      On 2/27/06, Violet <violet_sf29@...> wrote:
      >
      > The job is also not very challenging nor interesting in my opinion (but
      > that is another topic).


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Brian Gray
      If you are considering librarianship, do your homework first (read job ads, volunteer, talk to professionals, etc.). Also, you need to be flexible in the type
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 28, 2006
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        If you are considering librarianship, do your homework first (read job ads,
        volunteer, talk to professionals, etc.). Also, you need to be flexible in
        the type of jobs you will consider, where you will live, etc.

        It is not all gloom and doom, as several have suggested. There are no
        guarantees of employment. I have known people with NO experience that found
        jobs before graduation and people with experience that took years to find a
        job. There are many variables that come into play: type of library, past
        career experiences, financial requirements, ability to move, skills,
        impressions portrayed by resume/cover letter, etc.

        If you really want to be a librarian, I say go ahead. If you are just
        looking for a change, this would not be the best choice of a degree. While
        many librarians have used the MLS/MLIS to find jobs outside of libraries, it
        is hard to convince people outside libraries of the degrees relevance (even
        though it has a lot).

        Brian Gray
        mindspiral@...


        --- oc9399 <awgarland@...> wrote:
        > > For the past few months I've been perusing the
        > > Internet for information and opinions on the current job market
        > > for MLS graduates.
        > > I currently hold a Bachelor's Degree and work in the
        > > healthcare industry but have considered obtaining an MLS degree
        > > now in my mid-30s.
        > > I was a student employee at my university library
        > > way back when and
        > > enjoyed it very much, having worked in several
        > > different departments.
        > > More recently, I've had some regret at never
        > > considering an MLS until
        > > now. On the other hand, it would mean taking a
        > > paycut and possibly
        > > relocating (I live in the Northwest), provided if I
        > > even found a job.
        > > Had I done things differently several years ago, I
        > > would have pursued
        > > the MLS back in '99, and graduated right in the
        > > middle of a tight job
        > > market according to some of the posts I'm seeing here.
        > > I'm glad to have found this site and feel as though
        > > I'm getting
        > > the "straight dope" that I wouldn't get in library
        > > school. It's still
        > > something I want to pursue as a second career, but
        > > maybe I should stay
        > > put before investing my time and money (re: Stafford
        > > loans) - at least
        > > until the job market improves.
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > > oc9399


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • laurieshaina@aol.com
        I find this new strain of emails beyond sad. I too, am a degreed Librarian for about 18 years now. I have worked in some awful environments for some crappy
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 1, 2006
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          I find this new strain of emails beyond sad. I too, am a degreed Librarian
          for about 18 years now. I have worked in some awful environments for some crappy
          people and then I have worked in great environments for decent people. I
          don't believe that we have been marginalized, however there does seem to be a
          decline in the profession as people retire,especially of replacing them with non
          degreed paraprofessionals to save money. Quality of service is no longer our
          credo, but economics instead.

          For the most part I think this profession is like any other, no worse or
          better, you sometimes work for rotten managers and sometimes you don't. I think it
          is whatever you make to be. If you don't like the environment, you can move
          on. The best thing about libraries is that every city, state and county has so
          me....so there are many to chose from and it is varied. You can do a variety of
          jobs in a library setting which is great. For example, you can specialize in
          reference, cataloging, IS, childrens and teen services, all sort of things and
          if you are particularly anti-social you can do stuff in the back room like
          cataloging, etc.

          I think its wrong for all of you to discourage others from moving into this
          profession. Pretty soon there won't be a profession if you keep this sort of
          disdainful criticism up. IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHERE YOU ARE MOVE ALONG AND MAKE
          ROOM FOR SOMEONE ELSE WHO MIGHT DO A MUCH BETTER JOB or even better SPEAK UP,
          FILE A GRIEVANCE, TAKE UP A PETITION and remove the bad managers who are making
          you and others so miserable and cleanse the system of these grunges.

          Frankly, if I had one criticism that I would level onto this profession, in
          general,that I feel is not similar to other professions, that would be that
          without exception, almost 95% of the staff in libraries ARE WIMPY, BACKSTABBING,
          GOSSIPY, GUTLESS WONDERS, who put up with a lot of crap, talk incessantly
          about it, behind everyone's backs which accomplishes nothing and never stand up
          for themselves, which is why these conditions persist and management bullies are
          allowed to remain and break library systems backs and their employees.

          AS PROFESSIONALS WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR SOMETHING IF IT IS WRONG and not
          run and hide and say nothing. That is what I see is really wrong with our
          profession. It allows BULLY'S to rise to management level and wreak havoc because no
          one has any guts to take them on and stop them....

          .I am reminded that at Las Vegas Public Library(CLARK COUNTY) they became so
          enraged by their bully director, assitant director and library board that they
          took up a petition systemwide which 360 staff signed and went to the county
          manager and had them all investigated and summarily fired. Now things are
          better from what I read.

          But that is sometimes what it takes, courage and I don't see that very often
          in this profession of ours, just people trying to be invisible and going along
          to get along and hiding out in their cubby holes ....IT'S VERY, VERY,SAD.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Xavier Bullwinkle
          ... into this ... this sort of ... ALONG AND MAKE ... better SPEAK UP, ... who are making ... grunges. ... Even better, if you re working somewhere horrible,
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 1, 2006
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            --- In contrarianlibrarian@yahoogroups.com, laurieshaina@... wrote:

            >
            > I think its wrong for all of you to discourage others from moving
            into this
            > profession. Pretty soon there won't be a profession if you keep
            this sort of
            > disdainful criticism up. IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHERE YOU ARE MOVE
            ALONG AND MAKE
            > ROOM FOR SOMEONE ELSE WHO MIGHT DO A MUCH BETTER JOB or even
            better SPEAK UP,
            > FILE A GRIEVANCE, TAKE UP A PETITION and remove the bad managers
            who are making
            > you and others so miserable and cleanse the system of these
            grunges.
            >

            Even better, if you're working somewhere horrible, post something on
            this group about your workplace (if you can do so anonymously --
            i.e. if it's a large enough system that your identity won't be
            revealed).

            That's what we're here for!

            XB
          • David Midyette
            Here here! A voice of reason! laurieshaina@aol.com wrote: I find this new strain of emails beyond sad. I too, am a degreed Librarian for about 18 years now.
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 1, 2006
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              Here here! A voice of reason!

              laurieshaina@... wrote: I find this new strain of emails beyond sad. I too, am a degreed Librarian
              for about 18 years now. I have worked in some awful environments for some crappy
              people and then I have worked in great environments for decent people. I
              don't believe that we have been marginalized, however there does seem to be a
              decline in the profession as people retire,especially of replacing them with non
              degreed paraprofessionals to save money. Quality of service is no longer our
              credo, but economics instead.

              For the most part I think this profession is like any other, no worse or
              better, you sometimes work for rotten managers and sometimes you don't. I think it
              is whatever you make to be. If you don't like the environment, you can move
              on. The best thing about libraries is that every city, state and county has so
              me....so there are many to chose from and it is varied. You can do a variety of
              jobs in a library setting which is great. For example, you can specialize in
              reference, cataloging, IS, childrens and teen services, all sort of things and
              if you are particularly anti-social you can do stuff in the back room like
              cataloging, etc.

              I think its wrong for all of you to discourage others from moving into this
              profession. Pretty soon there won't be a profession if you keep this sort of
              disdainful criticism up. IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHERE YOU ARE MOVE ALONG AND MAKE
              ROOM FOR SOMEONE ELSE WHO MIGHT DO A MUCH BETTER JOB or even better SPEAK UP,
              FILE A GRIEVANCE, TAKE UP A PETITION and remove the bad managers who are making
              you and others so miserable and cleanse the system of these grunges.

              Frankly, if I had one criticism that I would level onto this profession, in
              general,that I feel is not similar to other professions, that would be that
              without exception, almost 95% of the staff in libraries ARE WIMPY, BACKSTABBING,
              GOSSIPY, GUTLESS WONDERS, who put up with a lot of crap, talk incessantly
              about it, behind everyone's backs which accomplishes nothing and never stand up
              for themselves, which is why these conditions persist and management bullies are
              allowed to remain and break library systems backs and their employees.

              AS PROFESSIONALS WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR SOMETHING IF IT IS WRONG and not
              run and hide and say nothing. That is what I see is really wrong with our
              profession. It allows BULLY'S to rise to management level and wreak havoc because no
              one has any guts to take them on and stop them....

              .I am reminded that at Las Vegas Public Library(CLARK COUNTY) they became so
              enraged by their bully director, assitant director and library board that they
              took up a petition systemwide which 360 staff signed and went to the county
              manager and had them all investigated and summarily fired. Now things are
              better from what I read.

              But that is sometimes what it takes, courage and I don't see that very often
              in this profession of ours, just people trying to be invisible and going along
              to get along and hiding out in their cubby holes ....IT'S VERY, VERY,SAD.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • oc9399
              Has this always been the case with librarianship and the MLS degree?
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 3, 2006
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                Has this always been the case with librarianship and the MLS degree?

                >
                > It would be impossible in good conscience for me to
                > recommend anyone get an MLS today. There are simply
                > not enough professional librarian jobs to go around,
                > and that is not even taking into account the
                > increasing deprofessionalization of librarianship.
                >
                > --- oc9399 <awgarland@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Hello,
                > >
                > > For the past few months I've been perusing the
                > > Internet for
                > > information and opinions on the current job market
                > > for MLS graduates.
                > > I currently hold a Bachelor's Degree and work in the
                > > healthcare
                > > industry but have considered obtaining an MLS degree
                > > now in my mid-
                > > 30s.
                > > I was a student employee at my university library
                > > way back when and
                > > enjoyed it very much, having worked in several
                > > different departments.
                > > More recently, I've had some regret at never
                > > considering an MLS until
                > > now. On the other hand, it would mean taking a
                > > paycut and possibly
                > > relocating (I live in the Northwest), provided if I
                > > even found a job.
                > > Had I done things differently several years ago, I
                > > would have pursued
                > > the MLS back in '99, and graduated right in the
                > > middle of a tight job
                > > market according to some of the posts I'm seeing
                > > here.
                > > I'm glad to have found this site and feel as though
                > > I'm getting
                > > the "straight dope" that I wouldn't get in library
                > > school. It's still
                > > something I want to pursue as a second career, but
                > > maybe I should stay
                > > put before investing my time and money (re: Stafford
                > > loans) - at least
                > > until the job market improves.
                > >
                > > Thanks,
                > > oc9399
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Thomas Roche
                Certainly not forever, no, but for the last five years at least, since the bubble burst and was further deflated by 9/11, yes. Hard to see these things
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 6, 2006
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                  Certainly not forever, no, but for the last five years
                  at least, since the bubble burst and was further
                  deflated by 9/11, yes. Hard to see these things
                  changing, too.

                  --- oc9399 <awgarland@...> wrote:

                  > Has this always been the case with librarianship and
                  > the MLS degree?
                  >
                  > >
                  > > It would be impossible in good conscience for me
                  > to
                  > > recommend anyone get an MLS today. There are
                  > simply
                  > > not enough professional librarian jobs to go
                  > around,
                  > > and that is not even taking into account the
                  > > increasing deprofessionalization of librarianship.
                  > >
                  > > --- oc9399 <awgarland@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > Hello,
                  > > >
                  > > > For the past few months I've been perusing the
                  > > > Internet for
                  > > > information and opinions on the current job
                  > market
                  > > > for MLS graduates.
                  > > > I currently hold a Bachelor's Degree and work in
                  > the
                  > > > healthcare
                  > > > industry but have considered obtaining an MLS
                  > degree
                  > > > now in my mid-
                  > > > 30s.
                  > > > I was a student employee at my university
                  > library
                  > > > way back when and
                  > > > enjoyed it very much, having worked in several
                  > > > different departments.
                  > > > More recently, I've had some regret at never
                  > > > considering an MLS until
                  > > > now. On the other hand, it would mean taking a
                  > > > paycut and possibly
                  > > > relocating (I live in the Northwest), provided
                  > if I
                  > > > even found a job.
                  > > > Had I done things differently several years ago,
                  > I
                  > > > would have pursued
                  > > > the MLS back in '99, and graduated right in the
                  > > > middle of a tight job
                  > > > market according to some of the posts I'm seeing
                  > > > here.
                  > > > I'm glad to have found this site and feel as
                  > though
                  > > > I'm getting
                  > > > the "straight dope" that I wouldn't get in
                  > library
                  > > > school. It's still
                  > > > something I want to pursue as a second career,
                  > but
                  > > > maybe I should stay
                  > > > put before investing my time and money (re:
                  > Stafford
                  > > > loans) - at least
                  > > > until the job market improves.
                  > > >
                  > > > Thanks,
                  > > > oc9399
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • irishzazen111
                  I became a new librarian as a second career when I was in my late 50 s. I retired from another job where I took the early out plan. As I am now finishing
                  Message 8 of 16 , Mar 14, 2006
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                    I became a "new" librarian as a second career when I was in my late
                    50's. I retired from another job where I took the "early out" plan.

                    As I am now finishing up my first librarian "gig" my feelings are this:

                    It is very hard for a person my age, even though I am physically very
                    active and fit (daily runner) and have been an internet surfer for at
                    least ten years I found my "new career" to be very tiring indeed.

                    An older person, no matter how agile you think you are, is no match
                    for students - my job was the one that most folks don't want - nights
                    at a community college in a somewhat remote location -even though its
                    in a major city. When I come home from work at 10PM I am friggin'
                    dead!!

                    I am the only one there (Reference) at night and sometimes have 2 or 3
                    students (and members of the public) waiting in line or waiting for me
                    when I come back from break.

                    Plus its really HARD to learn a new career when you're over 50 -your
                    brain is just not as nimble as it was when you were younger. I forget
                    many things - quickly. Like walking to the stacks, if I forgot to
                    write down the coll # - I often have to run back and look it up again.
                    Stuff like this happens all the time.

                    Our director is an "idjit" IT guy who has no respect for libraries or
                    books - just so much "bricks and mortar" to him -he wants everything
                    on the computer only, ebooks, ipods, data bases, etc. He really
                    doesn't want any reference librarians at all - maybe one that is
                    really a "geek" who can program, etc. His people skills are horrible.
                    The first thing he did when he took over was to try and install
                    cameras hidden at the Circ Desk so he could spy on us in his office or
                    at home (!) Nice guy, huh?

                    All in all, I would STILL recommend it as a second career but be
                    prepared to wait a long time for a full time gig if you are in a major
                    city - I'm talking years, here. Maybe years and years. Just try and
                    find out something about the library you are applying to as there are
                    a LOT of losers out there who have no business being in libraries at
                    all let alone in administration.

                    I wish we had a Vault.Com just for librarians so we could exchange
                    valuable information about jobs and bosses, etc. My friend just took
                    a new job and turns out its a "bad one." Now she is stuck there. If
                    only she had been able to get some inside poop from the previous
                    librarian it could have saved her a world of hurt and money.
                    Good luck!
                  • hastingsmerriman
                    Well, there certainly has been a wide range of opinions on this topic, and while I wish I could pull up meaningful statistics, I don t come across any and
                    Message 9 of 16 , Mar 28, 2006
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                      Well,
                      there certainly has been a wide range of opinions on this topic,
                      and while I wish I could pull up meaningful statistics,
                      I don't come across any and must, like everyone else,
                      resort to anecdotes.

                      As many of the calmer opinions have summarized,
                      there are trade-off and no easy answers;
                      one has to make decisions based on personal values.
                      That being said,
                      you do want information to compare against those values.

                      I have only been in the field about 5 years but
                      I have been watching the job listing the entire time.
                      My observations are not unique but I have to say
                      that there are great challenges to entering the field.

                      One person mentioned flexibility...
                      you might have to move and work nights and weekends.
                      Moving is expensive, and some libraries can't even afford
                      to fly you in for the interview, let alone re-imburse moving expenses.
                      Other libraries can; but, I would suggest they are the minority.

                      If you don't mind taking your immmediate family if you have one,
                      and don't mind moving away from your extended family,
                      this moving may not be a problem.

                      Of course, on a librarian's salary,
                      you may not be able to afford to visit the family you moved away from.
                      Further, if you are promotion-oriented, there is a good chance
                      you will have to move again a couple of years later.
                      I doubt the librarians reflecting on having worked
                      in both interesting and trying enviroments did so in the same city.

                      As an academic librarian,
                      I see many similarities between libriariship and teaching...
                      the beginning is rough as you are in debt, over-worked, under paid,
                      and not appreciated. It's difficult to get a job without experience
                      and getting that experience can be an exploitive process. After years
                      of poverty, relocations, and uncertainty, you may be lucky enough to
                      find a home where you can settle... either with or without promotion
                      potential depending on your goals.

                      But, when it's all said and done,
                      Librarianhsip IS fulfulling and challenging!
                      Librarians are one of the most diverse and interesting
                      group of people you will ever meet:
                      from shy bun-wearing characatures to
                      power-suits to dope-smoking hippies to
                      dope-smoking bun-wearers in power-suits.

                      I'm pretty flexible about moving and trying new things,
                      but I have learned that I will only work at libraries
                      that support professional training, development, and conferences
                      because it's the people in the profession that really make it great.

                      I may only see my family at the Holidays but
                      I'm willing to live with that until the next promotion!

                      - Kevin



                      --- In contrarianlibrarian@yahoogroups.com, "oc9399" <awgarland@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hello,
                      >
                      > For the past few months I've been perusing the Internet for
                      > information and opinions on the current job market for MLS graduates.
                      > I currently hold a Bachelor's Degree and work in the healthcare
                      > industry but have considered obtaining an MLS degree now in my mid-
                      > 30s.
                      > I was a student employee at my university library way back when and
                      > enjoyed it very much, having worked in several different departments.
                      > More recently, I've had some regret at never considering an MLS until
                      > now. On the other hand, it would mean taking a paycut and possibly
                      > relocating (I live in the Northwest), provided if I even found a job.
                      > Had I done things differently several years ago, I would have pursued
                      > the MLS back in '99, and graduated right in the middle of a tight job
                      > market according to some of the posts I'm seeing here.
                      > I'm glad to have found this site and feel as though I'm getting
                      > the "straight dope" that I wouldn't get in library school. It's still
                      > something I want to pursue as a second career, but maybe I should stay
                      > put before investing my time and money (re: Stafford loans) - at least
                      > until the job market improves.
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      > oc9399
                      >
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