Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jim's program "Myth of the Upcoming Recruitment Crisis"

It's worth listening to Jim Milles' podcast on the myth of the upcoming recruitment crisis. But I would like to make a point that it makes a big difference whether or not you are trying to place librarians who are living in a depressed location or rural/small town setting and cannot relocate. If librarians are able and willing to relocate, I think there is no problem placing them, and in fact, there is an employees' market. The biggest problem comes when, for family or other reasons, library school graduates are not willing or able to relocate.

That said, I am quite aware there is a big disconnect between what library schools are teaching and what libraries expect to find in a new graduate. So many job postings require some library experience. This poses a real problem for library school graduates. I very highly recommend trying to get some kind of library employment before or during library school. Something beyond a volunteer position, if possible. The fact is that there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff in library work that is not explicitly taught in library school. When you get your first library job, you end up learning a lot of sometimes inchoate, but important things. Like details of inserting tickler reminders about serials, tracking serials, and claiming them. Or the importance of verifying what is received is what was ordered. Or little etiquettes of ILL work, or calling other librarians for other assistance.

I would be interested in hearing from recent library school graduates about your experiences with placement. Are you seeing what I see when I go toAALL's placement room? I see lots of job openings and not so many applicants. But I also see how hard it is to relocate somebody to an expensive city like Boston, NYC or Washington, DC where there are lots of jobs. We don't pay enough for somebody out of town to move here unless they have family here to help or have a significant other who has a job here, too. What do new Library/Information School grads across the country see?

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