librarian shortage, some hard facts from Library Journal

Meredith points to a Library Journal article with actual facts about the job market for new librarians. Upshot? While there is still a need for librarians in some geographical and skill areas, these authors do not believe in the “librarian shortage” that has been getting so much press over the last five years.

While there is an intense, ongoing campaign to recruit new MLS students, there is no concerted effort to hire them once they’ve graduated. It is unreasonable to invite an influx of new colleagues into the profession without making room for them. It is unfortunate that those entering the profession are being told that there is a current shortage of library workers, since this is not entirely true.

They also discuss some of the expectations of the profession that can make it difficult for less-experienced job seekers to prove their worthiness.

To paraphrase one new professional, librarianship is a profession that focuses obsessively on past accomplishments and not on future potential…. New professionals have a lot to offer: we are eager, full of new ideas, have yet to be poisoned by burnout, and—through our newly earned education—are up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends. Our potential is exactly what should be sought out by employers. The profession needs us as much as we need it.

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