US News and World Reports says being a librarian is one of the best careers, right up there with clergy, locksmith, veterinarian and 26 others. Unlike clergy, clocksmith and vet, the librarian article currently has 109 comments. [thanks mike]
I’m looking around at library careers sites this week after the interesting story about the IMLS grant from a few days back. I was sent a link to the Canadian Library Association’s recruitment-type site, InfoNation. ALA launched their own site at LibraryCareers.org which, given that it’s the ALA website, redirects to http://www.ala.org/ala/hrdr/librarycareerssite/home.htm which is the URL you’d bookmark, no matter what the website says. Check out CLA’s library blog page with its subtle use of RSS feeds (and the inclusion of ALA employee Jenny Levine’s blog, how collegial!). Check out this competencies page that looks like a tag cloud and this page with desktop wallpaper. And who is this handsome man who says “I first became interested in librarianship due to my desire for world domination.”? Wouldn’t you like to find out?
Canada has actually published research about the current and future human resources aspects of librarianship in the The 8Rs Canadian Library Human Resource Study. Their work is something of a response to what we think we already know which, as they put it “the existing literature on recruitment, retention, and leadership in the library profession is based on either anecdotal evidence or aggregate statistics, most of which are American.” You can read the reports they have published here. The woman who emailed me about this sums up one of the results
while there’s no imminent crisis in numbers of recruits, there are issues around competency match between grads and workplace needs, need for leadership and management, etc. In other words, it’s more about personal / professional qualities than the panic about needing “bodies” for our libraries (as was expressed over & over in the literature a couple of years ago).