The “In” Crowd: Librarian Jobs Beyond the Library
As a long time member of SLA and someone who got their start in a specialized library I have been aware my entire library career that ‘librarian’ was just one title LIS grads can have. One thing I want to emphasize is that looking beyond librarian jobs does not mean that I do not value traditional librarian roles and jobs. However no-one has as hard of a time finding the librarian jobs that are out there because the term ‘librarian’ is one we already know. Heck, ‘library’ is in most of our degree titles as well. What LIS job hunters including staff need help with is the outside the box jobs; the ones they may not know they are qualified for.
There are many types of jobs information professionals, like librarians, can do. One such group I call the ‘In’ Cluster, because the job titles all start with the letters ‘IN.’ While there are more than just these six listed in the image below, these are the six I will be discussing in this article.
I first became aware of this job title when I saw a presentation by a member of leadership at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) Libraries. “An informationist is a professional librarian with extensive training in a specific subject area.” They help with research, analysis and more at the subject specialist level. This is also a great career path for librarians with dual Masters degrees that do not want to work in academia or transitioning PhD holding LIS pros.
This position is mostly found in the federal government and contracting fields. Intelligence analysts do research as well as evaluate and analyze information to support their agency’s mission. Analytical writing skills are often key to this position, specifically with the FBI and further training will be administered once you are accepted. Many government agencies hire intelligence analysts.
Informaticians are information scientists. Specifically they study human interactions with systems and develop, implement and evaluate these systems. Currently the health field is one of the booming fields for this type of job and iSchools are often teaching classes on this topic.
Indexerers are taxonomy and metadata specialists who “analyze text, identify the important concepts, provide links between related, sometimes un-named concepts and allow for alternative approaches from users.” Catalogers are already trained in many respects for this type of work.
I know several former librarians that now are information architects, specifically in government and universities. Information architects are focused on “digital structures of information and software.” Usability.gov has a nice definition of the IA field, which focuses on “organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way. The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks.”
Information Resource Officer
The type of information resource officer I am most familiar with is basically a librarian working overseas for the US government in embassies. Beyond the usual library management duties often there are technology related skills and social media skills that this position needs. Foreign language skills are a plus as well. Most of these positions are for citizens only and advertised on USAJobs.gov.
So there you have it, six new job titles you can now potentially feel comfortable applying to. Hopefully at least one of these is something new for you as a job hunter to consider.