by Aingeal Stone, Head Editor, INALJ Northwest Territories
Library Jobs: Searching Outside-the-box
Whether you are a new graduate or a seasoned veteran, job hunting with its attendance cycle of testing, interviewing and rejection can be demoralizing heartbreaking. Often there are too few positions with far too many applicants. In my experience, I have found that a willingness to relocate has greatly increased my chances of success. And why not consider relocation? Trust me; your children will adjust to a new town/country/school district just fine and your spouse should be more than willing to move for the benefit of your career, as you may have done the same for them in the past.
Relocation aside, I wanted to discuss and introduce in this month’s blog non-traditional or alternate career possibilities for library trained workers, and by library trained workers I am referring to MLS’s, MLIS, and Library Technicians.
Christina Bennett McNew makes three suggestions: work for a vendor; work for a publisher; or work for companies in your community. Working for a vendor is a great way to learn about cutting edge technology and services. It also builds confidence through constant interaction and networking. Investigate career opportunities with companies that produce library databases, automation systems, and other products. Most vendors post job vacancies directly on their company web site. Work for a publisher; explore academic presses, STM (scientific, technical, and medical) publishers, book publishing companies, and popular presses. Examine your favorite journal or magazine to find out if it’s part of a larger publishing group. Many publishers work with vendors, subscription agents, and sometimes libraries to negotiate contracts. With the explosion of electronic licensing, publishers need employees to negotiate copyright agreements to protect their content. Companies in your community more often than not have various departments doing work suited to librarians.
Many companies employ staff in records management, medical informatics, company archives, technical writing, and as bibliographers. Although these positions can be difficult to find, they do exist. Often large corporations hire staff through more than one general staffing agency, which is why knowing an internal contact is key. Networking is an important step in finding contacts. Sometimes who you know is more vital that what you know in the job search. Knowing someone who works for a local company can put you in contact with the right person, department, or staffing agency. He or she may be able to ask around, find out where to send applicants, and possibly put in a good word on your behalf.
Mia Breitkopf has a list of 61 job titles for librarians that do not include the word “librarian”, such as Creative Project Manager, Director of Community Service, Web Analytics Manager, Information Resources Specialist, Technical Information Specialist, and Documentation Specialist. You can check out the entire list at Information Space. Being aware of some of these titles might help to widen your job search and bring you success.
And finally I want to direct you to a very interesting story written by Jane Greenstein, “Library Science Without the Library”, a recent MLS grad who does not want to work as a librarian and who discusses where her library degree has taken her career wise. Happy (job) hunting!