If You Want A Library Job, Look Outside the Library!

by Kate Kosturski, Senior Editor, INALJ Ontario and INALJ Quebec

If You Want A Library Job, Look Outside the Library!

kate_photo_2014Although our site has the word “library” in the title, we are so much more than jobs in a library. And often, we get feedback from friends and fans asking us to stick a little more to that word – “library.”  The truth is, by doing so, we sell ourselves and our fans short – leaving out some wonderful jobs that use library skills, but are not in that library building.  That is why we are proud to go outside the box with our postings – even when it challenges others’ comfort zones.

In my tenure thus far at INALJ, I’ve worked on four pages – three US (New York City, New York State, and Rhode Island) and one international (Ontario, Canada).  If I had to categorize the “library” versus “non-library” jobs (meaning, those that were strictly in some form of library, be it academic, public, school, corporate, etc.), the split runs about 70-30 – with that 70 falling more on the non library side of the spectrum.  When you look at the changes in LIS education over the past ten years, you will find schools – even traditional “L-Schools” such as my own alma mater, Pratt – are finding new ways to integrate technology into their mission and culture.

And let’s be honest, sometimes the non-library jobs are the coolest.  You can work in places you never would have expected with the skills and education your LIS degree provides.  For example, while covering for INALJ UK, I once posted a job at MI6 – yes, that MI6 that employed James Bond.   (Would you run into Daniel Craig in the halls?  Probably not, but one can dream, can’t they?)    Our Senior Editor for Maryland, Jen Devine, once posted an Information Scientist posting for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. (Sign me up for that one!)  And last year, you may have seen postings for a Wine Librarian in California, or Beyonce’s personal archivist.

Here is a  small sampling of some of the job postings on INALJ from the past week or two that use library skills, but are definitely not librarian jobs:

  • Internships at NPR in music, programming (in both the Washington, DC office and Berlin, Germany!), data standardization, and reformatting the entire recorded NPR programming archive.
  • Knowledge Management Architect for Facebook in New York City. (Think of this one as having access to fix all those little irksome things that Facebook does that make you cross.)
  • STATS, the world’s largest sports technology, data, and content, company, has openings for collection analysts for both baseball and football.  Remember the movie Moneyball?   This kind of work comes straight out of that movie!
  • Development jobs are also wonderful ways to take grant writing, programming, and data management coursework to a whole new career.    You could be the new Director for Philanthropy and Sponsorship for TV Ontario (if you are a child of the 80s, they were the network that gave us Today’s Special), or Major Gifts Officer for Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Jersey.
  • And don’t forget vendors and publishers!  You could be an indexer for the American Theological Library Association in Chicago, Consumer Insights Assistant for Penguin Random House in New York, Content Development Associate in Family Law for LexisNexis Canada, or Writer for the American Booksellers Association in White Plains, NY

And even some of our “library” postings are places you would never expect:

  • Subway’s corporate office in Milford, CT is looking for an E-Librarian.
  • Public television show America’s Test Kitchen is looking for a library intern.  (Does not mention hands on sampling of recipes, though.)
  • Musically minded librarians may consider being the Orchestra Librarian for the Louisiana Philharmonic.
  • If you like the finer things in life, Tiffany and Co. is looking for an Archivist for their New Jersey office.

If you are one of those folk who put the word “library” in a box limiting its definition, you’re only hurting yourself.   Tear up that box and open up your world to the wide world of information skills.  After all, where else (except politics or criminal justice, perhaps) can you get a master’s degree and go work side by side with James Bond?