Boom or bust?

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (19)

Host

Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most librarian opportunities?

Reply - Report abuse

Scott in Chicago, Illinois

88 months ago

Being a recent grad, I'm no expert, but I'll give this a shot since no one else has addressed it:
Older librarians and library school faculty consistently claim that a huge chunk of the librarian population is getting ready to retire, making the already good job market even better in the coming years. I've just graduated myself and have watched several rounds before me, and it really does seem like everyone gets a job eventually. I also just read a report of a survey of library school graduates from last year, and the reported employment rate was very high.
As for growing sub-sectors, anything in the hard sciences is always in demand. The library field is like many others in that the more specialized you are, the easier the jobs will come.
As for which areas have the most jobs, I don't know. I have heard that areas with a lot of library schools (like North Carolina) are pretty saturated.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

librarian in Dayton, Ohio

81 months ago

don't believe the hype! there are very few decent librarian positions out there these days.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

Shay in Vandalia, Ohio

81 months ago

What library do you work at? I am actually from Huber Heights, not Vandalia.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Scott in Bayonne, New Jersey

81 months ago

Call me Charlie in Louisville, Kentucky said: I thought libraries were pretty much extinct these days. There is anything you want to know about any subject on the internet now.

That’s a very ignorant statement, by ignorant I mean uninformed not stupid. The Internet is a very useful tool however it’s full of non-authoritative information. Librarians are train to recognize the difference. You’ll find that once in the business world, don’t know if you’re working or in school, information has to be 100% correct. Anything less could mean your job.

Now onto the actual question; in my experience of the past 7 years Market Research Librarians are hot in medical and pharmaceuticals, good luck getting in those doors. Law Libraries are always looking for people but more often then not you’ll need a JD. General Business has cooled off, I used to work in an Advertising Research Library.

Public is on the rise as the majority of retiring Librarians are to be found there. That being said, public offer high security at low compensation, I should know I’ve been in the public library arena for going on 3 years as a Supervisor and Manager of 3 Branches and still don’t make what I was at the Advertising Library 5 years ago…..

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Call me Charlie in Louisville, Kentucky

81 months ago

Scott in Bayonne, New Jersey said: The Internet is a very useful tool however it's full of non-authoritative information.

I can write a book and it will sell right along with others of it's type and no one can know whether it is valid information or not. How is the average librarian to know whether my theories on nanotechnology is accurate or not?

If I put that information on the internet, however, it is exposed to the scrutiny of anyone on the planet and if it is rejected by the scientific community at large, then it will not be propagated on the web very far, where the book may remain in a library for many years as a valid treatise on nanotechnology because it was the only one on the subject that they bought.

Another drawback with libraries is that the information is not that current where the internet has the latest information.

In the fifties, we said the same things about television news... "Who needs television news? We get the newspaper everyday. What are they going to report that our trusted local news reporters don't know?"

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

Scott from Bayonne in Elizabeth, New Jersey

81 months ago

“I can write a book and it will sell right along with others of it's type and no one can know whether it is valid information or not. How is the average librarian to know whether my theories on nanotechnology is accurate or not?”
What you are saying is not entirely true. I’ll agree that unless the librarian is a specialist on the subject that they are ordering there’s no way for that person to truly know if the author is an authority on the subject. However you may not realize that librarians have been trained in what to look when reviewing new materials as well as the more reputable publishers don’t just publish any old author. That being said as someone who does collection development I’m looking to see if you’re book been published by a reputable publishing house, can I find more information about who the author is? Is he/she an expert in the field or is it someone who’s just written a book. There are many tools that we can use such as peer review journals, review sources, colleagues, etc. It would be a poor reflection of the librarian if, to use your example, they ordered some random book on Nanotechnology. But this is what happens when you surf the internet, no one has double checked the authenticity of the material you’re reading.
“If I put that information on the internet, however, it is exposed to the scrutiny of anyone on the planet and if it is rejected by the scientific community at large, then it will not be propagated on the web very far, where the book may remain in a library for many years as a valid treatise on nanotechnology because it was the only one on the subject that they bought.”

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Scott from Bayonne in Elizabeth, New Jersey

81 months ago

Publishing a book is no different; the only difference is the reaction time would be slower. Once a book has been discredited, at least in my library, it’s removed from the shelf that way I’m no longer perpetuating inaccuracies. No one is forcing the author of said website to remove their site, anyone can stumble upon it not knowing that it’s been discredited.

“Another drawback with libraries is that the information is not that current where the internet has the latest information.”
I cannot argue that the internet is not a fast way of disseminating information. But if you mean to say that just because Yahoo news has an article today at 3pm that won’t be in the library until I get my newspapers delivered tomorrow then you got me. To truly say that libraries are not current is not entirely accurate. I once had the please of meeting with the Fox New Channel’s Head Librarian. He knew the name and background the Unibomber a full two days before it was released to the public via Internet or Newspaper.

“In the fifties, we said the same things about television news... "Who needs television news? We get the newspaper everyday. What are they going to report that our trusted local news reporters don't know?"

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Scott from Bayonne in Elizabeth, New Jersey

81 months ago

You’re comparing apples to oranges here. I’m not saying we don’t need the Internet. I’m saying don’t be fooled into believing that the Internet is the answer to all your prayers. I can find you loads of information that is not online and may never be online and to turn a blind eye to print materials is to live in denial. I say this because when I graduated library school 7 years ago with my concentration in the Electronic Environment I thought I was going to revolutionize the entire industry by creating the ultimate virtual library. I was gravely mistaken my first year on the job.

All in all the Internet is great tool but it is still nothing more then a tool. I have no idea of your background and mean no disrespect but the Internet has given many people a false sense of empowerment.

Wouldn’t you agree that there’s a terrific difference between someone who’s plays golf on the weekends and a professional like Tiger Woods?

Why do my quotation marks keep getting screwy????

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Call me Charlie in Louisville, Kentucky

81 months ago

Your quotations go screwy because what you write is being run through a character generator. Perhaps you are replying via your e-mail editor? Even though you may not be using colors and formatting, the character generator is still seeing things like apostrophe's as a "special character" and the Indeed site is reproducing the control strings for that character.

Either set your e-mail to send "plain text" or reply straight to Indeed in it's own edit box while logged into your account here.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Call me Charlie in Louisville, Kentucky

81 months ago

As to the topic at hand, I do not mean to insult your experience it is just that I have lived through so many different changes in life and have seen the reactions and the results of new things. Even the telephone was once seen as a nearly useless device because one could not be face to face with the other person. We all know that that trade off of being remote was more than made up for by now being able to communicate just as effectively with someone on the other side of the planet.

I am not saying the library will disappear anymore than handwriting disappeared with the advent of the printing press but the same changes that happened when the printing press was invented are now happening with the arrival of the internet. The printing press is often claimed to be one of the most influential devices to the advancement of humanity and soon the internet will take it's place.

I agree there is a difference between the week end golfer and Tiger Woods, but by the same token there is a great difference between one librarian's opinion and a million on-line opinions. N'est pas?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Scott from Bayonne in Elizabeth, New Jersey

81 months ago

"but by the same token there is a great difference between one librarian's opinion and a million on-line opinions. N'est pas?"

An occupational hazards we librarians face every day. I feel that we've hijacked this thread long enough, so back to the topic at hand. Very nice talking with you Charlie.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Call me Charlie in Louisville, Kentucky

81 months ago

Scott from Bayonne in Elizabeth, New Jersey said: I feel that we've hijacked this thread long enough, so back to the topic at hand. Very nice talking with you Charlie.

Agreed and thanks for the kind words, Scott.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Librarian in Des Moines, Iowa

81 months ago

Different regions of the country have different demands for librarians. I work in the midwest and more jobs are coming open. A large number of librarians were slated to retire in recent years, but with the healthcare crisis and losses in the stock market, they are staying on longer than anticipated. Most librarians in my system (6 buildings) are over the age of 50, so it is just a waiting game. Also, working as a lower level employee in a system or university will get you in the door. This is a great idea, because many librarian positions are filled internally by people who have taken these lower positions, but have their Master's. Unfortunately, the pay is usually much lower than a librarian's.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

High School Girl in Manchester, Iowa

62 months ago

Hi! I'm a high school junior who loves books and reading. I'm at the top of my high school class. I've been investigating this website and am wondering what path I should take to become a Library and Information Science person. Should I get a degree in English education first? Is this career path worth five years or more of work to get through? I'd be done around 2015. Thanks for your time!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Library Science Student in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

62 months ago

Library and Information Science students come from a variety of backgrounds. Many have degrees in the humanities like English and History. Others have degrees in Science. And for others this is their second professional degree. I go to school with several people who have Law degrees or degrees in Education. You can take whatever path you like to becoming a Librarian. However, there are many different kinds of Librarians. Do you want to be a Medical Librarian and work at a Hospital? Having a background in Science would be helpful though not necessary. Do you want to work for a Law School or a Law firm? An undergraduate degree in Political Science of even a Law degree would benefit you greatly, though again, isn't necessary.
Do you see what I mean?
Personally, I have a degree in History and I want to work in Public Libraries.
I think, as a high school student you shouldn't worry too much right now what kind of librarian you want to be. If you get an English Education degree and then get to Library School and take an interest in Archives I think you'll be fine.

The only benefit of also having a degree in Education is if you want to work in a school library. I'm not sure if this is true for all states. But in LA to be a school librarian you need to have a degree in Education plus either library certification or a degree in Library and Information Science. I'm not a big fan of certification. I say, get the full degree.
Being a Librarian is awesome. It's such a rich career path. There are so many different kinds of Librarians. I know people who worked for the Federal Government, who work for large corporations like Exxon, who work in University Archives, who work with Patents, and who work in small rural public libraries.

I hope this was helpful.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

High School Girl in Manchester, Iowa

62 months ago

Everyone on this site has been very helpful. Thanks so much for all of the comments. I will now make my college visits and start my path.

Library Science Student in Baton Rouge, does the library degree take more than one additional year? I looked at some university websites and see that they require 30-36 credits. Thanks again!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Library Science Student in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

62 months ago

Most programs are two years. Full-time graduate work is 9hrs or 3 classes in the Fall and Spring and 6hrs or 2 classes in the Summer. Graduate work is more demanding than undergraduate work though I do know students who take 4 classes per semester. I know one student who finished in 3 semesters but most take 4 or 5. This is my 5th and final semester. I would not take on too heavy a load simply because by the start of your last semester you will be looking for a job and trying to finish up school at the same time.

Good luck

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

melmar in Oakland, California

61 months ago

I'm wondering if there are any art librarians out there? I'm 40, and am going through a mid-life reevaluation, after having worked in administrative jobs for a long time. My passion is art history, and I've been recently investing art librarianship as a way to fulfill my love of art and books.

Questions - what are the pros and cons of librarianship? What is the job availability for example in the Bay Area of California, and what is the typical salary?

Also, I'm considering a program in which I'd get my Master's in Art History, with a track to library digital collections.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.