Coming back to the Library world

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Comments (14)

RebeccaS in Huntington Beach, California

57 months ago

I have an MLIS that I received about 9 years ago. I worked for a year and a half as a reference and systems librarian at a small academic library. Due to a job transfer on my husband's part, I ended up having to quit that job, and was unable to find a new one in our new location. So I went back to school, and became a web programmer and database designer for the last 5 years. I find, though, that I really miss working in the library world, and would like to re-enter it. I live in an area where there are close to a dozen community colleges, and my preference leans more towards that venue than the traditional 4 year university. I have two major problems, though:

- I'm totally out of the loop as far as current trends and issues, changes in library technology, etc. How best do I get up to speed on that stuff?

- the job descriptions all want recent library experience. How am I going to get academic library experience again, while also still working full time in my regular job? Any suggestions?

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Anonymous in Ravenna, Ohio

53 months ago

Good luck with that. There are NO librarian jobs to be had ANYWHERE in the USA right now. It does not matter where you went to school and how much experience you had ... for every opening they get sometimes as many as 600-800 applications, more sometimes, and they have to do a lottery where they do not even look at all the apps. Might as well look for a job as a chimney-sweep -- believe me, no matter what you do, you will NOT be able to get a librarian job anywhere.

ANYONE WHO IS READING THIS -- DO NOT GET AN MLS OR MLIS, NO MATTER WHAT LIES THE GRAD SCHOOL IS PUSHING ON YOU. There are NO JOBS!!! NONE!!!

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Alice in Long Beach, California

48 months ago

Don't ever go to school for something you don't love because, if it doesn't work out (landing a job right away, etc,) you will feel that you have wasted your time and money. If you enjoy organizing information, reading, learning and the rest, go for an MLS. You will land a job at some point. 1-2 years ago, there were openings everywhere but now, like all other jobs there are fewer openings.

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Pigbitin Mad in Mount Vernon, New York

47 months ago

I have been looking for four years...and I had paraprofessional experience in a library. It is truly hopeless. I took another job in the meantime and was laid off. Now I am looking for anything (not ruling out libraries of course) but I feel like I have a better chance at winning the Powerball Lottery. I fell for all that BS back in 2004 about the Librarian Shortage. At least I didn't spend a fortune on it preferring to attend the cheapest school I could. I am very bitter about it and would also encourage people to stay away.

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ardentanglophile in Redmond, Washington

46 months ago

I would have to concur. It has been a wasteland for me. A lot of my problem finding a job is my fault, but I did have library experience during school and a lot of customer service positions in between. Now I am looking for a children's librarian position, well I think I willbe passed up because Im not young enough and lack experience. I did have 3 volunteer jobs to add to my resume but it is just not enough. I really regret my decision. My last resort is going for a teaching certificate so I can work in the schools.

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Tiffany in Minneapolis, Minnesota

42 months ago

thank you everyone for your honest comments. are there any similar degrees that involve organizing information, reading, learning but where there are still some jobs available?

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Heidi in Bangor, Maine

41 months ago

There are lots of jobs openings for librarians right now! I'm studying for an MLIS right now and currently working at a library. Check out ALA's job list. It's always chock full of jobs!

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Pigbitin Mad in Yonkers, New York

41 months ago

Yeah, but you won't get any of them right out of school. And paraprofessional experience doesn't count either. It's gotta be two years (actually ten). There are probably 700 applicants for every one of those jobs. I apply for part time positions and awful hours and nobody will call me back. I also had over 4 years of paraprofessional experience in an academic library and am proficient with systems like Millennium (as in I could have taught the class after playing around with it, and the people who had been using it for years couldn't figure out anything). I know I am smarter than average but does that get me anywhere? NO! And that is because the people doing the hiring are all narrow thinkers who are stuck in like the 1940's.

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nky in Santa Monica, California

36 months ago

@RebeccaS... Although some time has passed since you posted your request, given the dismal quality of many of these replies, I felt compelled to also comment. I received my MLIS years ago, but ended up in a different career field. I am now thinking of going back into the library field and find these prior comments to be unhelpful, to say the least. It is a tough market out there, for everyone, not just librarians. And even though there might be 700 applicants for one job, there are jobs. I would suggest going to library conferences, taking a class or two to get caught up on current skills and trends, networking (I hate that word) with others in the type of library you'd like to work in, see how they did it. You do have experience in an academic library, highlight that on your resume and cover letter. Also, your background in web programming and database design makes you a very desirable candidate! Try working part-time at your local community college library, maybe even volunteering one day a week. Check out the California Community College Registry, cccregistry.org. If there are NO jobs, as the first poster said, then why do I see several library jobs posted here on Indeed.com? It's not easy, especially now, but put yourself out there, connect with others and you'll find something. Clearly, the profession needs enthusiastic people who love the work. Good luck!

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Eugene in Vancouver, British Columbia

36 months ago

Got my job interview next week as Library Assistant, anyone with sample questions and tips?

sampleinterviewquestion.com/library-job-interview-questions/

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Matt in Park Ridge, Illinois

35 months ago

Eugene in Vancouver, British Columbia said: Got my job interview next week as Library Assistant, anyone with sample questions and tips?

sampleinterviewquestion.com/library-job-interview-questions/

Do you have an mls degree?

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a librraian in Overland Park in Lawrence, Kansas

29 months ago

It's very hard to land a professional librarian - with all the online MLS programs and technology, there is a less need for librarian. I have 12 years work expereience with a Visiting scholar around the globe, yet I could not land a librarian job in Kansas (sadly).
The only think keeps me for insanity is keep trying and keep receiving no responses.

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Steve Neff in Lima, Ohio

19 months ago

Heidi in Bangor, Maine said: There are lots of jobs openings for librarians right now! I'm studying for an MLIS right now and currently working at a library . Check out ALA's job list. It's always chock full of jobs!

There are few jobs especially for those out of Library Science School. I have applied to many of library jobs and have volunteer experience at four different organizations including the Library of Congress but no job offers

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KaitP in Wichita, Kansas

17 months ago

There are a lot of disgruntled job searchers commenting in here who are giving unhelpful and negative advice.

I don't know if Rebecca is still following this thread, but having an MLS and those kinds of technical skills is the perfect combination of what many libraries are looking for. I see at least five new systems librarian positions posted every single week, and they repost and repost these jobs because there just aren't enough people out there with those skills. Could you volunteer at a local library part-time or do some self-study to get your library skills back up-to-date?

Reference librarians are a dime a dozen (I'm sure most of the complaints are coming from humanities-type people who want a reference position), and what library schools should be doing is pointing more students towards the skills that are underrepresented in the job pool. Overall, they aren't doing a good job of that right now.

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