New Librarians

Let me point you to John Berry’s blog at Library Journal:

Jobless Jitters

NEWLIB-L should be required reading for library administrators, library school faculty and deans, and any librarian who has settled into that mid- and late-career comfort zone. It is the discussion list for librarians with brand new Master’s degrees in the library and information professions operated by Susan Scheiber, Assistant Director at the RAND Corporation (but she’s no Herman Kahn). Some posters and subscribers are employed and some are not.

Recent threads, like those called “unemployed” and “toxic first jobs” and others, display a growing bitterness at the lack of employment opportunities for new graduates. There is also continuing disenchantment with ALA and library schools for promising career opportunities and massive retirements that never came from the ranks of employed professional librarians.

There are even a few responses from employed librarians who seem to be tiring of the complaints from the young, but never hesitate to give out their free advice, and it is worth the price. There is good and bad advice in their posts, along with useful information and misleading misinformation. Some recent posts from the newbies charge that library schools are in it for enrollment and money and that the ALA is part of a larger conspiracy to falsely recruit young people into the field. Some of the employed say the disgruntled young are just the umemployable dregs of each graduating class.

And note this comment on the post:

I am a student nearing graduation and I have read newlib for almost a year. I have been close to removing my email several times but have settled for just checking in once or twice a week. Overall, I find the tone negative and some of the posts have a helpless, poor me attitude. I have been on my share of job interviews for which I did not receive an offer and do share the will-I-find-a-job jitters, but it would never occur to me to blame the ALA or my school for my disappointments.

In my experience networking, attending professional association meetings and resume/job workshops, it is the positive, problem solving type of person who becomes a leader and creates opportunities. If I could find a site with this kind of conversation and role modeling for new librarians, I would switch. Susan Mayer

Interesting to see the conversations playing out about new librarians and LIS education. I am equally fascinated by discussion this weekend in my LIS753, where we discussed the new wave of LIS jobs that include programming skills, social network knowledge and an innovative attitude about the future of library services, and job titles like “User Experience Librarian.”