Many of the best librarians I know don’t have MLIS degrees. And it’s true, they’re not paid as librarians. Was my MLIS helpful? Yes. Was it worth the time, money, and grief I put into it? Absolutely not. It’s a classist gateway, it measures competence at skills largely unrelated to the profession, and the system is broken.
"I don’t think an MLIS is necessary to become a librarian"
Mindy Klasky, Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft (Don Mills, Ont: Red Dress Ink, 2006)
They cut out the cataloguing part of one of my courses this semester. The professor says if you want to be cataloguing, you shouldn’t be in a masters program, just be a technician instead.
Is this some weird Canadian thing or are they just nuts?
(I’ll be sure to take the separate cataloguing…
I know very few people who do cataloguing anymore, but most of them are full librarians. Your professor seems to be misinformed.
I’d recommend working in a library as a page or assistant before going for an MLIS. You’ll get to see what goes on. Then, you can decide if a year or two back in school is worth it.
Hey, yes, so!
As a librarian you can find yourself doing ALL variation/combination of the following:
- Acquiring and/or managing cool stuff which could include: book/resources/e-resources/databases, etc.
- Archiving stuff. This stuff is cool; this stuff is complicated.
- Cataloging stuff. Also cool; also complicated.
- Acquiring/managing/archiving/cataloging cool and SPECIAL stuff for a special collection
- Webmastering stuff on your library’s website and OPAC (being the interface through which you, the library patron, finds stuff online).
- Instructing folks on how to use and find stuff through information literacy classes (you know, teaching teaching stuff).
- Metadating stuff. Related to cataloging and therefore cool and complicated stuff necessary to making stuff more findable and therefore useable. I know people who do this stuff and they are smarter than me.
- Advertising your stuff. Outreach is important for all the libraries-some make positions specifically so the library can show how much cool stuff they can provide their patrons.
All the different types of libraries (public, academic, school (k-12), and special) have different needs and positions. Some libraries are run by only a handful of folks who fulfill many of the above mentioned responsibilities. Not all of the people in a library (and rarely most of them) have a library degree. In general, library positions line up as being either public service (reference, instruction, outreach) or more behind the scenes (acquisitions, cataloging). Both sides are absolutely necessary to keeping the library running effectively.
More than books and questions!
What else would you add, tumblarians?
While it falls under advertising I’d add community building. Demographic research, age research, finding and meeting needs. Maybe you have a big Vietnamese community. Maybe you have a big ESL population. LGBT, ethnic, professional, SES, common education levels etc.
Advocacy— this applies to all libraries and types. Sometimes you get fancy fun dinners and sometimes you’re just hollering at people on the street.
Collection Development- also applies to regular libraries. Looking at top circulations and needs- I don’t want to order more joke books, but blast it all they are so popular with the kids!
PR- while related to advertising, there are some different aspects: grant writing, news stories, press releases
Reader’s Advisory- this falls under basic reference but buddy you better be ready to branch out and become a walking thesaurus.
I’d love an apprenticeship instead of a MLS/MLIS degree. Librarianship is more like a guild than the academy. Unfortunately, I do agree with Andy that the MLS is here to stay because of the way that higher education is currently structured. Now, we have two options. We can keep advising every new class of MLS students to push through the degree like a chore and get as much experience as possible or we can revise library school curriculum to also prepare our future librarians.
Someone articulated all of my feels.
sext me in mla format
Have some standards - only accept apa.
I spent high school and undergrad using MLA, and grad school using APA and Chicago.
MLA is still the only style format that turns me on.
Wait…does this mean library school uses APA and Chicago? I mean, I used APA for a psych class I took and I once helped a tutoree with Chicago style, so it’s not like I’m intolerant, but I personally swing MLA.
The Rutgers School of Communication and Information, in which my library school resides, uses APA. They do this because it is the most used format for scholarly works the library field. My archival classes use Chicago, because—and I’m not sure about this, someone correct me if I’m wrong—it is the most used format for scholarly works in the archival field. The school you go to might be different. My information may be incorrect. Anyone want to pitch in on this discussion?
My schedule is terrible. I don’t mean that my classes are terrible. They’re not. They’re great. Unfortunately, they’re all late afternoon and night classes. So at nine tonight I get to drive home from New Brunswick to N/W Bergen county. Plus, I’ll miss most of my choir practices. Ugh.
I’ve only had YA Materials so far. I’ve had the prof before, so I know it’ll be good. Next up is Preservation of Library and Archive Materials. I’m going into this one a bit blind, not sure what we’re covering or who the prof is. Ah well, it’s an adventure, right? Thursday will be Manuscripts and Archives. I know what we’ll be covering there, but I don’t know that professor. I thought I knew everyone in the program by now. Apparently not.
Wish me luck.
I’m still finding books here and there from my Children’s Materials class. It’s incredibly lucky that I can just delete my library fines.
Edit: It’s okay, I’m actually allowed to do that. Perk of the job. (Just in case you were judging me really hard.)
I’m going to shave my legs now. Then I might actually step outside and see the sun.
Who designed this user interface? Why are my search options so terrible? Why do I have such a strong inclination to throw my laptop across the room?
The point where my immune system collapses. My nose is runny. My throat is sore. My eyes are puffy. My skin is splotchy. Hello again two-week-to-the-end-plague. Can’t say I’ve missed you.
Last spring one of my classes was cataloging. We all took the final exam, and when we were finished we went out to the lounge to wait for the rest of our classmates. We were standing in a circle, talking and joking, and I started looking around. Every last one of us looked like hell. As in yesterday’s-jeans-and-sweatshirt, bags-under-the-eyes, hair-all-over, no-makeup, probably-haven’t-eaten-anything-about-to-fall-over-any-moment-now hell. I was trying so hard not to crack up.
Oh grad school. Who came up with that brilliant idea?
I’m doing a project on social networking and libraries for my MLIS program. I’m researching tumblr and twitter. My partner for the project is researching facebook and pinterest.
For the presentation I’m using the Library Journal articles “Tumblrarian 101" and "Our Favorite Tumblrs.” Am I missing any other key non-peer-reviewed articles about tumblr? I feel like I am. Please let me know. I don’t need huge amounts of material. We have a lot to cover in a short presentation, and it’s just an overview. That said, another good article or two can’t hurt.
The pool of peer-reviewed articles on twitter in scholarly journals is much larger than the pool on tumblr. That said, I have less practical resources on twitter. I’m not so much of a power user on that medium; my account mostly acts as a tumblr feed, I’m ashamed to say. Does anyone have a list of “twitbaries” and/or “twitbarians?” I would love you forever if you could send it my way.
Finally, I’d like to ask you for your direct input. How has twitter and/or tumblr enhanced your library experience as an employee, or as a patron; how has your library used these mediums for marketing/programs; have you ever actually used either medium for reference questions, etc, etc, etc? Respond here, or by ask. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Imagine a “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope!” gif here?
For my Children’s Materials class I was casually researching children’s nonfiction to support the new Common Core curriculum. My first google hit? An article and video of my professor talking about children’s nonfiction to support the new Common Core curriculum. Redundant!
(Granted, incredibly informative, but we’ve covered this in class already.)