Here's an exciting opportunity for someone who wants to move to New Hampshire for no money and scan stuff. You probably haven't seen this, either, because they're avoiding the "Library Jobs that Suck" limelight by not posting to one of the standard job ad sites and trying to evade the penetrating gaze of the Annoyed Librarian by posting on listservs I don't read. The Nashua Public Library in Nashua, NH is looking for the following:
"Digitization Project Internship (Unpaid)
Scan hundreds of historical photographs and other documents
Prepare TIFF, JPG and thumbnail images
Assign metadata, (using Dublin Core framework)
House photographs in archival quality containers, label sleeves and folders
Prepare a finding aid
* Flexible scheduling
* Training provided if necessary
* Digitization project experience preferred
* Familiarity with any digital library software program is a plus.
* Detail oriented a must!"
This ad was sent in by an attentive reader, who had the following to say:
"Here's a job that sucks. Internships are supposed to be a learning experience, but it doesn't appear there is much to learn here (except if you're interested in old photos of Nashua, New Hampshire) There is no pay. You have to move to freezing New Hampshire in the winter.
I think they should pay somebody to do this work. And I think it is insulting that they prefer to have an intern who already has "Digitization Project Experience" - so if you already have experience doing digitization projects, you qualify to work as an "intern" for no pay.
What do you think?"
Well, I think this is a job that sucks, though I'm not officially categorizing it as a Library Job That Sucks, since it's technically an internship and it makes no mention of requiring an MLS. I reserve that category for jobs like this that do require an MLS. I do wonder though many non-MLS people know how to assign metadata "using a Dublin Core framework." Heck, I don't know how to do that, and I have an MLS. Obviously they want to good digital archivist, and are willing to pay bottom dollar to get one by calling this an "internship." Some internships seem very worthwhile (like the one at Michigan, for example), but internship can often be translated as "doing a lot of grunt work for free." The main question to ask is, is the internship really designed to educate the internee, or simply to get the grunt work done for free?
This is the sort of thing Leslie Burger's "Library Corps" of unpaid retired librarians should take on! There probably aren't a lot of retired librarians in Nashua, NH who are also digital archivists, but they could learn. Also, the director might try to do a little fund raising. Our tax money is often wasted on projects even less important and less directed to the common good than digitizing some old pictures of New Hampshire, so maybe a federal grant's the answer.
I'm trying to figure out who's supposed to take this job. As far as I can tell, it's not advertised on the library's website, and the only online presence I found was in an archive for a archives listserv. If I read my email right, the person who sent this on to me got it through a listserv for librarians, and not just in New Hampshire. So they're posting this ad nationally on listservs, and apparently they do think some poor soul would be willing to move to New Hampshire to take an "internship" scanning photos. It is interesting that they prefer someone with experience. Don't we all! If only they were willing to pay for it. This is the sort of thing a library school student might do to gain experience, but there aren't any library schools in New Hampshire. I suppose someone could trek the fifty miles from Boston, but why bother.
I especially like the promise of "flexible scheduling." I guess if you're not paying anyone, you can't complain if they don't want to punch your clock. "No, I'm sorry, since you showed up 4 hours late, we're docking your nonexistent pay!" No, beggars can't be choosers.
And consider this one: "Familiarity with any digital library software program is a plus." A plus! Because you're obviously going to need an edge over the hundreds of applicants who'll apply for this job! (Or should I call it a "job." No, it's an internship.) Oh, and "detail oriented a must!" It wouldn't be a library "job" ad without an exclamation point!
Maybe I'm just deluded though, and these are the sorts of exciting opportunities library school graduates are dying for. So put those valuable digital archiving skills to work in the Granite State. Tell 'em the AL sent you, and as a bonus you'll get to eat the leftovers in the staff refrigerator at the end of each week.