Monday, March 03, 2008

Gamey Librarian

For all you gamey librarians out there, your dream has come true! Take a look at this job ad!

You can go to River Someplace, IL and be the Gamey Librarian. Check out this description:

"Under the direction of the library Director, the successful candidate will be responsible for conceiving, designing, implementing, operating, and evaluating innovative interactive environments relevant to the library gaming community."

Doesn't that sound exciting?

Here are the minimum qualifications:

"• You are a Gamer"
That makes sense. It might help to be gamey as well.

"• Strong public service commitment and positive attitude"
Because that's really the essence of the gamey librarian. I assume "positive attitude" means that no matter how ridiculous something is you have to pretend you're excited about it. That's probably why I would make a bad gamey librarian.

"• Ability to generate buzz and excitement while maintaining order"
How exactly would one prove this qualification? Perhaps the candidate would have to generate buzz and excitement among the search committee, while still maintaining order, of course. I find my juggling act usually does the trick.

"• Higher level technology skills"
What could this mean? Programming? Disassembling a carburetor? Take a look at the job requirements. What exactly would call for any high level tech skills? Or perhaps that means you have to be able to get to the higher levels of some of the games.

"• Ability to bend, reach move and lift up to 40 pounds"
Of course, because bending and lifting 40 pounds is at the heart of any good videogame.

Pay special attention to one of the preferred qualifications:

"• You are a librarian"
One would think this is a minimum qualification for a job as a Gamey Librarian, but not anymore. Anyone who play videogames, generate buzz, and lift 40 pounds can be a "librarian." You should have saved your money and skipped library school.

It's only the fact that an MLS isn't required that this doesn't go on my Library Jobs that Suck list, since it's only a very part-time position. Jobs open for only 10-12 hours per week that require a library degree are definitely library jobs that suck. I know, I'm just being cynical. 10 hour per week "librarian jobs are great for those librarians who just need to make a little pocket money because their spouse makes the real income, plus it saves the library from having to pay benefits. A win-win scenario.

I know some librarians out there would be thrilled at the prospect of being the gamey librarian in your library, all those librarians who find traditional libraries so boring, what with all their books and information and that dull educational mission. Traditional libraries just aren't FUN, and these days if something isn't FUN then there's no reason for it exist. The library has a new mission to entertain us all to death. Education=boring. Gamey librarian=FUN. It's that simple.

Others of you might pay more attention to the fact that this is a crappy part-time job being advertised as a "librarian" position that requires no knowledge at all about libraries. You don't need to know anything about libraries if the library is just a rec center, so hire enough gamey librarians and the place will be filled to the brim with teenagers. There'll be so many teenagers playing games that the library will have to get rid of the books to make room for them.

Crappy job. Part time. For a "librarian." Requires no degree and no knowledge of libraries. No benefits and probably little pay. It's certainly easier to hire librarians like this than demote the ones you already have. All of you who promote gamey librarianship for the future of libraries can rest easy. The future is now, and this is what it looks like. Have FUN!


Ed Crank -- Librarian said...

Man, it reminds of the day when I was hired into the library field.

We had to be versed in chess, Monopoly, poker, cribbage, and on and on.

Why, one of the first things I had to set up when I was new to the field was a way to get rid of your fines by playing Twister against one of the librarians. I rigged it though, I picked Greta from the back room to play.

Even though she looked about 90, she was limber as a 16 year old ballerina and could left foot red, right hand blue teens into the dust.

It was great too, because instead of paying me, they let me eat all the library pasted I could hold.

Ahhhh, memories.....

Dances With Books said...

High level skills? C'mon AL, you have to be able to plug in any console (PS3, Xbox 360 or older, the Wii) into the TV set so you can use it. Plus, there are the controllers as well. And if they are using wireless controllers, then that may be a whole other ball of wax. (Thank goodness I am typing this. I could never say that with a straight face. How f***ing ridiculous is that?)

Now, if those so-called librarians are gamey, can we shoot them when in season?

Ah, the future indeed.

Minks said...

My favorite part...

"Salary: $10 - $12 depending on experience and qualifications"


Oh lol.. that is awesome.

I would rather work at Gamestop to be honest.. the pay is about the same, and you dont have to organize events.

Haha,, and with lots of experience and qualifications you qualify for $2 an hour more! Woot! lol...

Oh ouch,, now look what you have done,, my face is hurting for smiling so hard. Maybe that is worth another $1 hour? HA!

Kendra K. said...

dances with books, they should put down overly gamey librarians. i bet they don't smell very sweet.

why do they need a whole (part-time) position for this? can't they lump it in with another part-time position. finding a library type person with gaming experience probably isn't that hard.

\bvb said...

• You are a librarian

• Currently in Graduate School. ( MLS or MLIS)<<

I always thought the former was impossible without the latter.

Anonymous said...

Lead Customer Service Librarian acting as Interviewer:
I don't see any reference to knowledge of the AACR2R on your resume, but do you know the Konami Code?

Hip Librarian:

*Outstretches left hand and grimaces*
Welcome to our institution.

Brent said...

I think games in the library is moronic and steals business from others.

That being said, if you have issues with calling them a librarian, try explaining the difference to an eight year old.

It like calling Dr. Phil a doctor. Not really a doctor, but as far as the TV audience is concerned, he is.

Note: I'd recommend against getting advice from a gaming librarian or Dr. Phil. Remember, Dr. Phil helped Britney Spears!

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

AL, can you start another column on "when to know you're not getting called back for a second interview?" I sent an email request to the interviewer asking if they've made an decisions on who is getting a second interview, and they have not responded. Should I kill myself now? I need the collective wisdom of AL and her minions.

\bvb said...


Kill yourself now, if only because you are actually waiting on pins and needles for a library job callback. If your life is that empty that you really care about a library job, it's not worth living.

AL said...

"if you have issues with calling them a librarian, try explaining the difference to an eight year old."

Perhaps eight-year-olds are the target audience for this job ad.

mystery said...

I used to work in a corporate library where both degreed librarians were full time (40 hour) permanent temps (no benefits). Our supervisor of course had the job title "librarian" but no degree, no other library experience, and no library related professional connections. Supervisor was full time with benefits and a mircro manager going through pre-menopause mood swings. Then company it so we were only allowed to work 32 hour weeks. I took that as my hint to leave and pray the other degreed librarian did the same.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the Webtamer has posted this job to his blog and called it "hot" yet? Just wondering. Because a 10-hour per week library job with shitty pay is definitely HOT, as long as involves video games!

mystery said...

The company changed it so we were only allowed to work 32 hour weeks.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if this is tailor-made for a student/acolyte of the Webtamer (now teaching at Dominican in Chicago).

Anonymous said...

Meh. Hardly "crappy." The "preferred qualifications" serve as a scarecrow to those burned out video gamers who the library doesn't want rather than a motivated community events coordinator...

...wait...event coordinator for $10-12 for similar hours? What crap!

Anonymous said...

Casino 2.0 anyone? Can we have cool job titles like Slot Machine Librarian, Community Relations and Blackjack Librarian, and Youth and XBox Services Librarian?

Anonymous said...

The point no one's addressing is whether there's any room in the profession for a Gaming Librarian, however well tasked, credentialed and compensated.

j- said...

*Full/Part Time & Hours: Part Time - Hours: 10 - 12 hours a week *

10 hours!? Dude, that will leave me like, no time at all to post Twitter updates or play Halo III!

*including one evening and Saturday.*

Why don't they just write "consisting of one night per week and Saturday", because, um, there's really no other way to arrange those hours and those required times.

The best thing about this job is that it's located in that's so expensive it's guaranteed to be someone's second job if you lived anywhere near it. Otherwise, you'd have the pleasure of driving in proximity to O'Hare a couple nights a week just for fun, depending on where you did live. Huzzah!

Brent said...

I think I need an eight-year-old to proofread my posts.

ex-lib said...

Yep, the dry rot has set in. I wonder what the official reaction would be from ALA if they were asked if this slot was really "professional" or not. This is Illinois, after all, home state of ALA Hq..

It looks like they are trying to take on the game stores a la Knapster, or whatever that site where they exchanged music and video files was called [excuse my ignorance, I've been reading too many books]. ...and then we'll have a copyright controversy, and a fuss that will bring to fore British copyright laws. It's all waiting in the wings.....

ex-lib said...

Has anyone ever considered starting on online ezine called RUST BOWL LIBRARIAN, to run ads like this for crappy jobs run on a shoestring by a "librarian" with no sense of what prosessionalism is, and a board full of peole who are apparently clueless and/or conniving. Bring on the fire hydrants!!!


Annoyed Library Worker said...

What really grinds my gears is the preferred qualification of either having or currently earning an MLS degree.

Not being a Librarian myself, merely support staff (who incidentally runs a gaming program) I am ignorant as to how this is an advantage. Unless of course they'd like to pull you to cover the reference desk from time to time.

I spend about 30 minutes a week on gaming this includes setting up the console, slapping together a flyer and dispensing the snacks near the end. Usually I have a page or one of the parents monitor while they play just to make sure they are being fair and not tearing each other limb from limb.

I hope I'm not asking them to work out of title by doing this!

Anonymous said...

What really grinds my gears is the preferred qualification of either having or currently earning an MLS degree.

I think I addressed that at 2:25...

What causes my eyes to roll is thinking how 10-12 hours is spread out after placing two clamps in the form of a Saturday commitment and one evening slot. That's, what, half the allotted time, if not more? Why do I get the feeling that the time you spend in the "sets up and breaks down equipment" (you'll surely break down yourself at some point) and assessing "current products and recommends new products" will be off the clock?

There would be nothing wrong with this job if it would just put itself out there as it is: that it's basically a paid internship or a quasi-volunteer position that will allow for some resume filler and secondary income flow for a working grad student. You would think while reading this post that having a life outside of this position would be quite feasible. All jokes aside with DDR and GH fresh in the mind, who are they fooling here? The only kind of job you can do alongside a thing like this is serve coffee at the local Starbucks. Or be the starving full-time grad student not fortunate enough to have a grant.

With the "red flags" still in mind, if you can't "man up" and put out there that there's more work to do than what you'll get paid for, why should I think it's the only thing wrong with that environment?

Hourly jobs that infer some timecard fudging to warrant your continued employment? And it isn't Wal-Mart? No thanks.

Annoyed Library Worker said...

There would be nothing wrong with this job if it would just put itself out there as it is: that it's basically a paid internship or a quasi-volunteer position that will allow for some resume filler and secondary income flow for a working grad student.

Agreed. Calling it a "Gamer Librarian" position seems rather hyperbolic. It's more like "no one on staff wants to work nights and weekends so that we can too can jump on the gaming bandwagon, so we're hoping to tempt some poor soul with limited options to do it for us."

Anonymous said...

Sailor #5: Listen...chaps...there's still a chance. I'm...done for, I' a gamey leg and I'm going fast; I'll never get through. But...some of you might.'d better eat me.

Sailor #1: Eat you, sir?

Sailor #5: Yes. Eat me.

Sailor #2: Iiuuhh! With a gamey leg?


Anonymous said...

That whole job and the people advertising it are just f***ing unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

If this was in Tucson, that would be one HELLUVA good part time job...

Just saying...

100 dollars a week, 200 a paycheck? I used to do actual Library work for less then that...Now I do the library work as a volunteer.

This job could have growth potential - if the librari is in a big ssytem, maybe the gamer librarian would need to be at different sites for each evening, two sites on Saturdays, and one site on Sunday? That would bring the job up to 10 hours in the weekdays plus another 15 hours on the weekend, for a roasty 25 hours - 250 a week, 500 a paycheck. You can eat on that in Tucson!!!

But I still do better. My job pays me about 800 for about 24 hours a work. Libraries can't compete in the real world!!!

If you think this job is that terrible, think it over...And look at all the jobs it actually compares to, and how many jobs fall below it on the pay scale. It's an entry level position that could come with some nice resume references AND it's fun to do all at the same time.


Anonymous said...

River Grove IL is located right next to Dominican University, which has the only ALA accredited MLIS degree program in northern Illinois. Perhaps the webtamer can go moonlight there.

Anonymous said...

Um ... a few people are reading something into this job ad that isn't there. What's missing is the phrase "per hour". From the salary.

Could be that it's a weekly salary. Or maybe it's $10 a month. Or - "Welcome aboard. Here's your $10. Don't spend it all in one place."

Kevin Musgrove said...

A Gaming Librarian might be an advantage to a public library.

Relying on roulette and blackjack is probably a better basis for long-term budget planning than the one we currently use.

Joan Neslund said...

Shoot me now, for you will want to after reading this. The profession is changing! I live in Washington State where logging was a very popular profession for long time, but times changed and so did their careers. Please don’t be like the loggers who could not see anything positive in the changes that so deeply affected their lives.

The advent of the Internet in many homes has radically affected the library profession. Librarians are not needed on the level that they were a decade ago. My small public library serves mostly the lower economic (can’t afford the computer at home) population. Helping these people requires quite a bit of skill, professional skills, but our library profession refuses to change to neither teach nor honor these skills. Often it is the skills more closely akin to a social service worker or a police officer that one may use in a library setting. Many libraries are focusing on the Web 2.0 social networking and gaming to engage patrons. This works for many but not at the level that you people seem to desire.

Librarians help people! If the needs of the people change; then change. None of this is about you, nor me, it is about the people. If you can’t prove your value to the governing bodies of TODAY, you will lose. You can have a growing, life fostering environment in your library and still change lives. That is where the buck stops. Are your patrons happy? Do they value you? Do you fill and important need in your community? If the answer is yes then you should be supported, if not then something has to change. Why not you?

webbygrl said...

Ed crank - you are a hoot!

I would so fail at this job. My gaming experience stopped at Pong and I can't even play the ones on my phone while I wait for the doctor. Ugh. I went and got my masters and now I can't even game. They didn't offer it in school. Crap...

TRR said...

'I assume "positive attitude" means that no matter how ridiculous something is you have to pretend you're excited about it.'

Haha, that's hilarious!

The is the funniest, most biting library related blog.