Monday, March 17, 2008

Is This or Is This Not a Library Job that Sucks?

A reader sent in this job ad to me for an "Evening Librarian, Part-Time." That's the title of the job. One can actually be a Librarian of the Evening down in Smyrna, GA for the tidy sum of $10-12/hour. Pretty exciting stuff! The job is available today, so apply now.

Ordinarily, this job would meet all the qualifications of a library job that sucks. It's a librarian position. It's part time. And the pay is pathetic. The question for this one is: is this really a librarian position? It doesn't require an MLS, but only "Enrollment in MLS program." Traditionally, librarian positions require an MLS, so according to that definition this can't be a librarian position. We all know the general public thinks everyone who works in a library is a "librarian," but one would expect people in libraries to know the difference, even in Georgia. Of course there's the library in Wisconsin that reclassified and cut the pay of its librarians because their work wasn't professional enough to warrant needing an MLS, but then kept the MLS as a requirement of the reclassified, less professional positions. However, it seems pretty clear that nobody running that library is capable of coherent thought, so we shouldn't make too much of that.

There are other oddities about this ad as well. It claims to be looking for a librarian (though not one with an MLS), but doesn't have a library, only a Learning Resource Center. That might explain why the ad doesn't know what the term "librarian" applies to in the profession. Why isn't it just looking for a Evening Learning Resource Centerian, Part-time? It's also listed as an "academic" library position. They have some academic libraries down in Georgia. There's Emory, the U. of Georgia, Georgia Tech, etc. I've heard of them. I hadn't heard of the Medix School, but it turns out to be a medical and dental assistant training school, though they also teach the "cosmetology arts and sciences" and have a new program in "welding technology." Does this count as academic? I don't think so, but we all know what an elitist I am.

This fraudulent ad might not be for a library job that sucks per se, but it does seem to represent one more step in the deprofessionalization of librarians. In olden days a librarian position required an MLS, but now heaven knows, anything goes.

46 comments:

Dances With Books said...

Welding technology at a medical and dental assistant school? I have a feeling I don't even want to know. Must be one hell of a cavity to fill or dental bridge you need a welder.

Anyhow, it depends. If you look at the job in strict terms, as a librarian job, then it probably does not qualify for your LJ's that Suck. However, as a LIBRARY job (any LJ), this one does suck.

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

In all seriousness, do library school students who are enrolled in ALA-MLS programs realize that the joke is on them?

mdoneil said...

It could be that they are not looking for a librarian because Georgia requires that librarians obtain a state license, after paying an $80 license fee and passing a criminal background check.

I wonder if this position requires a Grade 2 paraprofessional certificate. If it is paid for with state tax money in any fashion it seems it does based upon my cursory reading of the statute.

For more information on this oh so valuable library licensure please see this link

N.B. this is not legal advice. If you require legal advice consult your own counsel. (No UPL for me.)

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that a proprietary school in Georgia actually has a "Learning Resource Center" and wants to hire someone to staff it. They must have been dinged by SACS, and are trying to lowball their way out of it.

By the way, the certification for librarians in Georgia is only for public librarians.

Anonymous said...

U[sic] of Georgia

expat librarian said...

Hmm. This seems like a job pretty much for an LS student. Evening work, $10/hour, part-time. Perfect, really, for a grad student. And that's not a bad hourly rate for a grad student these days.

So, it might be a library job that really doesn't such for a student.

Anonymous said...

Mdoneil,

You're in luck! Medix School is going to be opening up a branch called Lawyerz School. And their resource centerian won't need either an MLS or a JD.

---Kurt

Anonymous said...

This is another job that is not all that bad...

Low requirements, in all honesty, and it's a a perfect "Experience Builder" job.

It's not a permanent position - just another "Competition Builder."

So for People like AL, it IS a job that sucks...it's getting more recruits in the door.

Oh Boy!

Kat!

Anonymous said...

I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but the more positions like this, the better off I'll be.

Thing is, I'd love to be a librarian, and I'd be better off with no MLS, no student loans, and a $20K/year salary than with an MLS, $40K-$50K debt, and a $25K/year salary.

Like any race, the race to the bottom is best run without encumbrances.

Anonymous said...

The school is not SACS accredited so indeed they use thier awsome powers to make a librarian out of anybody. It is nice that they are at least looking for someone who in theory is getting an MLS when what they probably want is a cheap IT person and well we all know that's the librarian cause they use them there fancy computers in that there liberry.

Anyway even the technical colleges that teach Welding and Med Tech programs are SACS accredited in GA
and that's no small accomplishment.
Otherwise you may as well get your degree from Sally Struthers and do your exams by drawing binkey.

Anyway this is a library job that sucks. You would do better being a shelving books at the PL.

Humm, I wonder if I should ask more questions at the dentist office about creditentials when I get a cleaning

\bvb said...

4:26 said:
>
Thing is, I'd love to be a librarian, and I'd be better off with no MLS, no student loans, and a $20K/year salary than with an MLS, $40K-$50K debt, and a $25K/year salary.<

God I'm depressed now.

Anonymous said...

Here's another goodie: "LIBRARY ASSOCIATE III (Reference) Alternate between library locations instructing patrons in the use of the library & its resources. Analyze client information needs and direct to resources, assist librarians in selecting catalog resources. HS diploma or GED required, Bachelor's degree strongly preferred. Knowledge of library organization, internet searching and previous library employment preferred. Evening/wknd work required. $13.65/hr + pro-rated benefits. 20 hours/wk. Employment contingent on successful background check and drug screen. Apply online www.cityoffargo. com/hr/apply or at Job Service by Mar 28. EOE" -- and in Fargo, North Dakota to boot. They ought to be lining up for this one...

Anonymous said...

This job reminds of the jobs in New Mexico, where you may or may not need an MLS or MLIS to apply, but the pay is just a dollar or two over minimum wage either way. Regardles, they always end up asking for experience. It's frustrating for a new library school graduate, who has none if she or he didn't take an internship in school because they had to work full-time in another profession to get themselves through grad school and out of their previous occupation. One would think those offering these low-paying jobs would be willing to pay a bit more for experienced applicants, or the fact that you have a hard-earned advanced degree. The logic is twisted. I know several people here who've been looking for work for over a year and have not found anything. Not only is there a shortage, but the pay is really low.

Anonymous said...

A shortage of jobs, or of librarians? If it's a shortage of jobs but plenty of librarians, that explains why the pay is so low.

Anonymous said...

"You would do better being a shelving books at the PL. "

No, you wouldn't. This job pays almost twice what shelvers make.

Minks said...

A library job for a 'librarian of the evening' that sucks.

Umm, what? =/

Gonna have to take a big ole pass-a-roo on that one.

Isn't $12 hr in Gerogia like $175 an hour anyplace else? =P

Anonymous said...

If you could do it cheaply because you were on staff, it would probably be a good idea to become a welder.

You make more money than librarians do and there is little chance of your job being taken away because of Google.

Plus, it is real work.

The.Effing.Librarian said...

I knew someone who had a part time librarian job at a technical college; the library had maybe 1,200 books and it was her job to "catalog" them (basically shelve them in some order), and check them in/out to students and staff. She was responsible for the one lab computer and had a $200 budget for ordering new books. 2-3 students a day used the resources, so she mostly sat around for 20 hrs. a week and collected her $12/hr. for doing almost nothing. I guess it's almost nothing to maintain order in a little used library, but the order was there in case it was needed. So I guess she earned her pay. Some undegreed kid might have just piled all the books on the floor like Legos and built a tiny fort. But not a librarian. (She built a tiny library. Several times. I helped.)

Anonymous said...

A shortage of jobs, or of librarians? If it's a shortage of jobs but plenty of librarians, that explains why the pay is so low.
=================================
It's Neither.

There's Plenty of Jobs.

And there are Plenty of Librarians.

And There's also Plenty more people besides librarians who can do them.


The fact of the matter is, it does not take an advanced degree to organize information. It just takes someone who is good with organization and technology.

If you want to have a good job, learn a skill taht isn;t easy to have. Like welding. or programming. Or wearing fuzzy oversized character costumes in teh middle of the summer.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is, it does not take an advanced degree to organize information. It just takes someone who is good with organization and technology.

Amen.

I always felt the same way about surgery. With a good anatomy text and Wikipedia, you should be able to perform most surgeries.

If not, oh well, you tried and the world will go on.

Another Skeptical Librarian said...

Where I live (NM) librarian positions often require only a high school diploma or GED. There is little value placed on the MLS because you don't need one to be a librarian. If you have one, they don't really care. I once made the mistake of requesting a few more dollars per hour for my MLS and professional experience and I was laughed out of the place.

Anonymous said...

http://www.fis.utoronto.ca/component/option,com_jobline/Itemid,/task,view/id,1507/

What about this? MLS and 5 years experience required.

Anonymous said...

http://www.fis.utoronto.ca/component/
option,com_jobline/Itemid,/task,view/
id,1507/

AL said...

5 years experience and an MLS for a temporary part-time job--it definitely sucks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this sounds like a GREAT job--kind of like the greeters at Walmart. You sit at the desk, read a novel, point to the catalog or computers, reluctantly rise to demonstrate that welding technique or to fill that cavity. Perfect student job (do your homework while getting paid for it!) or post-retirement job. Kind of like the geriatric guards you see at some public buildings. No worry, no stress and a little pin money.

Anonymous said...

I used to work for a technical college. Belive me it can be quite frutrating because sometimes they only keep a library and a "librarian" because they need them to keep accreditation. Most of the students are there to get a practical, hands-on occupation, and care little for any kind of research. But there is work that can be done if the librarian is willing. Of course, if the person is a librarian...

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

wow you guys really come off as a bunch of elitist jerks...

not only do you trash any potential librarian who might work at medix. but you also trash the students who are going there to gain training to make something of there lives. how pathetic you people are....

AL said...

"wow you guys really come off as a bunch of elitist jerks..."

Methinks you have discovered the secret of the AL.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. It's "THEIR lives," not "there lives." Just something to keep in mind.

Anonymous said...

Dear AL:

What is your full name, job title, and address...I wish to send you seasonal greeting cards in the mail.

Brent said...

I think he's just AL has all this time at work to write long posts.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AL said...

Sorry, Soren, I had to remove the comments by Soldierboy because he was incapable of communicating in a civil fashion. But we must support the troops.

Brent said...

I meant to insert he was jealous of AL for having all this time at work to write for her blog.

I really am incapable of communicating...

AL said...

Brent, buddy, save the martinis for later in the week. It's only Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

But there is work that can be done if the librarian is willing. Of course, if the person is a librarian...

Amen.

I sat around with piles of books around me for years and it wasn't until I got my MLS that I found out you could organized them!!!!

And if you had a question, you could look things up in them.

Oh, the magic of the MLS is powerful.

Do not let mere mortals find out the power of the MLS or they will be taken in by the dark side.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is, it does not take an advanced degree to organize information. It just takes someone who is good with organization and technology.


Amen.

I always felt the same way about surgery. With a good anatomy text and Wikipedia, you should be able to perform most surgeries.

If not, oh well, you tired and the world will go on.


Aha, but you see, information is not like surgery - if you don't provide it, your client won't die. They may remain dumb, but they won't die. They might have to see a surgeon instead of trying out the surgery themselves, but they won't die. Chances are, if they were smart enough to ask a question that requires smart reference materials, they are smart enough to do their own reseach - they were just trying the easy out first by asking the Librarian.

Ghastly, the Library is not the only source of information. And worse, it does not take a librarian to interpret information documents.

Librarians are kind of like the standing "Expert" joke with a "kick me" Squarely on their behinds. It's a collective social Joke - groups play it on nerds all the time.

No, Sad to say, all a librarian is needed for is...sigh...to point to the signs that say where the restrooms are.

And a library clerk with little more then a 8th grade promotion certificate can do that...

The joke is ending, I'm afraid.

Kat!

Anonymous said...

I was trying to remeber the Standing Nerd joke groups play, and I rememebr now.
Sometimes there is that kid who wants to play foot ball or baseketballbut neither team wants the eprson. So the group says "hey, you're cool - you can be the referee!"

And there the joke starts because neither team really cares what the referee says - it's just more entertainment to them.

The same thing has happened to Librarians in the real world - we're not smart enough to pass Calculuss Three [Vector] so the Corporations don't really want us, but hey! We can be the Information Referee!!

The thing is, the people are increasingly in the know of what they want and what inforamtion is reputable - and less in the problem of "what to know."

Kat!

Anonymous said...

Wow, every one that's bashing librarians with MLIS degrees must already have a job, can't relate, doesn't have a MLIS, doesn't want one, doesn't think it's needed, etc., and they've probably not gone through San Jose State's MLIS program. I found their coursework intense, challenging and really dug it. The program took me four years to complete, working full-time and with a family. I actually think their program prepares you to become an information professional, not just someone who doles out information. There's a difference. My expectations of the profession and what I bring in terms of skills are influenced a lot by what I learned there. A lot of bloggers sound sort of bitter, anti-librarian, anti-MLIS. Call me Pollyanna but I'm really happy with my career choice and how I chose to go about it, regardless of others' perceptions of the profession, and whether a degree is necessary or not. I think it actually does make me a better employee. I think if you spend the money and time to get your degree you should work for an employer that's going to recognize and pay you for your efforts. This isn't that place, sadly, so off I go. C'est la vie. Sure, one can perform plastic surgery by reading a book, as someone suggested earlier, but if you had a chance to do it right the first time, why would you waste your time and energy when you could get expert help? Face it, info seekers. You all think you have a clue, but you don't, and chances are the person behind the desk at some places may not, either, sadly, but ignorance is bliss. Yep, your patient (I mean patron, of course), will survive, but the results won't be pretty. Just ask a medical librarian. Doctors and nurses don't have time to look for medical information. They're too busy seeing patients. The librarians are the super heroes here, believe it or not. In those cases, it is very crucial to have accurate, reliable information. Hmm. Amazing what a little venting will do for ya, isn't it? I feel much better now....not.
Sigh.

Kudos to the Annoyed Librarian for exposing the kooks in our midst.

Jaded said...

I just wanted to point out that Smyrna is actually a nice place. A bit conservative, but that's all of GA. The job may indeed suck but location-wise it's probably not all that bad.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hadn't read this blog all week, and now I see that the job posting that AL is pointing to is no longer there. Mabye they realized the error of their ways? Or, have hired somebody already...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I did mean Maybe, not Mabye!

Anonymous said...

I saw a job ad recently that said the following: "Library seeks a creative, innovative, and intellectually unfettered reference and instruction librarian to shape a library where in-person reference and instruction are the exception, not the rule."

What does this even mean? I see some potential red flags...