if you want to work in libraries
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DESCRIPTIONHere are then things you need to know if you want to work in libraries. The Information Profession is generally misunderstood; this is an effort to set the record straight. Please feel to embed, share, and otherwise spread the word! (With attribution)
IF YOU WANT TO WORK IN LIBRARIEShere are ten things you need to know
IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT BOOKSDo you like books? That’s great, but best not to put too much emphasis on that in your job interview. These days the library is all about other things.
IT IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLEYou need good communication skills to work in libraries, and you can’t really afford to be shy. Everything is focused on catering to the information needs of whatever community your library needs, and it can be hectic out there.
IT IS ALL ABOUT TECHNOLOGYIf you’re scared of technology, you can’t work in libraries. Libraries are at the cutting edge of content delivery; Information Professionals have to lead the way and be early adopters of new platforms and trends.
YOU WILL NEED A QUALIFICATIONOnce you get beyond the entry level, everyone going for the good jobs will have some kind of post-graduate qualification: a Masters or a Diploma.
If you’re serious about the profession, you need to factor in the time and money involved in doing this.
THE COMPETITION IS TOUGHMore people qualify in librarianship each year than retire. And there are a lot of over-qualified people in the Information Profession, generally. In short, librarianship is not the soft option it is sometimes portrayed as: you have to work really hard to get anywhere.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR FRIENDInformation Professionals love social media. Places like Twitter and the LIS New Professionals Network (LISNPN) can provide support, guidance, encouragement, and a place to exchange ideas. They help you feel plugged in to the wider profession.
YOU NEED TO BE READY TO FIGHTThere is a more or less constant battle against the old librarian stereotypes, and it inhibits our ability to do our job. If people don’t respect us, they don’t get the most out of our services.
Library Advocacy is something we are all involved with, all the time – it’s just a question of whether or not we seize our opportunities and do it well.
YOU HAVE TO BE OKAY WITH CHANGELibraries have probably changed more in the last two decades than in their entire previous history put together. Change is the only constant, so you need to be comfortable embracing new things all the time.
YOU CAN PURSUE EXISTING PASSIONSOne of the great things about librarianship is how often you can pursue existing passions in a professional capacity. Like writing? Get published in any number of journals. Like social media? Use it to promote your library. Like history? Work in an archive. Etc etc.
THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT ROLESYou can work in Customer Services, Marketing, Digitisation, Archives, Preservation, Press & Publicity, Training, Information Literacy, Reference, Subject Teams, Music Librarianship, Law Librarianship, Medical Librarianship, Special Librarianship, Public Librarianship, Academic Librarianship, Mobile Librarianship, School Librarianship, Children’s Librarianship, e-Resources, Acquisitions, Cataloguing, Administration, Management, IT and Systems, the Virtual Learning Environment, Special Collections, Estates, Design, Accountancy, Human Resources, Museums, Galleries, Collection Management, e-Strategy, Metadata, Space and Collections, Book Repair, Conservation, Publishing, Projects, Copyright, Community Engagement, Repositories
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