Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Librarian Chronicles: Taking responsibility for the fledglings

As you may have gathered from my IG I :
( - finished my masters last Summer)
1) am a librarian - preferably childrens - but this is a choice, not something I am limited to.
2) currently in a substitute postition (2.5 months - someone broke a hip. Unlucky for her, good for me)
3) am invited to a lot of interviews but never get the position.

The economy is still poor and nobody feels this like government funded institutions. But there are some positions. And they are intrigued by my applications and my picture. But in the end they opt for a person with more experience. Since october last year I have been to 7 job interviews (I may have forgotten one or two) and I have another tomorrow. They all like me and think I'm quite sensible and have great ideas (which they probably steal ;) ). But it's risky to hire someone with little to no experience.

So here are my thoughts on employers taking a social responsibility.

The institute the library education is under is quite small but still more of us finish every than there are library positions for. Luckily the academy has branched out and is now more of a communication, mediation, information specialist education - we can do a lot - not just find books on shelves ;)
But for those of us who do want to be librarians there are obstacles:

Many librarians stay a looong time at their work place and there isn't money to hire new ones (it also happens the position is shut down when a librarian retires to save money). This is good because experience is certainly most valuable but the information/media field is always expanding and renewing itself - and the libraries get new tasks. And can the libraries afford not to keep up with that? No. The libraries are places of information. A lot of the senior librarians can't help kids with the modern stuff but also can help senior citizens with the new media they are required to use to get their pensions, doctors appoinments and lots of other new electronic services (in Denmark all contact to and from the state is now electronic). I have been at libraries where the 'newest' librarian had been there 11 years. The libraries need us - the ones with the updated education - the information specialists.
(Funny story that has nothing to do with anything, it's just amusing: I once overheard a librarian exclaim: "That Pinstagram-thing! We need to be on that!")

So what do I want the libraries to do?

I want them to hire us. To take a chance. To perhaps not prioritize the librarians who are looking to change jobs, but to prioritize the ones who has no job at all.

I want them to prioritize us in the budgets. Make project positions. Want to make IG, Twitter or Pinterest? Hire one to set it up, to make the time schedual, and to teach the other librarians how to run it. Want to weed out in the collection? Hire one of us to do it and we can also help with everything else. Help give us the experience we need and in return we will give you new knowledge and new perspectives.

Because the libraries need us as much as we, the librarian fledglings, need them. The education keeps changing and is updated all the time because the field is developing rapidly. If the libraries don't get a share in the new knowledge the public will search elsewhere - and the libraries will be a part of making themselves obsolete or loose funding. And that would be terrible indeed. And not just for the librarians, but for the public at large.

So in short. HIRE US DAMMIT! >.< ;)

I just needed to went a little bit :) I hope you are okay with that ;)




  1. Don't give up! I interviewed for admin/receptionist positions after college for over a year before someone took a chance on me because they WANTED someone without experience so they could mold me, etc.. While you're applying, you are gaining experience in each sub position you get so don't fret! Someone will see that and will take you on, I know it! It's a frustrating process, but you can do it!! =)

    In a Nutshell...

    1. I know I will get a job eventually but that's sorta beside the point. The longer you are unemployed and doesn't get to use your skills the less interesting you also become for the employer. And the libraries are missing out on new skills so it's a lose/lose situation. I know people who after 4 years haven't had a job yet. They are more or less unemployable now. If you have a 4 year gap on your resume how does that look? And with an education based on information techonology it's probably also outdated because everything moves so fast. That shouldn't happen - it's also a waste of money and education. That's why I want the libraries to make project positions so we get something to put on our resumes - it doesn't have to be anything huge or lige changing. Just something so we don't get left behind. I'm not just frustrated on my own behalf but on every new librarian who get's overlooked.

  2. I'm reading your blog on my phone when I should be working, so I don't have time for a long, thoughtful comment. Just wanted to say: Pinstagram! Ha!

    1. I didn't even know how to begin explaining that it it two very different things >.<