At the beginning of the semester, way back in September 2011 when I’d only been in library school for a few weeks, I blogged about job opportunities for library and information science grads. I was pleasantly surprised by the options available to those with a master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS). I wrote about a few of the career paths that seemed most interesting to me, like being my own boss as an independent research consultant (like Syracuse University iSchool’s own Professor of Practice Jill Hurst-Wahl), and working with a historic collection at a unique place like The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, PA.
A full semester later, I’m deep into my MLIS coursework and still excited about the myriad career opportunities that await me and my fellow students. I’ve been combing through job postings at I Need A Library Job (INALJ), the American Library Association’s ALA JobLIST, and Special Library Association’s SLA Career Center, looking at the varied types of positions available right now, a year before I’ll be applying for jobs. Many of the positions are more traditional library jobs, like reference librarian and cataloger. But lots of them aren’t. (You should know that some iSchool alumni in “traditional” library positions are doing highly untraditional, innovative work!)
I’ve come up with a list of 61 jobs for librarians. Almost none of them actually have the word “librarian” in the title. (Check out INALJ’s recent blog post “Top 10 Job Sites for Librarians and Information Professionals from I Need A Library Job” for more ideas on job hunting resources.)
We’re a particular bunch of idealist MLIS students here at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, and many of us are attracted to solving big problems like making sure unheard voices have a say in social conversations (see iSchool MLIS student Darren Glenn’s blog) and ensuring underrepresented minorities feel welcome in libraries (see iSchool MLIS student Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros’s blog). There are jobs for these folks in the list below.
There are also jobs for more tech-minded and students among us. Many of us are passionate about the future of scholarly work, digital curation, and digitization of information. Others are fascinated by the importance of expertly managing projects and helping organizations function better through knowledge management. Some students like these are enrolled in the eScience and Digital Libraries Certificates of Advanced Studies offered here at the iSchool.
And, finally, there are some jobs with the word “librarian” in the title that are so untraditional that I had to include them. (Spoiler alert: wine librarian in Sonoma and sound FX librarian for LucasFilms.)
You’ll see job titles featuring words like “architecture,” “Web,” “research,” and “business.” Many MLIS degree holders are embedded librarians, functioning as librarians without a library, helping the employees of the organization or business for which they work make informed decisions about product development, business expansion, educational programs, and more.
Almost all of the jobs in the list require an MLIS degree, and it strikes me that there must be many non-librarian job postings out there right now for jobs that demand the skills and knowledge of MLIS degree holders. How many heads of human resources are posting non-librarian jobs that require MLIS skills and knowledge? Many businesses and organizations need librarians and don’t even know it.
So, here’s the list in no particular order. Almost all of them require an MLIS. Almost of them are job postings from the last few weeks of 2011. Enjoy.
Creative Project Manager
Director of Community Service
Web Analytics Manager
Information Resources Specialist
Technical Information Specialist
GIS (Geographic Information System) Map Specialist
Digital Reference Librarian
Curator, Media Resource Center
Director of Emerging Technologies and Community Services
Architecture Library Assistant
Discovery Metadata Librarian
Teaching and Services Learning Coordinator
Acquisitions Team Lead
Head of Learning Resources Center
Head of Access Services
Associate Archivist for Digital Initiatives and Records Management
Associate Director, Technical Services
Associate Head, Content Acquisitions and Licensing
Manager, Information Services
Head of Information and Research Services
Document Control Specialist and Archivist
Digital Manuscripts Project Manager
Library Digital Infrastructure and Technology Coordinator
Digital Services Manager
Assistant Visual Resource Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Site Manager for library software company Polaris
Digital Archives Systems Administrator
Web Project Manager
Records Management Manager for a law firm
Records and Information Manager for the Federal Trade Commission
Data Management Analyst
Information Management Officer
Senior Business Intelligence/Technical Analyst
Electronic Resourcing Specialist
Information Research Specialist
Business Information Specialist
Assistant Director for User and Research Services
Member Data Manager for a professional organization
Department Head, Music, Film, and Audio
Librarian Relations Manager for Thompson Reuters
Are you thinking of a non-traditional career in librarianship? Share interesting job links in the comments at the original post at Information Space.
NOTE: I wrote the following for Syracuse University’s Information Space Blog on December 23, 2011. This is a version with fewer typos. Read the original post here. Also, many of these links have expired. Use the job titles as search terms when you’re looking for jobs. -Mia