Assignment #1

Job Advertisement Evaluation

To be posted April 1-14

15% of course grade

• To give you a broad overview of the kinds of things that job descriptions are saying about what librarianship means in today’s libraries;
• To help you focus on the values that surface in these job descriptions;
• To give you a chance to look carefully at what the job requirements are for the type of job you might be interested in
• To foreshadow an exercise you may do as part of your portfolio preparation, if you select the portfolio as your MLIS culminating experience.

1. Within your Special Interest Groups, discuss the types of positions available in the area. For example, if your group is interested in Cataloging and Metadata, you may each focus on a different type of position: one person may choose Serials Catalogers, one Rare Books Catalogers, another Data Curation Librarians. You could also each look at different levels of positions, such as entry-level, mid-career, and director-level positions in the same areas. Try to pay more attention to getting similar job types than job titles. For example, a metadata librarian may be more like a systems librarian, or more like an electronic resources librarian, or more like a cataloger – try to put together a group of like postings. Each of these job postings must require an MLIS – however, job titles may vary.
After you select the type of professional position, find at least 5 job postings for that type of job.

2. Look for job advertisements online or elsewhere. You may use any postings from the last two years, if you cannot find enough current ones. You may want to start with one of the following job posting sites:
o Library Job Postings on the Internet
o The Networked Librarian “Employment Resources for Librarians” page
o ALA JobList

You can also identify key places where jobs are listed in your area of interest. For example, regional associations often have job boards.

3. In narrative form write an approximately 1000 word blog post about what you discovered:
o What kind of knowledge is required for these positions? What kinds of skills are most commonly listed?
o Note any other degree or educational requirements
o Describe anything else that you think is important about the job postings.

4. Evaluate your discoveries framed around the following questions:
o What do the job requirements have to say about professionals in this area?
o Do they discuss leadership? If so, in what context?
o What kind of values, if any, are explicit (or implicit) in the job descriptions? Please give examples from the job descriptions to support your assertions.

5. Include brief reflections on the assignment itself: Did this assignment make you think about professional librarianship or library education in a new way? How so?

6. Write no more than 1000 words; this should make your paper about 3 pages (or so) long.

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