ERIC Number: EJ850541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-1
Reference Count: N/A
MLS: Hire Ground?
Library Journal, v134 n10 p44-46 Jun 2009
While some professions maintain strong professional boundaries, public librarianship remains a field in which a significant number of those delivering service do not have library degrees. In this article, the author discusses the results of a new hiring practices survey from "Library Journal" ("LJ"). The survey, coupled with interviews, looks at an ever-changing landscape, as library executives express fealty to the MLS at the same time that certain tasks gravitate to nondegreed staffers. Over the last few years, say 33% of survey respondents, they hired more paraprofessionals, while only 19% report they hired more professionals; 48% say the balance is unchanged. In larger libraries, the adjustments are more pronounced. About half of the largest libraries, with budgets over $5 million, have hired more paraprofessionals. About one-third of that cohort say they will need fewer MLS staff in five years; in the overall sample, some 60% of all respondents say they'll need more MLS staff, with 12% needing fewer. The San Jose Public Library, California, for instance, aims to maintain service "while keeping staffing costs down." Technology frees clerical staff to "work directly with customers on basic reference questions and computer help." Degreed librarians, therefore, can focus on creating programs, developing partnerships with schools and other agencies, and working with collections.
Descriptors: Public Libraries, Masters Degrees, Masters Programs, Library Science, Libraries, Surveys, Interviews, Paraprofessional Personnel, Librarians
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida