Zooming In: Assessing my qualifications in light of the LIS job market

Assignment: LIS Job Analysis, Part II

The purpose of this post is to reveal my “fitness” for the advertised positions previously selected as “real world” entry and advanced level job opportunities. For this exercise, I have chosen to zoom in on the following:

The Senior Subject Specialist position: Requirements in addition to the MLIS included 3-5 years of collection development, programming, and readers’ advisory experience ”This position is responsible for managing the staff, operations, and budget of the Center for the Reader at Central Library. Under general direction of the First Floor Manager, the Senior Subject Specialist plans, coordinates and executes a comprehensive program in order to establish the Center for the Reader as the place for patrons to find what they want to read next in paper or electronic format, the latest information on authors and new books as well as classics, and how to utilize technology to enhance their reading experience.”

This job (or one similar) seems doable. It incorporates three of the aspects (reader’s advisory, reference, and programming) that I enjoyed the most about a former position I held as a paraprofessional; this position was in the adult reference department of a regional branch of an urban public library. Updating my technology (as I am in the process of doing) should enhance my ability to gain a Senior Subject Specialist position. The collection development skills could be further honed on the job, for this is not an entry level position, but one on which I could strive.

The entry level Adult Reference Librarian position is one that I believe I will be qualified for upon graduation. Responsibilities include outreach, research, content (development) and staff development.  Also, strong customer service and diplomatic skills are required for this full time civil service position at this large urban public library. My work experience should enable me to attain such a position. Finding a full time permanent Adult Reference position is easier said than done. Also this ad did not mention the need for updated computer skills, but in the interest of serving my patrons to the best of my ability, I’ll continue to cultivate these skills.

My initial desire to merge my interest in Library and Information Science remains. I believe the merge will enhance my ability to serve my adult patrons and my employer. Even an indirect application of the knowledge gained (of a vast and growing sector of the adult demographic) surely will enhance my ability to work on their behalf or with regard to their needs and interests. In time, the slightest edge may be the difference that will garner a promotion sooner.

My goals are to stay the course, remain optimistic. Learn as much as I can as quickly as I can. Gain an internship for more exposure (and hopefully more access) to professional contacts currently in the field. Again, keep at it; stay optimistic because I know I CAN DO THIS!


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