Through the ALA listserv, I found a posting for a Digital Program and Data Management Librarian with the William Madison Randall Library at The University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Duties and responsibilities: Digital program development, data management, training and development, and general library faculty responsibilities constitute the core portfolio.
Requirements (edited for legibility):
- MLS/MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited program.
- Demonstrated proficiency with HTML/XHTML/CSS and current trends in web development.
- Demonstrated skill with PHP and MySQL (or equivalent technologies) and relational databases to create dynamic web applications.
- Demonstrated experience developing user-centered digital projects.
- Demonstrated commitment to transformative approaches to the management of digital projects.
- Demonstrated appreciation of the data challenge (roles and actions for academic libraries).Experience applying or advising on digital preservation and storage best practices.
- Experience with digital library, institutional repository and/or content management software such as CONTENTdm, DSpace, Drupal, Archon, Archivists’ Toolkit.
- Working knowledge of non-MARC metadata applications.
- Excellent interpersonal, organizational, oral, and written communication skills and strong service orientation.
- Knowledge of library policies and statement of mission, goals, and objectives.
- Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office applications.
Phew, that’s a list of demands. The readings for this week were fairly clear about what library students need to do in order to be successful, and if you wanted this job, you’d need to take all of that advice. You’d need to spend your entire time in grad school taking classes that speak to these requirements. I have taken more classes than I need to graduate simply so that I can take more classes like this that give me some hands on specific practice with digital libraries, databases or programming, but it wouldn’t be enough. I’m a member of multiple professional organizations, and I have experience in budgeting and management; but there’s no way for me to get this job. The only way to be ready for this job straight out of college would be to have worked part time as a volunteer or as a PTE at a digital library while completing your masters. During your third semester, you would need to be promoted to some sort of managing position while learning HTML in your free time…
Our fearless leader this week stated that “Tzoc and Millard (2011) conclude that “current students as well as practicing librarians need to seek out additional non-curricular opportunities to build competency in the technical areas represented in this study if they are or expect to be marketable” (p. 14).” For the job I found, you’d need at least 3 years at SLIS taking classes full time in order to be ready. You’d also have to spend those three years gearing up specifically for this job. Every library is different, and the subset of skills they might be looking for might not match the set that you put together during your SLIS career. I think that SLIS and UW-Madison in general do a great job ensuring that you can put together a skillset that you can use to get a job, I think it’s down to the students to actually take those extra opportunities and develop themselves into exciting prospects for libraries.
Question 3 asked:
During a job search one may come across a position in which she or he is qualified for in every area but management. How can new and recent graduates apply previous work and educational experiences to the managerial requirement? For example, some of you have been involved in some or all areas of project management. How can this (or another) work/school experience serve as a way to show a prospective employer that you can successfully handle this part of the job?
I think this is an area that SLIS helps us out in. We’ve all had to take the lead on larger projects, and this helps us to say that we’ve taken charge on a project related to a library. For everything else, it’ll be a combination of skills. Maybe you worked full time and went to school (time management), maybe you had an independent study class (project planning), maybe you put together an event for SLIS (resource management, networking), everything that you do that involves working toward a common goal with other people is a project and can be expressed in a way that could help you get a job. This, by the way, is one of my favorite things to help people with. If you need help with a specific job, let me know, I’d be happy to help you find a way to make your skills shine.