Okay, so my Onion-ish take on the Annoyed Librarian’s article about those Philly library schools is a little bitter. Why should I be bitter? I’m gainfully employed, right?
But alas, the AL did bring up a few points that I’ve often thought about myself: 1.) Why the heck would anyone enroll in a library program NOT accredited by the ALA (I haven’t seen a job ad that doesn’t require this) and 2.) the Philadelphia pool of library jobs is shrinking at an alarming rate while hoardes of librarian wannabes flock to area programs (and even distance programs — Pitt is currently offering a Philly cohort of its FastTrack program). You know something’s wrong when the crappy part time “circulation assistant” or “media services assistant” positions are going like yesterday’s hotcakes. Why the sudden glut of libraryness?
As an almost-professional librarian (still the dreaded ‘paraprofessional’) who is secure enough to poke fun at herself and the profession that many quip “you need to go to grad school for THAT?”, the view from the ground is stark at best. Positions in Scranton and Erie suddenly look appetizing. Now one can justify an hour-and-a-half commute each way, thinking, “but I could get so much reading done on the R6…”
But there has to be a reason, right? I mean, these jobs must be fantastic for them to be in such high demand and pay such middling wages, right? Please? Yes?