When they found out I had an MLS, their attitude completely changed and I could tell I had been given more status.
This continues to be a huge problem in libraries and flies in the face of the values of diversity and inclusion many / most libraries claim to hold.
From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Chanel Wheeler <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2023 9:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
I'm a Systems Librarian with an MLS for a multi-type consortium including academics. One of the things I'm responsible for is ILS data integrity which would be very difficult without the specialized knowledge I have. Having an MLS has also allowed me to use the correct terminology with the libraries resulting in them having more trust in me. In fact, I graphically witnessed this went I went to lunch early on with a bunch of folks from one of the academics. They thought I was just some IT person. When they found out I had an MLS, their attitude completely changed and I could tell I had been given more status.
I would also say that it's better to hire someone with the eagerness to learn than to expect them to have all technical knowledge already. I had never administered an ILS when I got this job. Sure, it was slow going the first few months but I picked it all up. And now I'm eagerly looking for to changing ILSes next year. Something new to learn!
COSUGI 2023 Conference Chair (April 25-27)
Yavapai Library Network
1971 Commerce Center Circle,
Prescott, AZ 86301
Phone: (928) 442-5741
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From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin, Will
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 4:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
We're considering taking our Systems Librarian position and removing the requirement for a library degree, making it a technician position instead. The job's primary focus is in working with Alma configuration and troubleshooting the perennial off-campus access issues. The hope is that removing the library degree requirement will make recruiting easier. In past we've had difficulty getting candidates who had both the library degree and the requisite technical proficiency.
I am curious to hear from other universities: do you require your systems person to hold a library degree? Why or why not? If you do require one, do you find you have to do extensive technical training with new hires? If you don't, do you wind up having to train people on library-related stuff? Either way, how has your approach worked out?
Head of Digital Initiatives, Systems and Services Chester Fritz Library University of North Dakota he/his/him