I don't believe my institution has a single "Systems Librarian" in any of
our 3 library systems at the moment. The smallest of the systems does have
a cataloging librarian who handles the majority of their IT stuff. In the
other 2 larger library systems the ILS integration and other generally
"library systems" stuff is done by staff without advanced degrees, most of
whom have decades of experience with Voyager and were part of the migration
to Alma. I wouldn't necessarily want to replace any of us with a random IT
person with no exposure to libraries, but I also don't think formal library
school training is required to gain the skills we've needed.
On the other hand, in a university setting there may be good political
reasons for a library to want to have more faculty librarian positions, and
it's a hard sell to convince an institution that's selling training for
advanced degrees as their core business that maybe their advanced degrees
aren't really necessary for these faculty positions.
On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 9:41 AM Lynda Howell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Our experience has been that Librarian payscales and expectations are
> completely different from IT payscales/expectations. We had to convert a
> position to a librarian position and drop a lot of the technical
> requirements in order to get applicants willing to take the job.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin,
> Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 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?
> Will Martin
> Head of Digital Initiatives, Systems and Services
> Chester Fritz Library
> University of North Dakota