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CODE4LIB  February 2023

CODE4LIB February 2023

Subject:

Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?

From:

Elizabeth Leonard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 21 Feb 2023 08:30:40 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1738 lines)

Late to the conversation, but my two cents:

I would remove or make "MLIS a plus" . Like you, I've also noted the
challenge that Libraries are facing while recruiting candidates with
technical skills. Additionally, I am unaware of any library school that
actually teaches library systems technology. As far as I can tell, most
library systems folks learn on the job- I've certainly done my part in
training library employees about how authentication and systems work and
interact with each other.



Elizabeth


--



<http://www.drew.edu/>
  *Elizabeth Leonard
<http://www.drew.edu/directory/?q=email:eleonard&utm_source=FIL_Email_Footer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FIL%2BEmail%2BFooter>*
 | Director | University Library
<http://www.drew.edu/library?utm_source=FIL_Email_Footer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FIL%2BEmail%2BFooter>
Drew University | 36 Madison Ave | Madison, NJ 07940
973-408-3322 <9734083322> | drew.edu
<http://www.drew.edu/?utm_source=FIL_Email_Footer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FIL%2BEmail%2BFooter>
 | @DrewUniversity <https://twitter.com/DrewUniversity>


On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 11:00 PM CODE4LIB automatic digest system <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> There are 21 messages totaling 1678 lines in this issue.
>
> Topics of the day:
>
>   1. Systems - to librarian or not to librarian? (20)
>   2. Scanning a document with translation software
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 16:58:07 +1100
> From:    Andrew Cunningham <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> It really comes down to the candidate.
>
> Formal qualifications are one aspect, but knowledge and experience of the
> technology stack in use are important. I suspect the key criteria are more
> around future plans for the library's core technology and ensuring you have
> the skills you will need in the future. But someone with experience and
> knowledge of MARC and linked data is going to be able to get more out of
> your current system. The reality is you are unlikely to find a candidate
> who is across everything, what's more important is flexibility,
> adaptability, and the skills and drive to master their gaps.
>
> On Fri, 17 Feb 2023 at 10:24, Martin, Will <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > All,
> >
> > 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
> > he/his/him
> >
> > 701.777.4638
> >
>
>
> --
> Andrew Cunningham
> [log in to unmask]
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 13:13:33 +0000
> From:    "Pennington, Buddy D." <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> We are currently conducting a search for a systems librarian to support
> our recent FOLIO implementation. We debated the MLIS requirement but
> ultimately decided to keep it. Part of the position is working with
> different functional groups so we felt like the position having an MLIS
> would be a significant benefit.
>
> Buddy Pennington (He/him)
> Head of Systems & Technology
> Miller Nichols Library, 308D
> 800 East 51st Street
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin,
> Will
> Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 5:25 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> WARNING: This message has originated from an External Source. This may be
> a phishing expedition that can result in unauthorized access to our IT
> System. Please use proper judgment and caution when opening attachments,
> clicking links, or responding to this email.
>
> All,
>
> 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 he/his/him
>
> 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 08:26:41 -0500
> From:    Cindy Bowen <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Kate's questions are definitely good ones, and Eric's perspective seems
> like the complement to mine--I'm a Systems Librarian with an MLIS, and my
> work (so far!) has been mostly focused on Alma-side config and improving
> the ways our metadata (usually MARC, but also some Dublin Core) is showing
> up in Primo VE. My cataloging course in grad school has certainly helped,
> but so has my previous experience, plus a fair bit of googling and
> inquiries on listservs! I also have colleagues who are devoted to the
> server/API/coding areas, so certain problems pass out of my realm and into
> theirs.
>
> Since you said you've had difficulty in the past with getting candidates,
> maybe listing the degree as preferred rather than required would increase
> your odds of a favorable candidate? That seems like it might improve the
> candidate pool, at least, and during the hiring process you'll be able to
> decide who best suits your library needs whether they have a degree or not.
> ~Cindy
>
> Cindy Bowen
> Systems Librarian
> Georgetown University
> [log in to unmask]
> she/her/hers
> @calimae
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 6:54 PM Eric Phetteplace <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Will,
> >
> > As a Systems Librarian myself, *a lot* of what I do doesn't require an
> > MLIS. Web dev, dev ops, data munging, API integration between systems,
> etc.
> > The only thing that gives me pause is that you've stated the position
> will
> > work primarily with your ILS, which is one area where a library
> background
> > is really helpful. You are not going to find many folks without a degree
> > who know what MARC is, or are familiar with the intricacies of an ILS.
> > Maybe that isn't an issue, my honest answer to your question is "I don't
> > know", but it'd make me a little worried. People can, of course, pick up
> > this knowledge over time, so maybe a related question is how much of a
> > learning curve you're willing to accept.
> >
> > Best,
> > Eric
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 3:32 PM <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > > Two questions:
> > >
> > > 1. Are there benefits or advancement differences between a librarian
> and
> > > technical position at your institution?
> > >
> > > 2. Is the MLIS requirement strict or do you consider also equivalence
> > such
> > > as experience plus technical degrees?
> > >
> > > Kate Deibel
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of
> Martin,
> > > Will
> > > Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 PM
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
> > >
> > > All,
> > >
> > > 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 he/his/him
> > >
> > > 701.777.4638
> > >
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 14:20:57 +0000
> From:    "Hammer, Erich F" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Will,
>
> I am the "Head of Systems" here, and I don't think I would have been
> considered for the job without my MLIS.  I had 20 years experience in IT
> (during which I worked through the degree) before being hired, and my
> supervisor and team recognized that I had no actual Library experience.
> They were willing to guide me because of my technical abilities, but the
> first year was completely overwhelming. The complexity and lingo had my
> brain struggling to comprehend how it all fit together.  I believe I'm
> doing OK at the job now, but I have to give enormous credit to my
> incredible and dedicated employees and also recognize that the pandemic
> shutdown -- when I was the only person in the building for several months
> -- afforded me the opportunity to catch up and resolve problems that
> couldn't be managed in short, 15 minute segments between meetings and other
> crises.
>
> What I'm saying is that I honestly don't think the courses I took for my
> degree did all that much to prepare me for this job.  What it may have done
> though is tell the hiring committee that I was/am interested in the
> concepts and philosophies of libraries and information science and am
> willing to continue learning.
>
> Maybe the MLIS degree should be an alternative to x years of library
> experience (along with demonstrated technical skills).
>
> Erich
>
>
>
> On Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 18:24, Will Martin eloquently inscribed:
>
> > All,
> >
> > 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
> > he/his/him
> >
> > 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 14:30:45 +0000
> From:    Tim McGeary <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> At Duke, we have removed any specific degree requirements for our
> technical positions, not just library degrees. We have found this greatly
> increases diversity and quality of applicants.
>
> But I would suggest you go even further and remove as many buzzwords or
> very specific technology requirements as possible, too. We learned these
> would lead to applicant self-selecting out and not applying. Instead, we
> focus on experience, techniques, and broad lists of exemplar technologies,
> programming languages, etc.
>
> As someone who holds a MS in Information & Systems Engineering (yet earned
> this degree after I started working in libraries), I find it frustrating to
> be fully qualified for positions aside from a specific library degree. When
> recruiters reach out for my assistance in finding applicants, I immediately
> point out the instances when a library degree is being specifically
> required, and I encourage them to change this.
>
> Cheers,
> Tim
>
> Tim McGeary
>
> Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies and Technology
>
> Duke University Libraries
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
> Schedule a meeting with Tim:
>
>
> [log in to unmask]" target="_blank">https:[log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Hammer,
> Erich F <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, February 17, 2023 9:20 AM
> To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Will,
>
> I am the "Head of Systems" here, and I don't think I would have been
> considered for the job without my MLIS.  I had 20 years experience in IT
> (during which I worked through the degree) before being hired, and my
> supervisor and team recognized that I had no actual Library experience.
> They were willing to guide me because of my technical abilities, but the
> first year was completely overwhelming. The complexity and lingo had my
> brain struggling to comprehend how it all fit together.  I believe I'm
> doing OK at the job now, but I have to give enormous credit to my
> incredible and dedicated employees and also recognize that the pandemic
> shutdown -- when I was the only person in the building for several months
> -- afforded me the opportunity to catch up and resolve problems that
> couldn't be managed in short, 15 minute segments between meetings and other
> crises.
>
> What I'm saying is that I honestly don't think the courses I took for my
> degree did all that much to prepare me for this job.  What it may have done
> though is tell the hiring committee that I was/am interested in the
> concepts and philosophies of libraries and information science and am
> willing to continue learning.
>
> Maybe the MLIS degree should be an alternative to x years of library
> experience (along with demonstrated technical skills).
>
> Erich
>
>
>
> On Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 18:24, Will Martin eloquently inscribed:
>
> > All,
> >
> > 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
> > he/his/him
> >
> > 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 14:32:22 +0000
> From:    Chanel Wheeler <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: 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!
>
> chanel
> --
> Chanel Wheeler
> COSUGI 2023 Conference Chair (April 25-27)
> Systems Librarian
> Yavapai Library Network
> 1971 Commerce Center Circle,
> Suite A
> Prescott, AZ  86301
>
> Phone: (928) 442-5741
> [log in to unmask]
> Open a help desk ticket
> Book a meeting
>
>
>
> Register by April 25!
>
> -----Original Message-----
> 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?
>
> All,
>
> 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 he/his/him
>
> 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 09:33:38 -0500
> From:    Nicole Scalessa <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> For a technical position like that I would state an MLIS degree or
> equivalent experience. There is a lot to be said for hands-on library
> experience regardless of the actual degree you have. I have been working in
> libraries for 25 years and opted to get an MBA in IT management instead of
> an MLIS. After having worked in libraries for about 20 years already that
> was the degree that would provide the most career opportunities. I had
> worked in every area from library assistant to reference to cataloging
> while all along the way being taught by brilliant librarians how to do the
> work. I was also simultaneously managing the website and IT
> responsibilities because I had a knack for it. Now I am in my dream job at
> another institution.
>
> Nicole
>
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 9:21 AM Hammer, Erich F <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Will,
> >
> > I am the "Head of Systems" here, and I don't think I would have been
> > considered for the job without my MLIS.  I had 20 years experience in IT
> > (during which I worked through the degree) before being hired, and my
> > supervisor and team recognized that I had no actual Library experience.
> > They were willing to guide me because of my technical abilities, but the
> > first year was completely overwhelming. The complexity and lingo had my
> > brain struggling to comprehend how it all fit together.  I believe I'm
> > doing OK at the job now, but I have to give enormous credit to my
> > incredible and dedicated employees and also recognize that the pandemic
> > shutdown -- when I was the only person in the building for several months
> > -- afforded me the opportunity to catch up and resolve problems that
> > couldn't be managed in short, 15 minute segments between meetings and
> other
> > crises.
> >
> > What I'm saying is that I honestly don't think the courses I took for my
> > degree did all that much to prepare me for this job.  What it may have
> done
> > though is tell the hiring committee that I was/am interested in the
> > concepts and philosophies of libraries and information science and am
> > willing to continue learning.
> >
> > Maybe the MLIS degree should be an alternative to x years of library
> > experience (along with demonstrated technical skills).
> >
> > Erich
> >
> >
> >
> > On Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 18:24, Will Martin eloquently
> inscribed:
> >
> > > All,
> > >
> > > 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
> > > he/his/him
> > >
> > > 701.777.4638
> >
>
>
> --
>
> Nicole H. Scalessa
>
> Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services
>
> (845) 437-5219 <+18454375219>
>
> she, her, hers
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> Digital Scholarship Services Collaboration
> <https://dissco.vassarspaces.net/>
>
> (DiSSCo) Zoom <https://vassar.zoom.us/j/2989322219> Office Hours Mondays
> 2-3PM
>
>
> My working day may not be your working day. Please don’t feel obliged to
> reply to this e-mail outside of your normal working hours.
> [image: Vassar] <https://www.vassar.edu/> [image: Vassar-Libraries]
> <https://library.vassar.edu/>[image: Twitter]
> <
> https://twitter.com/Vassar?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
> >
>  [image: Facebook] <https://www.facebook.com/vassarcollege> [image:
> Instagram] <https://www.instagram.com/vassarcollege> [image: LinkedIn]
> <https://www.linkedin.com/school/vassar-college/> [image: YouTube]
> <https://www.youtube.com/user/Vassar> [image: TikTok]
> <https://www.tiktok.com/@vassar_college?lang=en>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 09:34:57 -0500
> From:    [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> I will add to this that I am a System Librarian and do NOT have an MLIS. I
> started in libraries as a web applications specialist and eventually moved
> on to a librarian role (accessibility librarian) and am now a systems
> librarian. I have taken some MLIS courses and would like to eventually
> finish the degree, but I'm a nerd.
>
> I'm a quintessential example of an exception to the MLIS. I have a PhD in
> computer science. While that would normally be an indicator that I cannot
> do anything in terms of systems maintenance, my area of work was in
> educational technology, human-computer interaction, and accessibility with
> a focus on reading and literacy. I've made a point of picking up library
> technobabble and knowledge in my jobs over the years.
>
> This is something to consider. Equivalent experience is an option that can
> let in other candidates.
>
> Kate Deibel
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Cindy
> Bowen
> Sent: Friday, February 17, 2023 8:27 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Kate's questions are definitely good ones, and Eric's perspective seems
> like the complement to mine--I'm a Systems Librarian with an MLIS, and my
> work (so far!) has been mostly focused on Alma-side config and improving
> the ways our metadata (usually MARC, but also some Dublin Core) is showing
> up in Primo VE. My cataloging course in grad school has certainly helped,
> but so has my previous experience, plus a fair bit of googling and
> inquiries on listservs! I also have colleagues who are devoted to the
> server/API/coding areas, so certain problems pass out of my realm and into
> theirs.
>
> Since you said you've had difficulty in the past with getting candidates,
> maybe listing the degree as preferred rather than required would increase
> your odds of a favorable candidate? That seems like it might improve the
> candidate pool, at least, and during the hiring process you'll be able to
> decide who best suits your library needs whether they have a degree or not.
> ~Cindy
>
> Cindy Bowen
> Systems Librarian
> Georgetown University
> [log in to unmask]
> she/her/hers
> @calimae
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 6:54 PM Eric Phetteplace <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Will,
> >
> > As a Systems Librarian myself, *a lot* of what I do doesn't require an
> > MLIS. Web dev, dev ops, data munging, API integration between systems,
> etc.
> > The only thing that gives me pause is that you've stated the position
> > will work primarily with your ILS, which is one area where a library
> > background is really helpful. You are not going to find many folks
> > without a degree who know what MARC is, or are familiar with the
> intricacies of an ILS.
> > Maybe that isn't an issue, my honest answer to your question is "I
> > don't know", but it'd make me a little worried. People can, of course,
> > pick up this knowledge over time, so maybe a related question is how
> > much of a learning curve you're willing to accept.
> >
> > Best,
> > Eric
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 3:32 PM <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > > Two questions:
> > >
> > > 1. Are there benefits or advancement differences between a librarian
> > > and technical position at your institution?
> > >
> > > 2. Is the MLIS requirement strict or do you consider also
> > > equivalence
> > such
> > > as experience plus technical degrees?
> > >
> > > Kate Deibel
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of
> > > Martin, Will
> > > Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 PM
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
> > >
> > > All,
> > >
> > > 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 he/his/him
> > >
> > > 701.777.4638
> > >
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 09:36:16 -0500
> From:    Guy Dobson <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> I would rather hire a tech savvy librarian than vice versa.
>
> *Guy Dobson*
> Director of Technical Services
> Systems Librarian
> Drew University Library
> <
> http://www.drew.edu/library?utm_source=FIL_Email_Footer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FIL%2BEmail%2BFooter
> >
>
> 36 Madison Ave, Madison, NJ 07940
> (973) 408-3207
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 9:34 AM Nicole Scalessa <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > For a technical position like that I would state an MLIS degree or
> > equivalent experience. There is a lot to be said for hands-on library
> > experience regardless of the actual degree you have. I have been working
> in
> > libraries for 25 years and opted to get an MBA in IT management instead
> of
> > an MLIS. After having worked in libraries for about 20 years already that
> > was the degree that would provide the most career opportunities. I had
> > worked in every area from library assistant to reference to cataloging
> > while all along the way being taught by brilliant librarians how to do
> the
> > work. I was also simultaneously managing the website and IT
> > responsibilities because I had a knack for it. Now I am in my dream job
> at
> > another institution.
> >
> > Nicole
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 9:21 AM Hammer, Erich F <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Will,
> > >
> > > I am the "Head of Systems" here, and I don't think I would have been
> > > considered for the job without my MLIS.  I had 20 years experience in
> IT
> > > (during which I worked through the degree) before being hired, and my
> > > supervisor and team recognized that I had no actual Library experience.
> > > They were willing to guide me because of my technical abilities, but
> the
> > > first year was completely overwhelming. The complexity and lingo had my
> > > brain struggling to comprehend how it all fit together.  I believe I'm
> > > doing OK at the job now, but I have to give enormous credit to my
> > > incredible and dedicated employees and also recognize that the pandemic
> > > shutdown -- when I was the only person in the building for several
> months
> > > -- afforded me the opportunity to catch up and resolve problems that
> > > couldn't be managed in short, 15 minute segments between meetings and
> > other
> > > crises.
> > >
> > > What I'm saying is that I honestly don't think the courses I took for
> my
> > > degree did all that much to prepare me for this job.  What it may have
> > done
> > > though is tell the hiring committee that I was/am interested in the
> > > concepts and philosophies of libraries and information science and am
> > > willing to continue learning.
> > >
> > > Maybe the MLIS degree should be an alternative to x years of library
> > > experience (along with demonstrated technical skills).
> > >
> > > Erich
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 18:24, Will Martin eloquently
> > inscribed:
> > >
> > > > All,
> > > >
> > > > 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
> > > > he/his/him
> > > >
> > > > 701.777.4638
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > Nicole H. Scalessa
> >
> > Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services
> >
> > (845) 437-5219 <+18454375219>
> >
> > she, her, hers
> >
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> >
> > Digital Scholarship Services Collaboration
> > <https://dissco.vassarspaces.net/>
> >
> > (DiSSCo) Zoom <https://vassar.zoom.us/j/2989322219> Office Hours Mondays
> > 2-3PM
> >
> >
> > My working day may not be your working day. Please don’t feel obliged to
> > reply to this e-mail outside of your normal working hours.
> > [image: Vassar] <https://www.vassar.edu/> [image: Vassar-Libraries]
> > <https://library.vassar.edu/>[image: Twitter]
> > <
> >
> https://twitter.com/Vassar?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
> > >
> >  [image: Facebook] <https://www.facebook.com/vassarcollege> [image:
> > Instagram] <https://www.instagram.com/vassarcollege> [image: LinkedIn]
> > <https://www.linkedin.com/school/vassar-college/> [image: YouTube]
> > <https://www.youtube.com/user/Vassar> [image: TikTok]
> > <https://www.tiktok.com/@vassar_college?lang=en>
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 14:40:27 +0000
> From:    Tim McGeary <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> 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.
>
> Tim
>
>
> ________________________________
> 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!
>
> chanel
> --
> Chanel Wheeler
> COSUGI 2023 Conference Chair (April 25-27)
> Systems Librarian
> Yavapai Library Network
> 1971 Commerce Center Circle,
> Suite A
> Prescott, AZ  86301
>
> Phone: (928) 442-5741
> [log in to unmask]
> Open a help desk ticket
> Book a meeting
>
>
>
> Register by April 25!
>
> -----Original Message-----
> 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?
>
> All,
>
> 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 he/his/him
>
> 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 14:40:59 +0000
> From:    Lynda Howell <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> 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.
>
> Lynda.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin,
> Will
> Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> All,
>
> 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
> he/his/him
>
> 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 09:59:06 -0500
> From:    Geoffrey Spear <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> 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.
> >
> > Lynda.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin,
> > Will
> > Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
> >
> > All,
> >
> > 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
> > he/his/him
> >
> > 701.777.4638
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 15:00:59 +0000
> From:    "Wu, Jingjing" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Everyone needs to keep learning, either new technologies or knowledge
> about libraries. I wonder how many people with technology backgrounds but
> no library experience will apply for a "Systems Librarian" position.
>
> Jingjing Wu
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin,
> Will
> Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 5:25 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> This email originated outside TTU. Please exercise caution<
> https://askit.ttu.edu/phishing>!
>
>
> All,
>
> 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 he/his/him
>
> 701.777.4638
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 10:06:22 -0500
> From:    Diane Hillmann <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> I don't think it should be an either/or. I was a systems librarian way
> before such beasts were defined, much less recruited. I was trained as a
> bibliographic searcher supporting bibliographers ordering books (no longer
> do those folks exist, really) and transitioned to a cataloger some years
> later), so I always knew bib data really well. I started my technical
> learning, in charge of loading tapes into a NOTIS system and then
> supervising authorities work. I think some kind of library certification
> (maybe MLS or equivalent) plus experience in cataloging or acquisitions (or
> whatever they're called these days) should be sufficient. It's about the
> data, folks--the technical stuff is much easier to find in the wild and can
> effectively be teamed with a librarian that knows the data.
>
> Diane Hillmann
> Librarian (retired, but still sentient)
>
> 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.
> >
> > Lynda.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Martin,
> > Will
> > Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
> >
> > All,
> >
> > 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
> > he/his/him
> >
> > 701.777.4638
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 07:14:16 -0800
> From:    Kyle Banerjee <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Delivering good service is all about understanding pain and joy points --
> which those without library experience won't have.
>
> My consistent observation both working in libraries and as a vendor rep
> with systems personnel with all kinds of institutions is that library
> experience is very important for delivering what is needed.
>
>  When people don't understand what the real task at hand is or the context
> of communications, they can't see opportunities and problems that are
> totally obvious, and you get a dynamic much like this video where someone
> makes a sandwich based on written instructions
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct-lOOUqmyY Everything takes much longer,
> and the results are not anywhere near as good.
>
> Exposure to the work is important, and I think it can be gained without a
> degree even if that is helpful.
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 10:39:08 -0500
> From:    Jesse Martinez <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> We've recently made some of our library systems jobs MLS optional. In one
> particular case only the job title differs between someone with and without
> an MLS degree. Here's a snippet from a recent job posting
> <https://jobs.code4lib.org/jobs/54001-systems-librarian>:
>
> Hiring range
> > We’re looking to make the right addition to our team. Salary is
> > commensurate with your experience implementing Library systems in a
> > Linux/Unix environment. Regardless of your experience level, we’re
> > committed to supporting your growth in this role.
> >
> >    - Less than 3 years: Associate Systems Librarian - $59,550 - $74,450
> >
> >
> >    - 3-5 years: Systems Librarian - $69,100 - $86,350
> >
> >
> >    - 5 or more years: Senior Systems Librarian - $78,100 - $97,650
> >
> > Candidates without the MLS degree will have Systems Administrator for
> > title.
>
>
> We've also noticed that since we've made some systems jobs MLS optional
> (and changing the overall language of the job posting to encourage folks
> with overlapping/equivalent technical skills to apply) we've been able to
> recruit people from more diverse, underrepresented, and nontraditional
> backgrounds. There's definitely an expectation of on-the-job training since
> we're casting a wide net, but we've broadened our focus to candidates that
> have a good technical aptitude, an affinity to learn, and complementary
> skills that can be applied to this position. Overall, I'd say it's been a
> positive experience!
>
> Jesse
>
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 6:24 PM Martin, Will <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > All,
> >
> > 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
> > he/his/him
> >
> > 701.777.4638
> >
>
>
> --
> Jesse Martinez
> Senior Library Applications Developer
> O'Neill Library, Boston College
> [log in to unmask]
> 617-552-2509
> he/him/his
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 11:21:30 -0500
> From:    Erin Nettifee <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> I’ll add that an MLS does not guarantee a particular level or understanding
> of all the aspects of library work. A lot depends on the individual
> program, what classes are offered, what internships were or weren’t
> required, things like that. I made it through a respected program without
> taking a cataloging-focused class, for example. I got exposure to some of
> the theory in other courses, but I knew I didn’t want to become a cataloger
> and other classes were more interesting to me.
>
> If this is the first position where you’re removing the requirement, I
> would encourage you to spend time with the non-IT people this position
> would be working with to help them understand why the change was made and
> so they don’t have misaligned expectations of whoever you do hire. It’s the
> right change to make in my opinion, but you will have more legwork to do to
> help the new person be successful.
>
> Cheers,
> Erin
>
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 10:40 AM Jesse Martinez <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > We've recently made some of our library systems jobs MLS optional. In one
> > particular case only the job title differs between someone with and
> without
> > an MLS degree. Here's a snippet from a recent job posting
> > <https://jobs.code4lib.org/jobs/54001-systems-librarian>:
> >
> > Hiring range
> > > We’re looking to make the right addition to our team. Salary is
> > > commensurate with your experience implementing Library systems in a
> > > Linux/Unix environment. Regardless of your experience level, we’re
> > > committed to supporting your growth in this role.
> > >
> > >    - Less than 3 years: Associate Systems Librarian - $59,550 - $74,450
> > >
> > >
> > >    - 3-5 years: Systems Librarian - $69,100 - $86,350
> > >
> > >
> > >    - 5 or more years: Senior Systems Librarian - $78,100 - $97,650
> > >
> > > Candidates without the MLS degree will have Systems Administrator for
> > > title.
> >
> >
> > We've also noticed that since we've made some systems jobs MLS optional
> > (and changing the overall language of the job posting to encourage folks
> > with overlapping/equivalent technical skills to apply) we've been able to
> > recruit people from more diverse, underrepresented, and nontraditional
> > backgrounds. There's definitely an expectation of on-the-job training
> since
> > we're casting a wide net, but we've broadened our focus to candidates
> that
> > have a good technical aptitude, an affinity to learn, and complementary
> > skills that can be applied to this position. Overall, I'd say it's been a
> > positive experience!
> >
> > Jesse
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 6:24 PM Martin, Will <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > All,
> > >
> > > 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
> > > he/his/him
> > >
> > > 701.777.4638
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Jesse Martinez
> > Senior Library Applications Developer
> > O'Neill Library, Boston College
> > [log in to unmask]
> > 617-552-2509
> > he/him/his
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 11:34:48 -0500
> From:    Ima Oduok <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Scanning a document with translation software
>
> Hi Charles,
>
> I was a freelance translator and a translation project manager for several
> years and can tell you there is definitely no app or software that can do
> what the patron wants. Not well, anyways.
>
> Several apps do scan documents to create PDFs from camera images (Adobe
> has one). But if the patron wants to have the file translated, he will have
> to OCR it, and throw the text into a machine translation program such as
> Google Translate. The translation output will undoubtedly be a mess,
> especially for a complex legal document. If the patron goes that route, I
> would recommend he hire a translator to edit the machine translation,
> especially if the translation is intended for official/legal use.
>
> Let me know if you need any more information about translation or finding
> a freelance translator for Spanish>English.
>
> Best,
> Ima
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 17:21:08 +0000
> From:    "P.L. Stiles" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Well said. Most librarians have the requisite intelligence to learn
> the technical aspects, and it is frustrating for librarians who do
> most everything else, such as web work, data management, and data
> organization to not be considered for systems librarian positions when
> more could be accomplished by having them partner with IT department
> for systems training and to problem solve. After all, most legacy
> systems librarians that built it did not have IT degrees, they knew
> the data and utilized database and MARC record knowledge to start and
> built it out as needed. Also, it is not something that can be taught
> until you are working with the system in play.
>
>  Librarians deserve the opportunity to become system librarians,
> especially when candidates are in short supply.
>
>         -----------------------------------------From: "Diane Hillmann"
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Cc:
> Sent: Friday February 17 2023 10:07:38AM
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
>  I don't think it should be an either/or. I was a systems librarian
> way
>  before such beasts were defined, much less recruited. I was trained
> as a
>  bibliographic searcher supporting bibliographers ordering books (no
> longer
>  do those folks exist, really) and transitioned to a cataloger some
> years
>  later), so I always knew bib data really well. I started my technical
>  learning, in charge of loading tapes into a NOTIS system and then
>  supervising authorities work. I think some kind of library
> certification
>  (maybe MLS or equivalent) plus experience in cataloging or
> acquisitions (or
>  whatever they're called these days) should be sufficient. It's about
> the
>  data, folks--the technical stuff is much easier to find in the wild
> and can
>  effectively be teamed with a librarian that knows the data.
>
>  Diane Hillmann
>  Librarian (retired, but still sentient)
>
>  On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 9:41 AM Lynda Howell  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.
>  >
>  > Lynda.
>  >
>  > -----Original Message-----
>  > From: Code for Libraries  On Behalf Of Martin,
>  > Will
>  > Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2023 6:25 PM
>  > To: [log in to unmask]
>  > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>  >
>  > All,
>  >
>  > 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
>  > he/his/him
>  >
>  > 701.777.4638
>  >
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 15:01:44 -0500
> From:    Joe Hourclé <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> >
> > On Feb 17, 2023, at 10:01 AM, Wu, Jingjing <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > Everyone needs to keep learning, either new technologies or knowledge
> about libraries. I wonder how many people with technology backgrounds but
> no library experience will apply for a "Systems Librarian" position.
>
>
> I suspect that it won’t be that many unless they find it via a keyword
> search, as most IT people wouldn’t know what a ‘systems librarian’ is.
>
> But all of this discussion makes me think-- is there a need for some sort
> of primer on what a systems librarian should know?
>
> Either coming from the librarian side of things, or from the IT side.
>
> I suspect that much like ‘programmer’ or ‘sysadmin’, there’s a rather wide
> range of what skills and knowledge are actually required.  The smaller the
> shop, the more likely that you’re going to need someone who’s a
> Jack-of-All-Trades instead of a specialist in ILSes.
>
> I would think it might be worth finding / writing some introductory
> information on ILSes, FRBR, MARC, and whatever else those who actually work
> in libraries think would be useful (LCSH?  DDC?  SRU?  CQL? I’ve never
> worked in a library)
>
> Is this something that we could partner with the Carpentry folks for?
>
> And as had been mentioned already, terminology can be a huge problem.  I
> was working in science data archives, and even between science disciplines
> we had incompatible use of terms.  Add in the library/archives folks and
> the compsci/HPC folks and it’s general chaos to try to have conversations.
>
> A decade ago, I put together a glossary of problematic terms, either
> defining them in a way that everyone could agree to, or flagging the ones
> that will lead to misunderstanding:
>
> http://virtualsolar.org/vocab
>
> Unfortunately, I got bogged down in other projects and laid off (then
> brought back as an independent consultant) without ever formally publishing
> it.
>
> I don’t know if there’s would be a good way to do this virtually… I
> basically wrote down every term that I thought was weird (didn’t know it,
> seemed to be used differently than I was used to), then presented a poster
> at a meeting, and let people add terms and definitions.  After a couple of
> years of this, we seemed to reach an equilibrium.
>
> We could do part of it with shared online documents, but there was a lot
> of interviewing people to tease out exactly what they thought was wrong
> with my definitions.
>
> -Joe
>
> (Civil Engineering undergrad, but worked in IT during the early days of
> ‘the web’, then got roped into working as a programmer/sysadmin/dba for a
> science data archive, and got an Information Mgmt degree (but took library
> classification type stuff for my electives)
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Fri, 17 Feb 2023 23:14:11 +0000
> From:    "Martin, Will" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?
>
> Wow, great responses.  Thanks to everyone who replied!  Sorry it took me
> all day to get to writing this response -- a series of meetings got in the
> way.
>
> I'm going to go through and answer questions people asked in one lump
> rather than replying individually over and over.
>
> Kate Deibel asked a couple of questions:
>
> > 1. Are there benefits or advancement differences between a librarian and
> technical position at your institution?
>
> You're speaking of things like Librarian I, II and III, effectively a sort
> of promotion within your existing job?  We don't have defined advancement
> tracks for librarians or technicians.  I think we probably should, but
> those were eliminated some time in the '90s, for reasons that are unclear
> to me.  I should also note that librarians are not eligible for tenure at
> UND.  Thus, if you want job advancement, you have to take a new job.
>
> As for benefits, they're generally pretty good and the same for both
> tracks.  The institution covers 100% of medical insurance premiums (except
> dental and vision, which are add-ons), a generous retirement plan through
> TIAA-CREF, UND matching contributions to retirement up to 15% of your
> salary, 3 free classes per year for employees, half-price tuition for
> immediate family members. Probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.
>
> At the same time, our HR department has a track record of consistently
> lowballing the salaries for, well, everything.  I mean yeah, the cost of
> living is low in Grand Forks compared to major urban centers. But the city
> is small, remote, cold, and flat. Very few people have "move to Grand
> Forks, North Dakota" on their bucket list.  Low salaries plus undesirable
> location = difficult recruitment. No amount of good benefits is going to
> fix that when most people look at the salary and the location and
> immediately decide not to apply.
>
> The last time we advertised this job, we got five applicants. Two were
> totally unqualified, two washed out during interviews, and the last one
> took a job elsewhere.  So we ran a new search and got four applicants. Two
> were unqualified. The other two were reasonable candidates, and one took
> the job -- but is moving on to warmer pastures a year and a half later.
>
> Recruiting for general tech positions isn't any easier. I was on a search
> committee for a general, ground level tech support person. The search
> failed four times running before we finally got someone who took the job on
> the fifth search.
>
> > 2. Is the MLIS requirement strict or do you consider also equivalence
> such as experience plus technical degrees?
>
> To date, the requirement has been strict: you must have a Master's degree
> from an ALA-accredited program.
>
> At least we got rid of the phrasing about "MLS" -- in past we had failed
> recruitments because HR threw out qualified candidates whose degree acronym
> didn't match the one in the job advert.  We in library land know that
> library schools have adopted at least nine different acronyms for their
> degrees, but the HR department didn't.
>
> Eric Phetteplace asked:
>
> > ... how much of a learning curve [are you] willing to accept?
>
> It's hard to say. Chances are good that no matter who we hire they'll have
> a learning curve to climb; it's just a matter of which one. Last time, we
> got a good hire who had two years' experience with Alma, but knew little to
> nothing about Linux, EZ Proxy, PHP, APIs and so on.  So they were great at
> the Alma stuff, but required a whole lot of training for the other bits.
> If we take the library degree requirement off, we may well reverse that,
> winding up with a good techy who has no familiarity with Alma.
>
> Jingjing Wu commented:
>
> > I wonder how many people with technology backgrounds but no
> > library experience will apply for a "Systems Librarian" position.
>
> If we removed the library degree requirement, then we would naturally
> change the title as well.  Probably to "Systems Administrator" or similar.
>
> I've found everyone's feedback very useful. I'm going to discuss it with
> my boss -- it's her decision, ultimately.  And there may be other factors,
> like the HR department's procedures. I doubt the HR department would let us
> post a job with two different titles depending on which qualifications were
> possessed by the successful candidate, for instance.  We can ask.  But I
> have this sneaking suspicion that there's a Holy Chart Of Job Titles Into
> Which All Candidates Will Fit.
>
> Thank you all very much!
>
> Will Martin
>
> ------------------------------
>
> End of CODE4LIB Digest - 16 Feb 2023 to 17 Feb 2023 (#2023-39)
> **************************************************************
>

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