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.
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.
> -----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