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.
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
> 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!
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2023 at 6:24 PM Martin, Will <[log in to unmask]>
> > All,
> > We're considering taking our Systems Librarian position and removing the
> > requirement for a library degree, making it a technician position
> > 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?
> > you don't, do you wind up having to train people on library-related
> > 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]