My only concern would be if you hired someone who didn't understand libraries, and wanted to do things with your systems that don't work for libraries, e.g. if they wound up being more of an IT cowboy. 😉

I will say that as an Australian I see a lot of library systems type jobs in the US that appeal to me, but as I don't have an American library degree, only an Australian library & info studies postgraduate diploma, I would never bother to apply (assuming any of them were able to be done remotely of course).


Patricia Farnan  | Application Administrator, Discovery Services
University Library  | St Teresa’s Library
The University of Notre Dame Australia

Telephone: +61 8 9433 0707 | Email: [log in to unmask]

I acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people, the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which I live and work (Walyalup), and pay my respects to their elders past and present.

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Eric Phetteplace
Sent: Friday, 17 February 2023 7:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?

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.


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


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