Thanks for sharing this article! It's so refreshing to see that some people have put in writing what the reality of the MLS degrees is. That means we are not in denial.
I could never understand why an application from a person with a master in computer science cannot be accepted for the highly technical metadata jobs out there, or any other professional technical jobs in libraries. Not to mention people with PhDs in Bionformatics, Computer Science ... and the list goes on. We need a huge overhaul of the MLS programs.
From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Brett Bonfield [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 5:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] lita
On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 4:42 PM, Ross Singer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Jan 6, 2015, at 5:01 PM, Cindi Blyberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Based on previous experience, I doubt this truly captures whether someone
> > thinks of themselves as a librarian. I've always found those categories
> > arbitrary (an MLS does not a librarian make) and sometimes divisive.
> An MLS might not a librarian make, but you generally cannot get a job as
> one without it.
> And if you’re not actually a librarian, I’m not sure why you’re calling
> yourself one, unless we’re talking shorthand in lieu of boring people to
> death about what you do for a living (which I’ve certainly used in the
> past). But I don’t think that would apply in the context of ALA.
I think quite a few people who don't have MLS degrees are calling
themselves librarians because it's in their job title.
See "Hiring Non-MLS Librarians: Trends and Training Implications" in
Library Leadership & Management, Vol. 28, No. 1, (2013) (note: not only an
ALA publication, but a CC-BY ALA publication):
When asked, academic library directors cited the need to hire non-MLS
librarians for subject expertise and technical skills, such as Web design,
data management, and digital services as well as data curators, copyright
specialists, instructional design specialists, rare books curators, subject
liaisons, and archivists. A few expressed concerns about MLS preparation as
noted by one respondent who said, “… the skills and knowledge needed to run
today’s and tomorrow’s libraries are increasing and increasingly complex,
and may not all be provided by the traditional MLS.” In this regard,
another comment made was, “The poor quality of the ALA-accredited MLSs that
are being produced is one of the reasons that some directors are
considering forgoing the degree.” (p. 9)