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CODE4LIB  December 2017

CODE4LIB December 2017

Subject:

Re: Systems Librarian / software developer

From:

Kate Deibel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 19:56:05 +0000

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text/plain

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Another hope is to get a person with developer skills who want to do work that matters/has positive impact. That's what got me into the work. Having once been very active in diversity efforts to recruit more students into computer science, it is established that there are misconceptions about computer science and software development as being about big industry. Even at job fairs, academic service positions, public sector jobs, etc. are in the strikingly small minority. 

Still, the comfort of the giant salary can mean a lot to people. It's nice to have that safety net. It can be a hard choice between doing work you have a passion for and work that makes you not worry every month about paying the bills.

Katherine Deibel | PhD
Inclusion & Accessibility Librarian
Syracuse University Libraries 
T 315.443.7178
[log in to unmask]
222 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244
Syracuse University


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sarah Weissman
Sent: Thursday, December 7, 2017 2:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Systems Librarian / software developer

As one of these rare weirdos who is a software developer with an MLS, my opinion from looking at jobs in the field is that one major barrier to hiring developers into librarian positions is salary. I got my MLS after having worked as a developer for a while, and after I finished my degree, the amount of money I could make as a developer even in a non-profit library/archives setting was significantly more than I could make in an entry level librarian position. (For example, Glassdoor lists average base pay for a software developer as $81,994 while average base pay for a systems librarian is $55,664.) So, while I would have loved to be an official “librarian,” I wound up not applying for any positions with that title. 

It may be possible to find someone right out of school with a CS degree and an MLS who has no work experience and is looking for an entry level developer or librarian position, although I have never met anyone who took this academic path. Also, this person would probably not thrive as a software developer unless they were part of a larger team with more experienced developers.

-Sarah

On 12/7/17, 2:02 PM, "Code for Libraries on behalf of Edward Iglesias" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]> wrote:

    Sometimes you get lucky as I did when I got two developers as
    interns/student workers.  If you need someone in that position I would say
    put it in the job requirements.  There are MLS librarians with CS
    undergrads or developer experience.  They are just few and far between.
    I've also seen Systems postions that work with or supervise developer
    positions.  Sometimes you can get away with outsourcing the development and
    having the internal Systems person act as a liaison/PM.
    
    Edward Iglesias
    
    On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 6:10 AM, Samson, Bob <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
    
    > I have a question regarding staff development and I am hoping someone can
    > provide some advice.  I have two vacant librarian positions in my Library
    > Systems department.  I need to fill those vacancies with software/systems
    > developers in order to move our initiatives forward.  We have encountered
    > reluctance on the part of our human resources to repurpose those librarian
    > positions into developer positions.
    >
    > Has anyone had success in posting Systems Librarian positions using
    > education and experience requirements consistent with software developers?
    > We have sufficient flexibility in hiring librarians, but the skill sets
    > differ significantly between librarians and developers.  Ideally, we would
    > want someone with backgrounds in computer science rather than library
    > science, for example.  I'm curious to know if anyone has tried this and
    > been successful.
    >
    > Bob Samson
    > Head of Library Systems & Technology
    > University of Texas at Arlington
    >
    

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