In terms of their ability to thrive, it really depends on the person. When
I got moved into an Emerging Technologies Librarian position, I had
virtually no CS or sysadmin background. But I was given space to learn and
experiment and I went out and found the knowledge I needed. I worked on
projects of my own conception and design, and built increasingly complex
things. When I needed more elbow room, I set it up for myself, and learned
something about systems administration in the process. Make no mistake, I
have no illusions about being the sharpest person around. Libraries need to
create space, be flexible with boundaries, and embrace mixed modalities
that stretch across the information spectrum. My Information Science
interests and training are as much a part of my development as immersion in
programming languages and development modalities. Too many academic
libraries that I've worked for, or worked with, were pathologically unable
to break out of anachronistic patterns which lead them nowhere. I agree
with Tom about modern development not making it into libraries. But a lot
of cracking good ideas from libraries, and the broader field of Information
Science are also not making their way into development in the way that they
should. If libraries want to be real academic units they need to explore
new academic ground, at the intersection of these concepts, much more
vigorously, and work to provide the space needed for the field and the
discipline to evolve.

Best regards,

*Jason Bengtson*

* <>*

On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 1:49 PM, Sarah Weissman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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
>     >