Changing Roles

Featured image

By: Ellen Fisher

November 11, 2014

When faced with an economic downturn different librarians are affected in different ways. Public and academic librarians find themselves faced with increased use and decreased funding. Public librarians have to get creative with programming and provide more job-finding services to meet the demands of patrons. School librarians are fighting for their jobs and have to make it known just how valuable they are. These circumstances allow librarians of all types to move the library in new directions using new technologies to meet user needs.
Public libraries play an important role in the community during times of recession. Users come to the library for free entertainment and job training skills. Additionally, libraries provide a safe place for teenagers to hang out when home internet is no longer an option for their family. Many users are just looking for a way to get out of the house and libraries provide an abundance of free entertainment. With the loss of funding, librarians are faced with decisions about how to best allocate resources. Reducing hours of operations, cutting staff, and decreased funding for books are just a few of the areas that can be affected. And all these solutions are difficult to put into place because in the end, they hurt the users in a time when the library is most needed.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Growing Need for LIS During an Economic Crisis

By: Kalana Cooperlibrary_and_information_science

November 3, 2014

Will librarians be needed in the Job Market? We have to look at the impacts of the economic crisis on the LIS profession because there are some concerns. With technology heavily evolving, some may question whether or not there is a serious need for libraries and librarians. Will Ipads, tablets, smartphones, and Android devices replace libraries? I have heard these questions being asked and I am sure you have too; what are your thoughts? Personally I see a growing need for libraries, especially public organizations. Economic situations affect the work of all professions, we have lived through recessions, jobs come, go, and come back again, and the economy is cyclical. With a cyclical economy, we cannot assume that the LIS professionals will become antediluvians or even worse non-existent and replaced by androids! During an economic crisis, we much rather focus our attention on the growing need for libraries to assists users that are solely relying on libraries to access resources through collections and technology provided by LIS professionals. As Emily mentioned, it is vital for libraries to continue their missions to the community and adapt to the forever changing needs of the users. Continue reading

MLI – LESS?

By: Rachel EsguerraAndertoons

November 2, 2014

1.08 Trillion

What does that number represent? Is it the population of some place? Maybe it’s the number of miles between different galaxies. Perhaps it’s the amount of seconds in thousands upon thousands of years. Sure, it could be any of those things, but in this case it is the amount of student loan debt in America. Some contributors to this debt are folks just like us – Master in Library and Information Science students and graduates. It has to be paid back somehow, right? Yet, will there even be a job for us to make the money to pay back the loans?

I’m sure many of you experienced the puzzled looks from friends and family when you told them about the degree you were pursuing. You probably got some off-the-cuff remark about how you must love to read. Or how libraries are archaic because of the internet. I’m also sure many of you are familiar with the article from Forbes back in 2012 stating “The low pay rank and estimated growth rank make library and information science the worst master’s degree for jobs right now.” (Smith, 2012)

Of course seeing as I myself am an MLIS student this comment makes me bristle. However, there certainly are some numbers out there that would indicate to some that pursuing an MLIS will not be a fruitful endeavor. According to ALA’s 2014 State of America’s Libraries Report, the job outlook is sluggish.
Continue reading

library computer

Helping Ourselves by Helping Others

By: Emily Blake Collins

October 23, 2014

Much of the present discussion concerning libraries and the recession has centered on what the current economic situation means for librarians: How many will be laid off? Will library technicians be taking on greater responsibilities? What does this mean for the status of the profession? Will the MLIS degree retain its value?

These are all absolutely valid questions, and I certainly do not wish to downplay their importance. However, today I’d like to focus on a different aspect of librarianship in tough economic times, and that is the changing role of libraries in the community. Continue reading