Librarian Job Networking Tips
Getting and working in a librarian job involves a sometimes complex extended career path that requires working in specific fields. Career progression may involve some sidetracks and changing jobs.
Librarian Career Dynamics
After qualification, librarians may choose to specialize in particular fields.
These fields include:
- Government agencies
Each of these fields is very different in terms of required knowledge and skills. They also use very different systems, and library materials are often highly technical, specialist materials. So, the area of specialization represents quite a commitment for the librarian.
This is a relatively small job market, particularly for specialists. Advanced qualifications in library systems do help librarians to develop in their specialty areas, but there are degrees of difficulty involved because specialties are by nature limited in scope.
The Emerging Library Job Market and Job Types
Interestingly, digitization has opened up the librarian job market to a new and very large area of demand. This is an important development for librarians in all fields because the need is now for people who are familiar with both the paper and digital library systems.
A case in point is in the US, where the digitization of medical records is creating a whole new field of employment in the big medical organizations. Digital publishing of books is also creating new areas of demand in conventional libraries.
This is a new area of expertise, more like system design and management than conventional librarian work in many ways, but still related to retrieval and storage of texts and information. Digital networks are expanding the role of librarian jobs, as well as transforming them.
Networking and Librarian Jobs
It’s in these new areas of librarian jobs that professional networking is making itself useful. It’s usual for librarians to develop networks in specialist roles, but in the digital area networking is an “industry” process.
Professional networking in the new librarian jobs is more like IT networking. That’s with good reason, too, because systems familiarity is a common factor in both types of work. The new technology is creating a demand for experts able to work with complex systems.
These librarian jobs are multi-skilled and require a series of qualifications and experience. That’s good news for those in specialist librarian jobs because their knowledge base is vital to this work. The specialist libraries require people who speak their language and know their industries.
Librarians can now develop their professional networks outside the “library circuit” into industry streams. The specialist areas listed above are good examples of where extending professional contacts can achieve good career and employment results.
There are also new areas to develop networks:
- Internet media
- Digital archives
- News media
- Records system consultancies
Librarian networks include:
- Industry contacts
- Data management systems designers
- Professional associations (extremely useful for current news and information)
It’s a matter of matching librarian job skills and experience to demand. The demand is driving a new era in librarian jobs and careers. Many of these networks are developed by natural contacts in the profession; others are based on extended contacts like clients and those gained through ongoing education.