Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Good News: Library Job Growth Exploding!" ... et tu Library of Congress?

According to this blog post on the Library of Congress website, library job growth is exploding.  Exploding?  Really?  I'm not quite sure the blog author is using the right term.

This is an example of something exploding:
This would mean the contents were expanding so quickly and/or vastly, that this poor lemon could not contain it.

I personally would describe the "growth" of library jobs as imploding:
The internal structure was weakened to the point where the whole structure and everything attached to it crumbles unto itself.

The reasoning behind that blog post is that there are other jobs titles that share the same characteristics as librarian positions.  Using this thought process, librarians would make great "Computer and Information Systems Managers."  Let's see what tools and technology are related according to the same source that links the top 4 tasks between the professions.

Tools used in this occupation:
Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
Film projectors
Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfiche readers; Microfilm readers
Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
CIS Managers:
Tools used in this occupation:
Computer servers — File servers; Mid-range computers; Netware servers; Web servers
Facsimile machines — Fax Machines
Floppy drives
High end computer servers — Workstations
Network analyzers

Technology used in this occupation:
Data base user interface and query software — Ex Libris Group Aleph; Microsoft Access; Saora Keepoint; Thomson Scientific Dialog
Information retrieval or search software — Classification Web; LexisNexis software; Westlaw
Library software — Online Computer Library Center OCLC; RCL Software Media Library Manager; Surpass software; WorldCat *
Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Really Simple Syndication RSS; Wiki software; Yahoo Flickr
Web platform development software — Cascading Style Sheets CSS; Extensible HyperText Markup Language XHTML; Hypertext markup language HTML; PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor *

CIS Managers:
Technology used in this occupation:
Customer relationship management CRM software — ACT! software; Microsoft Dynamics CRM; Oracle Siebel Server Sync; Performance Solutions Technology ManagePro
Development environment software — C; K2 Business Process Automation; Microsoft Visual Basic; Progress OpenEdge ABL
Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Infor ERP Baan; Microsoft Dynamics AX; Microsoft Dynamics NAV; Oracle E-Business Suite
Object or component oriented development software — Borland Paradox; C++; Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services SSRS; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
Web platform development software — Hypertext markup language HTML; JavaScript; Progress WebSpeed Workshop; Ruby on Rails

O*Net Sources: Librarians, CIS Managers.

The blog author mentions that that they personally know more librarians who match the CIS Manager description more so than the Librarian one.  You don't say, you work at the LOC.  You're not going to see the regular, run of the mill librarians.  Let's face it, the public library sector employs more librarians than any other flavor of libraries.  Also, a lot of my core MLIS courses were also public-library centric as well. 

Oh, and yes, even though the position description may seem "parochial" and outdated, but librarians still use "cash registers, microfilm readers, photocopiers and public address systems and technologies such as email, spreadsheets and desktop publishing software."  I'll say it again, "Librarianship" is so damn broad that you cannot try to define it efficiently and succinctly without alienating one facet or the other.  I would also question the currency of the CIS position, "floppy disks"?  Are you serious?

On a related note, I think it is a double edge sword when librarians try to sidle their way into core IT positions.  There is just no way librarians can compete with academically disciplined computer science grads.  Library schools that offer these so-called "tech classes" are a joke.  I took some of these classes and what they taught was basic 101 undergrad material.  Leave the IT/Comp Sci stuff to those graduates.

With that kind of article title and overstatement of facts, I would expect this sort of erroneous and out of touch library propaganda to come from the likes of ALA but not the LOC --- for shame.

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