Friday, December 27, 2013

Non-Library Jobs for Library School Graduates

Whenever I tell people that I'm attending library school, they almost always ask me, "So, you're going to be a librarian?" Maybe. Or maybe not. You can go in so many different career directions with a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree that librarian is not your only job option.
Heather Halpin Perez, archival consultant for Boardwalk Empire, at work.
Image via

Take, for instance, Heather Halpin Perez. Her position at the Atlantic City Free Public Library in New Jersey led to her being a consultant for the hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire. The producers of the cable television show seek out Perez for her archival expertise in order to ensure that the show is as historically accurate as possible. Ed McGinty, lead researcher for Boardwalk Empire, told the Atlantic City Free Press, "Heather is just so knowledgeable. Whenever I need some specifics, say a photograph...anything I can't find anywhere else, I call her."

Being an archival consultant like Perez is just one career you could have as a graduate of a library science program. Mia Breitkopf has come up with sixty more. In an article for Information Space, a blog of Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, Breitkopf compiled an eye-opening list of nontraditional jobs for MLS degree holders. In coming up with the list, Breitkopf said she was struck by the "many postings out there for jobs that demand the skills and knowledge of MLS degree holders but aren't traditional librarian jobs." This caused her to wonder: "How many human resources folks are posting non-librarian jobs that require MLS skills and knowledge?"

Here is a partial list, in no particular order, of non-librarian jobs for library school graduates, as compiled by Breitkopf:
  • Web analytics manager
  • Information resources specialist
  • Curator, media resource center
  • Head of access services
  • Metadata analyst
  • Digital manuscripts project manager
  • Intelligence associate
  • Research coordinator
  • Records and information manager
  • University archivist/professor
  • Automation coordinator
  • Teaching and services learning coordinator
  • Acquisitions team leader
  • Business researcher
  • Digital archives system administrator
  • Documentation specialist

To see the complete list of nontraditional career options, go to Mia Breitkopf's article "61 Non-Librarian Jobs for LIS Grads" at THIS LINK.

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