Another problem that results from relying on temp assignments is that it doesn't foster careers in the field. I obtained my MLIS with an aim to work either in an academic music library or a sound archive. I am a jazz bassist and I have a lot of interest in recorded sound. During school and afterwards, I have found no clear path to employment in a sound archive. I did some field work and an internship, but I haven't had a lot of formal training in preservation, digital transfers, and even archival work. I applied for four or five of the small number of full-time sound archive positions that have opened in the last 24 months. I got interviews for two of them, but no offers, and no real idea why I wasn't a stronger candidate. I can only guess it's due to my lack of experience. But I can't get experience unless I'm working in a job that involves working with sound/audio objects as part of my position. I've attended two ARSC conferences (K.C. and Pitt, and even presented in Pitt), but neither experience led me to a better understanding of how I might enter this field, and preferably as part of a professional librarian position. At this point I just keep applying--only hurts a little, and hope my lucky number comes up!
Not sure how relevant my little rant is to this discussion, but it seems like if institutions invested in creating or maintaining staff positions which involve training and professional development, there would be less need to hire independent contractors for temporary positions (and more opportunity for those folks to find some steady work!)
From: ARSC Library and Archives Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nathan Coy
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIB] A/V preservation jobs
"This is part of the new GIG economy"
But if it's just the gig economy part, why are many other library field positions not showing this trend as acutely? Is it a management decision?
It that librarian positions tend to have stronger organized labor representation?
"Many of these grants, depended upon by libraries and museums, may go away if Trump and the Republicans have their way with the budget request."
Libraries only seem to depend on many of these grants in certain areas, such as technology and archival work. If they go away does that mean libraries will be forced to broaden their positions for line items beyond certain areas? Or will these jobs just not get done? or combination of both? If this does come to pass people deciding budgets will have to make these decisions and what does that mean for this work? Not enviable positions to be in for sure.
On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 11:19 AM, Paul Jackson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> This is part of the new GIG economy. That's where everyone is a
> contractor, and entities doing the hiring do not pay benefits. It's a
> consultancy world. Not too different than Adjunct professorships.
> Lots of grants are pretty much static, i.e., short term and
> limited $$ at best. Once the money is spent, there may not be money to continue.
> One such project is at Columbus College, where they have a retired
> archivist volunteer doing much of the cataloging. I've had three of
> (paid) projects since retirement; payment pretty much covers expenses.
> Many of these grants, depended upon by libraries and museums, may
> go away if Trump and the Republicans have their way with the budget request.
> Paul T. Jackson
> Trescott Research
> Steilacoom, WA 98388
> On 3/23/2017 10:39 AM, Nathan Coy wrote:
>> As an avid watcher of the job market in the A/V preservation world
>> and the library field at large I am curious on thoughts about why A/V
>> centric jobs seem to be primarily term positions while many other
>> fields of library work aren't. If there truly is no shortage of work
>> to be done in the same way there is no shortage of work to be done in
>> cataloging, why then are significantly more (and more professional
>> level) jobs that are permanent in the cataloging field as opposed to
>> A/V preservation work? Is this attributed to lack of advocacy on part
>> of professional organizations?
>> Managers involved in financial decision making? Organizations able to
>> get grant money for A/V and thus creating a cycle of term funding and
>> hoping from project to project and institution to institution? I am
>> genuinely curious about perspectives from individuals working in
>> several different capacities. It seems this is a problem in the
>> archival field (as I understand it an issue raised at the SAA
>> convention somewhat recently about generational advocacy) in general,
>> but is even more acutely present in A/V specific work as can be
>> attested to through a survey of job advertisements.
>> If this is the case, is promoting the field as a profession while not
>> supporting it organizationally problematic?
>> Nathan Coy
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