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ARSCLIB  March 2017

ARSCLIB March 2017

Subject:

Re: A/V preservation jobs

From:

Nathan Coy <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

ARSC Library and Archives Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:47:07 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (175 lines)

I want to thank everyone for replying so far. I just want to circle back,
my intention is/was not to necessarily go after any one specific situation
but raise some of the concerns and questions I've come to having watched to
job market regularly in A/V preservation and library work in general for 6
years or so now. Hopefully it's not too clumsy.

Then solicit what people have found to be effective, not so effective, and
observations on organizational structure related to the A/V preservation
field.

These are concerns I genuinely have about the types of jobs in the field,
how they are handled in organizations, and how we present the professional
opportunities of the field. I admittedly have been fortunate than some in
these respects.

I hope to continue to read more insights,

Nathan Coy


On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Paul Jackson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> "
>
> If senior and previous generations actively are engaged
> in devaluing labor in the fields they manage, they are actively harming
> subsequent generations and perhaps any associated fields."
>
>                 I have to agree with you. I've had gig jobs; one, a
> private grad school, with very little compensation, and one, a very wealthy
> corporations, with fairly generous compensation (compared with standard
> library salaries.)
>         The saddest offer, was when a law library wanted to hire me to
> work in Seattle, but wanted me hired as law librarian in a different
> facility only 14 miles south, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows
> the librarians' salaries are lower there because of lower costs of living.
> How they figured working in Seattle would lower my cost of living because
> my "job" was designated somewhere else? Dumb and dumber. It was the biggest
> crap I've run across in my many years (81). I've written to Senators and
> Representatives about this, since, to me, having certain credentials and
> experience should be paid the same amount no matter where you are doing the
> service. BTW, as much as I needed that job and could have performed well, I
> told the library group I was too good for them and left the interview.
>
>
>
>
> Paul T. Jackson
> Trescott Research
>
> On 3/23/2017 12:35 PM, Nathan Coy wrote:
>
>> Richard,
>>
>>    "I THINK at least some organizations see A/V preservation as finite
>> when
>> the tapes are all done, there is no more job"
>>
>> I think this is a really useful observation about ways we talk to decision
>> makers about the work. Clearly recordings are still being made, maybe even
>> more widely so, so if that's case it's a matter of it not be done but just
>> but also just another format type to add to the list of preservation
>> intervention. Also, it sure seems like there are a lot of tapes to still
>> do, with people interested in that area. More than machines, parts, and
>> repair people to keep them going. I'm not sure the incentives exist though
>> for people to enter the analog machine repair field? That is another
>> aspect
>> I've been thinking about a lot lately (Not as a personal career path, but
>> as a need for the field).
>>
>> the gig economy
>>
>> historically part of media production but not libraries, although,
>> outsourcing to vendors is part of historical library process (binding,
>> etc).
>>
>> I also am of the position that if we go with the gig economy, it needs
>> organized labor, gig economies needs to potentially pay more  (or some
>> other benefits) than the permanent positions due to job insecurity and
>> associated relocation costs, etc. But if the gig economy provides less, to
>> employers it provides the allure of cheap work that has ramifications for
>> fields tied to it. If senior and previous generations actively are engaged
>> in devaluing labor in the fields they manage, they are actively harming
>> subsequent generations and perhaps any associated fields. This is one of
>> the things I personally find sad about our current time and the
>> differences
>> that are appearing in the workplace between generations in the workplace
>> at
>> least partially as a consequence of management philosophy. It seems many
>> of
>> the people working media preservation either go the library school or MIAP
>> route, neither of which seemingly advertise the associated fields as a gig
>> field, or the professional organizations for that matter, but I stand to
>> be
>> corrected on this generalization. In libraries I see a lot Gen Xers (and
>> prior) being in permanent positions (for quite some time, perhaps at entry
>> to the field) but millennials not being offered the same opportunities.
>>
>> I also am willing to admit to being susceptible to a certain amount of
>> Wishful vs. Is thinking. That said I don't think it invalidates some of
>> these positions.
>>
>> Best,
>> Nathan
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 11:54 AM, Richard L. Hess <
>> [log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> Hi, Nathan,
>>>
>>> The vast majority of interesting projects that I see are either funded by
>>> re-release budgets or by grants. I THINK at least some organizations see
>>> A/V preservation as finite when the tapes are all done, there is no more
>>> job. I don't know for sure, but just my observations from being on the
>>> outside looking in for almost the last two decades.
>>>
>>> Another perspective is that for many institutions, the preservation of
>>> their holdings does not have a matching revenue stream. In fact some
>>> archives I know are choosing (a) to digitize a limited amount of their
>>> holdings--those that would likely be requested or (b) to do adequate but
>>> not superior digitization efforts due to lack of funding.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> Richard
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2017-03-23 1:39 PM, 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?
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>> Nathan Coy
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>>
>>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>>> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
>>>
>>> ---
>> This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
>> http://www.avg.com
>>
>>

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