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On Tue, 13 Sep 2005, Steven C. Barr wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Becky Miley" <[log in to unmask]>
> > POSITION:   Librarian
> >
> > DESCRIPTION:  Full-time. Half-time reference, half-time technical
> services.   Will work under the supervision of Associate Librarian and
> Senior Director, Museum Services.    Duties include: responding to reference
> calls, visits, and correspondence, maintaining clippings files and other
> finding aids, acquiring new books for collection, maintenance of serials
> records, cataloging print materials, and overseeing interns/volunteers.
> >
> > QUALIFICATIONS:   MLS from an ALA accredited institution with a minimum of
> 2 years experience in reference and/or technical services setting.   Must be
> familiar with basic cataloging practices (MARC format).   Knowledge of
> country music history highly desireable.   Must possess ability to work well
> with others and demonstrate willingness to tackle new projects as needed.
> Successful candidate will be subject to background check.
> >
> > Send resume, salary requirements, and references to:
> >
> > Carolyn Tate
> > Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
> > 222 Fifth Avenue South
> > Nashville, TN   37203
>
> These are the kind of postings that I find supremely frustrating!
> I don't have a Master's in Library Science (or anything else!)...
> but I do have an encyclopedic knowledge of the music and records
> they would be dealing with! However, I don't have a nice piece
> of embossed paper with a gold seal saying I do...

For me, it is a clear representation of the problems in libraries...while
no doubt the people who put that job description together were working from
mandated guidelines (an MLS is usually considered like a union card...and
indeed, it is not an academic, but a professional degree)...and had the
best of intentions...Yet, I find it pathetic that "Knowledge of country
music history" is only listed as "desirable." It would seem to me that
such knowledge would be the first qualification, but sadly in much of the
library world, subject background is not as valued as the MLS. However,
it will take you far less time to teach someone how to prepare a MARC record
than it will take to teach them the history of country and western music.
However I am not suggesting that the preparation of a MARC record is all
that one learns in school---often times the concept of cataloging is
taught, versus specific applications. On the other hand, there is so much
time that can be saved when the librarian is informed about the subject
material and has done their own research...something not encouraged in
many library systems...and, in my personal experience at my place of work,
discouraged. I am reminded when I go to a store asking about a product and
the clerk knows little about what they are selling...kinda like trying to
get informed assistance when buying classical music in a record
store...assuming they have any classical discs...when you deal with
someone who "knows," you are more likely to shop there.

Karl (a University librarian who started working in a library 35 years
ago...but dropped out of library school because he was bored...even 35 years
ago I thought the methodology for cataloging was unnecessarily
encumbered...while not telling me what I wanted to know)