Library jobs in Pittsburgh

An anonymous patron asked:

Why is it so challenging to find library jobs in Pittsburgh? I know there is a library school turning out new grads each semester and I know people don't like to leave the city but, aren't there enough colleges for jobs to open up at least once a year? I've been away for two years and I haven't seen a job pop up in my area. I was wondering if anyone had a theory?

Anybody have any suggestions?

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suggestions for unemployed librarian

Hi folks,
I graduated from Clarion U in 1998 and moved back to Seattle. I couldn't find a job in a library to save my life so I went to work for insurance firm. Ten years later plus two kids, I am looking to move to Pittsburgh and find a job as youth/children's services librarian. I am planning to take some extra courses to get more current with library trends. I am also toying with obtaining a teaching endorsement in order to increase my chances to work in a library, school or public. Am I a lost cause or is there hope for a newcomer with little experience? Any comments would be appreciated!

Yet jobs go begging

I just recently left Pittsburgh for another job, and personally know of 2 positions back in Pittsburgh - mine included - that garnered very few viable applicants. Where are you checking for openings? I know that the ACLA page always has listings of openings. I will say that the salaries were depressingly low - but there is cheap housing available. Mine is one!

Out of work librarian in Pittsburgh

Having just moved to Pittsburgh hoping to find work as a librarian, I have been disappointed with the limited opportunities. At least the comments on this blog have answered for the me the reasons why I have not landed a job. For example, so much competition, desire for entrenched librarians to stay, new librarians on the march, etc...

Having lived and worked in Seattle, WA where it is a desirable place to live, I was competing with many librarians being cranked out of the ischool there, and many librarians wanting to relocate and hoping to work in a lovely city. I know about the struggle to get hired, and hope I do not have to wait too long for recognition here. I moved due to my husband's new job in Pittsburgh. I have a sterling resume, and I love librarian work so I will be patient. Any suggestions on what else I can do?

hard facts

My job search went very well. But I was able and willing to move anywhere at anytime.

You have two choices: wait and wait for a job to open near you (might take a week might take two years) and stay in Pittsburgh or be willing to move more than 100 miles.

Good luck.

Not to mention, Drexel has a

Not to mention, Drexel has a distance ed program people in Western PA could easily choose, and many schools have out-of-state tuition that is comparable to that of Pitt. So in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of choices for grad school.
And lets be honest - librarians are librarians because they like what they do. And one doesn't necessarily need to be full of vigor to be a librarian, so as long as the mind is agile enough to continue doing a job, and you like what you're doing, why should a person retire? It doesn't create a great situation for librarians in PA, who ultimately compete with librarians from outside PA who might have more experience.
But it ultimately leads to the same problem many other metropolitan areas have: you either have to leave the area or, if you can't, deal with the situation you are in. :-/

Reasons abound

There are several reasons.

Number one is that the market is over saturated. Many people come to Pitt's library school who are from Western PA and want to stay there. Second, a lot of people move to Pittsburgh and decide to stay. (It was, after all, recently voted the nation's most livable city.) Plus, many of these students have internships or field placements at local libraries that allow them to get their foot in the door

Number two is that librarians aren't really retiring in Pittsburgh. They sorta work until they can't work any longer. Librarianship is a graying profession, especially in Pittsburgh.

Reason three is that the academic libraries aren't increasing their professional, full-time staff, but rather cutting back. They're hiring part-time librarians and more staff (many of whom have an MLIS). This is because of money. Having part-time librarians means they don't get tenure (or a tenure equivalent). Also, most libraries in Pittsburgh aren't going to need multiple subject specialists for a discipline - even Pitt - unless their school has a strong and lucrative program related to it.

And finally, people hop from library to library in Pittsburgh. They have impressive resumes and wait until something local opens up. Their local connections - the library world is rather small, after all - and work experience nearly guarantee them at least an in-person interview.

Best of luck. I would recommend applying for jobs that aren't in your specialization.

One thing I would like to

One thing I would like to add is that many of the people who go to library school (at least in Milwaukee and I assume this is probably similiar other places) tend to not to be right out of college and therefore a bit older, meaning they are more likely to be married (with spouses who have jobs in the area), family ties and perhaps own homes so even if they would like to move it sometimes does not fit their lifestyle.

bad beat

These are things that might have been considered before matriculation and certainly graduation.

The fact is that if you can't move you might be waiting a while and there's nothing to be done about that.

Expand your search a little

Actually, you should probably take both Clarion and Pitt into consideration. That makes two accredited institutions producing a lot of librarians who really love western PA and don't want to leave. Are you limiting your search to just colleges and universities downtown? If you expand your search to the counties surrounding Pittsburgh (Westmoreland, Washington, etc.), you'll find at least one academic opening a year! My academic library is 45 minutes from Heinz Field (without traffic), and we've had two openings in the last calendar year. Watch the PaLA job listings.

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