MLS preferred? PREFERRED?

mdoneil writes "The City of Clearwater is looking for a new library director. The current director is going to Atlanta to be their director(not a job I would apply for but good luck John).


The city has posted the position. What is most amazing is that an MLS is preferred. Not required but preferred. Simply freaking amazing.


I know I would not work at a library where the director was not a librarian. That is like preferring your physician have a degree in medicine, or your CPA have a basic grasp of accounting. MLS preferred. Thank goodness I am moving out of this city when I find that $75K/annum reference librarian position in Utopia."

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What do you expect?

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master's Degree, preferably in Library Science. Eight (8) years of responsible professional experience in a public (city, municipal, county, or regional) library including at least three (3) years in the direct administration or supervision of a major library function.

They haven't lowered the qualifications, just side-tracked them. ALA devalues the MLS by requiring it for non-administrative positions and by promoting that asinine certification via ALA-APA. If your not good enough to be a Director with an MLS why should it be required?

Analogy not good

I know I would not work at a library where the director was not a librarian. That is like preferring your physician have a degree in medicine, or your CPA have a basic grasp of accounting. MLS preferred.
I think this is a bad analogy. I think a closer analogy would be a set of clinics that are run by a manager that is not a doctor. Does the manager of clinics really need to be a doctor? Why should the director have to be a librarian? If you are managing several branches the skills of a manager can be more important than the skills of a librarian.

Re:Analogy not good

In fact, it could easily be argued that someone from outside of LIS at the top is an advantage, especially for those knowledgeable and strongly opinionated librarians upon whom the director will rely for advice and counsel.

This trend is already well underway in library school programs, where deans from other disciplines are being readily embraced to run MLS and PhD programs.

Re:What do you expect?

Just curious, but I was under the impression that the MLS degree was required for the director of a library in order to qualify for LSTA grant money. Or at least in Florida to qualify for state money. Would appreciate some clarification.

Not surprising

Clearwater is the current home of $cientology. Education, free thought and literacy are the bane of that cult. They pump lots of dollars into the local economy and demand political return.

Re:Analogy not good

I would agree with this. For a director, management and marketing and communications skills are surely more important. (Though one hopes, as Greg suggests, that the director would be listening to the advice of senior librarians where appropriate).

Here in New Zealand an acquaintance of mine is managing a town library system. He's partway through his MLS, but they hired him because of his knowledge of marketing and management.

Now, if they start hiring reference librarians or cataloguers with 'MLS preferred', that might be a problem.

Re:Not surprising

They don't pay property taxes and seldom do business with those not part of their group so I don't see them pumping money into the economy. That said they are inoffensive people, one never hears about them shooting or stabbing one another.

Re:Analogy not good

"Now, if they start hiring reference librarians or cataloguers with 'MLS preferred', that might be a problem."


They do!

Re:Not surprising

http://www.xenu.net/

I would say more but $cientology has a rather nasty way of dealing with anyone who dares to criticize its cult.

More Than One Path

I have 33 years of experience working in libraries and publishing concerns. I have held positions involving tech service, reference, marketing, information technology, and knowledge management. I've supervised staffs of varying sizes, and participated in budgets in the millions. But I never finished my MLS program. Thus, I would automatically be excluded from even cursory consideration for the majority of "professional" positions--even those that pay less than $30K a year. Organizations that recruit with the options of a MLS or equivalent experience are few and far between.

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