Should I Become A Librarian?
bolo writes "I am 35 years old with BA in English that hasn't taken me anywhere special. My wife and I are expecting a child in four weeks (yikes!), and I'm feeling a strong need for a stable, respectable, professional career that will help keep my family off food stamps. A couple of months ago, while brainstorming career options, librarianship hit me like a sucker-punch, and the idea of becoming a librarian has been been buzzing around in my brain since then. I *love* books (I've worked mostly in bookstores since college) and libraries, I'm fascinated by the issues involved (media, media literacy, information access, community, archiving, copyright, etc.), and cataloging actually sounds fun to me! I think librarianship is noble, important, cool, and could expand wildly in the 21st century. My problem is this. Library school would be a big investment of money for us--my wife and I are already working on a decent-sized debt. I don't feel like I'm in a position to spend money/get into further debt for a career that isn't at least reasonably secure and renumerative. In short, I make just under $30K a year now, and I need to make more fairly soon, with prospects for more in the future. I'm willing to work hard in library school--get involved in organizations, volunteer, go to conferences, etc.--so I can become a more appealing job candidate, but I need to know that I'm not spending time, energy, money, and heart on a career that will disappoint me. SO, my question is mostly to recent (5 years or less) library school grads: What has your experience been? What is the job market really like? (I'm beginning to get that the "librarian shortage" is a myth.) How many people are applying for the jobs I see on LISJobs.com? How many of these jobs go to recent MLS's? What about jobs outside of libraries? Is an MLS really applicable to any work outside libraries? Was library school worth it? Are you paying off your loans? Is Google slowly killing libraries? Is lack of funding helping?"