Employment & Work Stories

Subject Experts Need Not Apply

Todd Gilman Says Recent job postings and hires suggest that many academic libraries are losing interest in hiring humanities Ph.D.'s. As a librarian at Yale University who has watched the job market in recent years, I've noticed a rather disturbing turn of events — one that is gaining steam and undermining the likelihood that M.A.'s and Ph.D.'s in the humanities will be able to choose librarianship as a career.

Many recent job postings for humanities librarians, reference librarians, or those specializing in research education do not list subject expertise as a requirement.

A Medical Leave Turns Into Early Retirement

In an effort to find "transparency and integrity in government", Carroll Ann Kelly, former director of the Huntington (NY) Library has brought to light her suit against her employers for discharging her after seventeen years of employment.

The dispute began last fall when Kelly's doctor provided her with a note instructing her to take medical leave because of a chronic and recurrent condition, which Kelly and her attorney declined to disclose. She also provided a note that said her return date would be January 2008. The board required that she submit an "Authorization for Release of Health Information" form, which she declined to do, pointing to a library policy of only requiring a written note from a medical provider for sick leave. More from Long Island's Newsday.

Does the Medici Effect Work for Libraries?

Eric Schnell asks Does the Medici Effect Work for Libraries? "Libraries looking to become more innovative can do so by intentionally creating an environment/organization in the Medici Effect can occur. This can be accomplished very simply by strategic reassignment of staff in key areas as the candidate did."

Fired library director sues: Staff Members Allege "irrational" Behavoir

The Safe Libraries Guy sent over A Strange Tale from Michigan (Not Georgia) on a Library Director who is alleging she was fired for questioning the city's authority over the library. Staff members said she spoke through a puppet at meetings, talked about her sex life, berated and harassed workers, asked employees to spy on each other, and moved furniture in an upstairs room in 2006 without her top, wearing only a bra.

"While she might be perfectly fine with her body, the rest of us don't particularly want to see it," one worker wrote to the city.

She was basically accused of acting irrational at work, something her attorney vehemently denies.

Living with myself as a law firm librarian

explodedlibrary.info has an interesting post Living with myself as a law firm librarian Morgan writes:

This leads back to my initial dilemma – what happens if I am indirectly helping a client do things which conflict with my personal values? Well I'll still do my best for that client. This is when I need to trust in the system and hope that the lawyers (and law librarians, if any are involved) on the other side do their best job, and that the judge or jury get it right, and that eventually a fairer outcome is reached. As a law firm librarian, I don't just work for lawyers (directly) and clients (indirectly), both of these things are a part of working for the legal system.

Finally Off the Library Market

Sixteen job applications, five first-round interviews, three second-round interviews, and seven (or so) months after finishing my master's in library science, Maura A. Smale landed a great position at an academic library in New York City. She says it's a pleasure (and a relief) to be writing from the tenure track.

Firing the Librarians in Humble ISD

I am a middle school librarian in Humble ISD (Humble, Texas) who taught English for many years. This district is seriously considering firing all of its librarians. (See news article: http://www.click2houston.com/education/16488867/detail.html ). Is there any advocacy ALA can provide? Jordan Sonnenblick, young adult novelist and national spokesman for Authors Support Intellectual Freedom, has helped tremendously by emailing listservs, as well as our board and our local media.

Librarian career choice made fun of in the Onion

Report: Women Increasingly Choosing Dead-End Careers Over Dead-End Relationships: "In addition to an overall increase in those settling for absolutely futureless secretarial or librarian positions, the study showed that more women are now choosing dead-end occupations conventionally dominated by men, such as accounting and data entry."

Norfolk (Canada) Deputy Librarian Walks Out On Her Job

The deputy CEO of Norfolk’s (Ontario) library system has resigned. Terri Pope, a branch librarian in Simcoe before she was promoted in 2006, left her post last week. Officials close to the situation suggest her departure was abrupt. "All I know is she cleaned out her desk, dropped off her keys and left a voicemail saying she would no longer be part of this organization," Bill Hett, acting CEO of the county library system and Norfolk’s general manager of community services, said yesterday. "I don’t know her future plans."

Library board chair Tom Morrison, of Port Dover, also suggested yesterday that Pope’s departure was abrupt. Morrison said Pope provided no notice. "I would have expected more professional courtesy," he said. "But we’re fortunate that, with the administrative team we have in place, we’ll be able to get through this with a minimum of turbulence." Canoe News.

CA Political Candidate: recognize this [fired] librarian for her noble resolve

Conway should back library assistant:

"It is reckless and irresponsible in a predominantly Christian community such as our own, to allow a good person to to be targeted and punished for a selfless act of protecting our children and our families from sexual predators. Thank God for people such as this librarian, I only wish those who act supposedly on our behalf were as selfless and beneficial to our community.
I firmly believe that the death penalty would make a fine deterrent to those that act in such egregious capacity against our children."

Here's the backstory in a March LISNews report on the firing of Brenda Biesterfield.

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