Of the roughly 110,000 credentialed librarians in the United States, only about 600 are black men. That’s about 0.5 percent of all librarians.
Put another way, if they all got together for a meeting, they could probably hold it comfortably in your local library.
More young, black, male librarians?
How can people direct young, black, male students into the Library Sciences? Does anyone know of or can recommend some high quality programs? Thanks
If you are a black male college graduate there are numerous businesses that are paying great to get this talent. I think a black male college graduate would be foolish from an economic standpoint to go into librarianship. If they wanted to take the economic hit and join the profession we would love to have them.
Seconded. I don’t think
Seconded. I don’t think black males need to be tracked into a low paying profession.
I don’t think anyone should be tracked into a low paying profession without complete transparency and due diligence. We as librarians (well more so they as library schools) make the profession out to be a high paying sought after career. It is not. It is a perfect fit for some – people who have a spouse that works and makes a good living, people who want flexible horus, people who want routine, etc, but it is not a career I would recommend to anyone who is a head of a household.
Lets face it the percentage of young black men completing college is quite low when compared to black women, white men and especially white women in that order.
To suggest that a black man with a BS go to two more years of college to get a crappy job that pays poorly is absurd.
I would give them the same advice I would give anyone race or gender notwithstanding. Engineering. There is money there, there are various tracks so you can find one that you enjoy, and you are guaranteed a good job upon graduation without having to sit through two years of library school. Newly minted BSEE start at 2.5 times what a newly minted MLS does.
Why do we want to encourage black men to be librarians? I think they have heard the pitch, perhaps they are smarter than that.
I would point to the (ok,
I would point to the (ok, obvious) point that it is not just black males but all primary wage earners that are discouraged by the economic realities of librarianship. I am just finishing up library school as a male (and just started my first professional job) and found that private companies were paying a *minimum* of 20% more. If you have a family to support (and most do by the end of grad school) you are pretty much driven in the private sector. It takes a lot of dedication (or utter insanity in my case) to do otherwise.
You can still be a librarian and be corporate
Again, a big problem in MLS education is that they don’t often show the option of being a librarian in a non-public or academmic setting. That might be a better marketing idea.
Word. Drop in on the SLA or
Word. Drop in on the SLA or pick up an copy of Information Outlook – they provide excellent leads lucrative(ish) opportunities out-there. Be warned: you’re not going to buy a yacht on an MLS salary anywhere.
This hostility toward the attracting people to librarianship is odd. If you are going into LibraryScience, if you’re going into teaching, counseling, social work, you’re not doing it for the money. You’re doing it because (1) you’re lazy as hell (2) you’re driven by a sense of rendering personal service to your fellow man (3) you’ve experienced tech salaries.
Money isn’t everything, nor does everyone have to have a BMW in the garage or a 500K home. You can survive, nay, thrive on a MLS salary, and if you pay attention to what you want to do with the career, and pursue it doggedly, you may find that you’re actually highly satisfied.
/Just make sure you marry a doctor/lawyer/engineer with a patient indulgence for your eccentricities.
corporate world and librarianship
I am not in any way denying that corporations are an option, I am only pointing out that there is a major disparity in income. Adding to this though is the confusion surrounding what exactly librarianship is in the IT world. Neither the students or the schools are sure where the boundaries are. I applied for a number of corporate taxonomy positions and through that found that the overwhelming majority of applicants were those with backgrounds in either CS or marketing. A part of this may be due to the lack of recognition of what the degree can do in the corporate world but at least an equal part is due to the schools not recognizing this. Maybe some schools handle this better (both within the SLIS/SOIS and within academic advising) but that has not been my experience.
I would love to see this
I would love to see more African Americans of both genders enter the field–also Latinos/Latinas, Middle Eastern folk. I’m not going to get into the salary issue here. As a white female, I think I do a pretty good job, but I also think that having a racially, ethnically and gender (genderly?) diverse staff is good all around for everyone.