"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Reference Desk: LIS Employment Resources

Pirates. I’ve been back to work for a few weeks now. Which, fuck capitalism, but I got a kitty to feed.

Anyway, over the course of my five months unemployed and job hunting, I amassed quite a list of job ad aggregation websites. And some of you might benefit from my acquired knowledge. Look, it’s either that or overthrow the system. Take your pick.

*ahem* Right, back on subject. Most of these are US-centric & NYC-centric, for which I’m only a little sorry, since that’s where I live. They cover a range of LIS jobs, including archives & museums, and a few other related odds & ends.

  • ALA Joblist Several jobs posted a day, for all levels of experience, across the US & occasionally elsewhere. Of course, every other librarian is seeing those ads, too. Follow it on Twitter: @ALA_JobLIST
  • SAA Online Career Center Like with many other things, SAA is not great about being up-to-date with their job listings. A few jobs a week.
  • MARAC Job Opportunities That’s the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, btw. Rarely updated, but worth checking once in a while. It also looks & functions like it’s ca. 2000. Oh well.
  • VRA Employment Visual Resources Association, does anyone actually belong to that? Only a very few jobs a month, usually, but they mostly look pretty interesting.
  • NYLA JOBline New York’s state association & some weird capitalization. Mostly director & other high-level positions.
  • RAILS Jobs Board Reaching Across Illinois Library System. One of the better acronyms & I was keeping an eye on it in case I decided a move to Chicago would be in order. At least the rent’s cheaper than NYC. A few posts a day.
  • METRO Jobs List Probably the best place for interesting jobs in & near NYC, but you’ll have tough competition since all the interesting librarians in the city belong to METRO. And, no, I don’t know why it’s all caps like that.
  • Simmons College Jobline Professional positions as well as internships & other shit. Focus on Boston & southeastern New England. Other library schools probably have similar resources.
  • NYPL Careers Everything from pages to management, but don’t hold your breath.
  • BPL Careers That’s Brooklyn, not Boston, haters. Look, if you want to work in NYC, maybe try BPL or QPL; there are fewer jobs open, but the administrative structure will kill you slower. And they pay a little more. Which is something NYPL should be ashamed of.
  • QPL Careers Ditto, but in Queens.
  • ArtSTOR Careers I guess someone has to do it, since there are actual humans on the other end of the email to library vendors. I’ve even met one! Well, she said she was human.
  • Employment at Lincoln Center Don’t forget to click through to all the individual organizations that work from Lincoln Center.
  • Brooklyn Museum Career Opportunities There’s some interesting stuff going on there at the moment!
  • NYC Jobs This listing every open position with NYC city government, so you have to do some good searching. They need things like archivists & records managers sometimes. And if you manage to get a city job you’ll probably be set for the rest of your life.
  • CUNY Job Postings They’re always looking for a couple librarians somewhere in the system. They tenure their librarians. I really want to work for them if I’m still in the city in a few years.
  • Jobs at NYU Libraries Faculty (their librarians are faculty), staff, student & admin positions.
  • Jobs at Columbia That’s pretty self-explanatory, but you gotta do some good searching to wade through the whole thing. And Barnard is here.
  • Five College Consortium Employment Opportunities Comprising Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, & Amherst Colleges, and UMass Amherst, the Consortium hires some staff for its shared resources. Also click through to each individual school. Western Massachusetts.
  • Careers at the New School Job searchers, you should find every college in your area & search all their websites. Even the weird little ones you’ve never heard of — they need librarians, too. (The New School is weird & little, but you’ve probably heard of it.)
  • ArLiSNAP Jobs Kinda useful if you like art or special collections, hard to read the walls of text. A few jobs posted most weekdays. Includes Canada.
  • INALJ Jobs Includes international listings. Calls itself ” The most extensive online resource for jobs for information professionals…” and I’d believe it.
  • Shelf Awareness Job Listings You know, in case you want to switch to a lucrative career in publishing?
  • NYFA Job Listings New York Foundation for the Arts. Lots of low-paid gallery girl-type jobs or “internships,” but I saw several for archivists. Many posts a day to wade through. Mostly NYC.
  • Museum Jobs at Global You gotta click through a few places. All kinds of stuff, mostly in the US.
  • American Alliance of Museums Careers & Jobs Heavy on major cities, all kinds of museum jobs.

Here’s the kicker, though. I applied to about 50 jobs. I got invited for interviews at 5. I got an offer for one. That math is easy enough that I’ll leave you to it. And that one I did get offered? A friend who already worked there sent me the ad before it was available to the general public & recommended me to his bosses. And you & I probably both suspect that had as much to do with me getting hired as my shiny resume, well-practiced interview skills, or amassed skill-set & experience. I’m not complaining, except that I am. That shouldn’t be what it takes for good librarians to get hired.

Further, it was two months between the day I sent my resume and the day I started working — which is faster than light speed for the library world. Librarian friends have told me that they’ve had the process take up to six months. That is unconscionable. The librarians trying to get jobs suffer, the library with the unfilled position suffers, the overworked other librarians suffer, and the therefore under-served patrons suffer. The only one who don’t suffer are the non-librarian administrative bean-counters. And that’s some neoliberal bullshit.


About oneofthelibrarians

Respectable mid-career librarian by day, dirty street librarian by night & other days.

3 comments on “Reference Desk: LIS Employment Resources

  1. The Library Whiz
    April 14, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Library Whiz and commented:
    Nice list here.

  2. Ripberger
    April 14, 2015

    Reblogged this on ccripberger and commented:
    It’s nice to know I’m not the only looking for library jobs. Maybe I’ll get lucky soon as well?

  3. Barry Freed
    April 14, 2015

    Congratulations on the new job. I’ll be starting my new job about a month from now. The interview was around late October and I found out I got the job in mid-November. This is for an overseas library job so getting the work visa and all has taken up a lot of time. So that’s a bit over six months for me and I could probably start a bit sooner if I had all my affairs in order stateside like vaccinations, selling my car, going through old paperwork, etc., (I’m still looking to give away a large Arabic language library acquired in the course of my PhD attempt). Somehow I don’t feel as bad knowing some of your librarian acquaintances took up to 6 months for stateside jobs.

    Oh, and my stats were about 60 jobs applied to. 3 interviews and one offer. Of the 3 interviews one of them was a very close call, with a same day call back for an on campus interview at a college down south. And it helped enormously that the overseas job happened to combine what i did previously in my failed PhD attempt with what I’d been doing while going to library school.

    Long comment, but thanks for this post, it’s a great resource. I’ll probably be coming back to it in a few years when I want to go back home to NYC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ne'er do wells



Creative Commons License


%d bloggers like this: