Call Number, Volume 71, Number 1, Spring 2012 Page: 2
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the business world has
If the 21st century is the information age, then perhaps it is the age of the librarian.
Whenever information is needed, it must be gathered, sorted, evaluated, and organized,
which is what librarians are trained to do. Those who possess such skills are employable
not only in libraries but in other types of entities. Jobs for librarians outside traditional
settings are currently available and are expected to increase as information becomes
more abundant. Currently, those with library skills are now working for corporations,
nonprofit organizations, consulting firms and at many other locations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has pointed out that nontraditional
library jobs are growing. Among the positions they name for those
possessing library skills are: systems analysts, database specialists, web
masters, web developers, trainers, local area network coordinators,
search engine evaluators, copyright officers, exhibit specialists, web
services librarians, business operations administrators, product
analysts, managers of usability and experiences specialists, research
and customer experience analysts, user experience specialists, managers
of social media and content strategy, interaction designers, business
intelligence operators, and information architects. Others that could
apply include information resources specialists, technical information
specialists, business research, and digital services managers.
In exploring whether those with library and information science
degrees qualify for jobs in nontraditional settings, it is important
to read the job descriptions. Titles for positions in which library
training is useful are many and varied, and usually do not contain the
word "librarian" or "information:'" The requirements of the job could
determine whether the library skill set meets the need. When finding
such positions posted, it may be necessary for the job seeker to make
the case to the prospective employer who may be unaware of the types
of skills library and information science professionals possess.
One of our graduates who works for the largest multimedia
retailer in the world, reports that there are people with library and
information science degrees working as market analysts and research
analysts, including competitive intelligence. The company has an entire
department called Taxonomy & Systems where people with library
science degrees work as metadata asset administrators and managers.
The business world has discovered librarians in a big way. Technology
has changed the way knowledge is stored and disseminated. This
has changed the way that corporations conduct business, opening
new opportunities for people with library and information science
training. System analysts and network administrators, for example,
keep information flowing within the organization. A company that
makes a product strives to determine trends in the market, which
its competitors are doing, and other information to aid them in a
competitive world. We have graduates currently working for Frito-
Lay, Mary Kay, Inc., and a number of other businesses in positions
other than that of traditional librarians. One person who has been with
her company for a number of years is currently Global Information
Advisor for ExxonMobil, which is a top administrative position.
There are positions for those with the library and information
science skill set in government agencies. One of our alumni works for
the Congressional Research Service, where she provides information
for members of Congress and their staffs on pending legislation,
policies and other matters related to the workings of Congress.
Other government agencies where our graduates are employed in
non-traditional positions include the Office of the Controller of the
Currency, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Public Information
Office of the U.S. Copyright Office. Another has been with the U.S.
Department of State for a number of years and is currently Principal
Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Cape Town, South Africa.
City government positions may be held by librarians, often drawn
from public libraries. Several of our graduates have held positions
either as city managers or assistant city managers, all of whom were
taken from public library positions where their organizational skills
and other competencies were recognized. One of our graduates is the
current Dallas City Manager where she functions as chief executive
for the city and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the
municipal organization. After serving several years in the Dallas
Public Library, she established and managed the Urban Information
Center, a unique service designed to support not only city government,
but citizens seeking information on organizations and other facets
of urban life. It was from this position that she was tapped for city
government service, first as assistant to the mayor and later assistant to
the city manager, municipal court administrator, and executive assistant
director of the police department, the first female non-sworn executive
in the department's history.
Those with an entrepreneurial spirit may wish to go into business
for themselves providing information for a fee to corporations,
nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Information brokers usually
develop a subject specialty such as health care, or a specific type of
service such as database design or indexing. It might be necessary to
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University of North Texas. College of Information. Call Number, Volume 71, Number 1, Spring 2012, periodical, Spring 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc102309/m1/4/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Information.