16/04/2012 § 11 Comments
Following in the footsteps of previous posts that focus on a specific field of librarianship (such as Annie’s post on art librarianship and Chris’s post on data curation) today I wanted to explore special collections librarianship. I’d like to work with digital projects for special collections or archives after graduating from Indiana University and along the way I’ve picked up a few tips that I thought might be helpful to share with other library students interested in pursuing careers in special collections libraries.
First of all, I should define what I mean by special collection libraries. While special libraries could denote any library beyond academic and public with a specialized focus (such as a corporate or map library), special collections usually refer to repositories containing rare, unique and/or historically significant materials. Many special collections contain archival materials, and in smaller libraries special collections and archives are often merged.
11/03/2011 § 20 Comments
When you started library school, did you know exactly what kind of librarian you wanted to be? Or — did you have a general idea, but you were open to other possibilities?
That’s where I was when I started at SLIS. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a librarian, but I also figured out pretty quickly that the traditional library job market is more competitive than ever before. I began to lean toward academic librarianship, specifically reference work, and as an English major I assumed my subject specialties would be in the humanities.
However, a combination of library school experiences in my second year – a great Special Libraries professor and mentor, student jobs and internships, and an amazing Science Reference class – have convinced me that not only are my reference skills transferable to many other jobs, but that a variety of subjects and nontraditional jobs can hold my interest. I currently have a paid internship in an academic military library, something I didn’t even know was possible when I started library school.
If you’re not really sure what special libraries are, here is a good starter definition – they are essentially libraries or information centers within corporations, private businesses, government agencies, museums, colleges, hospitals, associations and information management consulting firms (and any other institution you can think of – I have a friend who interned at a paranormal library!).
I can’t sum up an entire course worth of information on special librarianship for you, but I did want to let you know that amazing jobs in nontraditional library settings are out there, and give you a broad overview of my favorite resources.