Editor’s Note: InfoSpace has recently revisited this topic with updated job listings and more information! Be sure to check out 45 More Non-Librarian Jobs for MLIS Grads.
At the beginning of the semester, way back in September 2011 when I’d only been in library school for a few weeks, I blogged about job opportunities for library and information science grads. I was pleasantly surprised by the options available to those with a master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS). I wrote about a few of the career paths that seemed most interesting to me, like being my own boss as an independent research consultant (like our own Professor of Practice Jill Hurst-Wahl), and working with a historic collection at a unique place like The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, PA.
A full semester later, I’m deep into my MLIS coursework and still excited about the myriad career opportunities that await me and my fellow students. I’ve been combing through job postings at I Need A Library Job (INALJ), the American Library Association’s ALA JobLIST, and Special Library Association’s SLA Career Center, looking at the varied types of positions available right now, a year before I’ll be applying for jobs. Many of the positions are more traditional library jobs, like reference librarian and cataloger. But lots of them aren’t. (You should know that some iSchool alumni in “traditional” library positions are doing highly untraditional, innovative work!)
I’ve come up with a list of 61 jobs for librarians. Almost none of them actually have the word “librarian” in the title. Check out INALJ’s recent blog post “Top 10 Job Sites for Librarians and Information Professionals from I Need A Library Job” for more ideas on job hunting resources.
We’re a particular bunch of idealist MLIS students here at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, and many of us are attracted to solving big problems like making sure unheard voices have a say in social conversations (see iSchool MLIS student Darren Glenn’s blog) and ensuring underrepresented minorities feel welcome in libraries. There are jobs for these folks in the list below.
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There are also jobs for more tech-minded and students among us. Many of us are passionate about the future of scholarly work, digital curation, and digitization of information. Others are fascinated by the importance of expertly managing projects and helping organizations function better through knowledge management. Some students like these are enrolled in the eScience and Digital Libraries (Editor’s note: the eScience and Digital Libraries CAS programs were updated and developed into the CAS in Data Science) Certificates of Advanced Studies offered here at the iSchool.
And, finally, there are some jobs with the word “librarian” in the title that are so untraditional that I had to include them. (Spoiler alert: wine librarian in Sonoma and sound FX librarian for LucasFilms.)
You’ll see job titles featuring words like “architecture,” “web,” “research,” and “business.” Many MLIS degree holders are embedded librarians, functioning as librarians without a library, helping the employees of the organization or business for which they work make informed decisions about product development, business expansion, educational programs, and more.
Almost all of the jobs in the list require an MLIS degree, and it strikes me that there must be many job postings out there right now for jobs that demand the skills and knowledge of MLIS degree holders, but, since they aren’t traditional librarian jobs. How many human resources folks are posting non-librarian jobs that require MLIS skills and knowledge?
So, here’s the list in no particular order. Almost all of them require an MLIS. Almost of them are job postings from the last few weeks of 2011. Enjoy.
Editor’s note: As Mia stated at the beginning of this post, many of the job postings below are no longer active. Many of the links below will redirect you to a job board or the company homepage. Listings marked with an * are no longer linked to an active resource, therefore we have removed the links. We encourage you to use the jobs listed below to inspire you in your LIS job search!
Non-Librarian jobs for LIS grads
- Creative Project Manager
- Director of Community Service
- Web Analytics Manager*
- Information Resources Specialist*
- Technical Information Specialist
- Documentation Specialist
- GIS (Geographic Information System) Map Specialist*
- Digital Reference Librarian*
- Curator, Media Resource Center*
- Archival Consultant*
- Director of Emerging Technologies and Community Services
- Architecture Library Assistant*
- Research Lead*
- Discovery Metadata Librarian*
- Teaching and Services Learning Coordinator*
- Acquisitions Team Lead*
- Head of Learning Resources Center*
- Freelance Researcher*
- Head of Access Services*
- Associate Archivist for Digital Initiatives and Records Management*
- Automation Coordinator*
- Associate Director, Technical Services*
- Associate Head, Content Acquisitions and Licensing*
- Manager, Information Services*
- Head of Information and Research Services*
- Business Research*
- Metadata Analyst*
- Metadata Specialist
- University Archivist/Professor*
- Document Control Specialist and Archivist
- Digital Manuscripts Project Manager
- Library Digital Infrastructure and Technology Coordinator
- Data Officer*
- Digital Services Manager
- Assistant Visual Resource Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Site Manager for library software company Polaris
- Digital Archives Systems Administrator
- Web Project Manager*
- Records Management Manager for a law firm
- Records and Information Manager for the Federal Trade Commission
- Data Management Analyst
- Information Management Officer
- Senior Business Intelligence/Technical Analyst
- Electronic Resourcing Specialist
- Intelligence Associate
- Information Research Specialist
- Business Information Specialist
- Research Coordinator
- Assistant Director for User and Research Services
- Member Data Manager for a professional organization
- Database Administrator/Programmer
- Department Head, Music, Film, and Audio
- Technology Coordinator*
- Librarian Relations Manager for Thompson Reuters
Bonus Unusual Librarian Gigs
- Wine Librarian*
- An international librarian like this posting at a university in Kasakhstan*
- Sound FX Librarian for LucasFilms
- Clinical Informatics Librarian
Are you thinking of a non-traditional career in librarianship? Share interesting job links in the comments.