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61 Non-Librarian Jobs for LIS Grads

Author’s note: I wrote this post in mid-December 2011, and based it on current job openings. Some jobs may have already been filled and many postings have been taken down, so you may find some broken links. If you know of new links for these jobs or ones like them, please feel free to post them in the comments area. – Mia

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.

Non-Librarian jobs for LIS grads

Bonus Unusual Librarian Gigs

Are you thinking of a non-traditional career in librarianship? Share interesting job links in the comments.

Mia Breitkopf

Mia Breitkopf is a graduate student pursuing her Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science at Syracuse University. In 2011, she moved to Syracuse to study after seven years in Philadelphia, PA, where she taught public school and worked at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Mia holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and will graduate with her MLIS in May 2013.

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