by Deb Hunt, Candidate for SLA President-Elect, San Francisco Bay Region and Silicon Valley Chapters, IT, KM and Leadership & Management Divisions
Trends related to LIS employment show that in 2007, 15% of employers were not libraries and in 2008, that number jumped to 27%. In this same study, an analysis of emerging jobs outside of libraries shows a wide variety of titles: emerging technologies librarian, usability analyst, information architect, and more. With these types of titles in mind, the skills required and requested by employers continue to expand and change, including taxonomy creation, knowledge of metadata standards, etc.
As Stephen Abram noted (and I’m paraphrasing here): “LIS skills are good currency, but only for those with the flexibility and insight to exploit the opportunities. “
We must add flexibility, insight, and recognition of opportunity to our essential core skills! We need to move outside our comfort zone and reflect on our accomplishments so we can communicate them to current, future and prospective employers or clients. Else, how will they know what we can do and what we bring to the table?
Career sustainability (my candidacy theme) is about growing in our jobs now and in future jobs as we continue to deepen our expertise and experience. (Please join the Career Sustainability LinkedIn group.)
Many LIS jobs are not coming back or are coming back in a whole different way. We need to be resilient taking our skills with us no matter where we go. I believe that we have much potential and energy to move forward to career sustainability.
I’m passionate about what I do and what we can do as a profession. Together we can create a more healthy and sustainable future as we grow our skillset and shout from the rooftops the value that we bring to our employers, potential employers and clients.
Deb Hunt is Principal of Information Edge which empowers clients to find the information they need to do their work. Information Edge specializes in enterprise content management, knowledge services, professional research, and library design and automation.
Deb has been a member of SLA since 1986 and is a candidate for SLA President-Elect. She served on the SLA Board as a Director from 2008-2010 and is the creator and team leader of SLA’s 23 Things. She is a past President of the San Francisco Bay Region Chapter and a member of the Silicon Valley chapter and the Library Management, KM, and IT divisions. She is an active member in the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) and served on its Board of Directors from 2001-2003.