Monday, July 03, 2006

Open letter to AALL job interviewers and Job seekers

Pogo, that well known political philosopher, was right: "we have met the enemy is he is us."
Some of you during this convention will have engage the enemy: you will sit down, interview for a job and be told you lack the necessary credentials.
Others will sit, commiserate with friends, and fret about the lack of " qualified applicants."
It is a sad engagement.
If, as the figures shown on the AALL website [salary survey] are correct then only about 1/4 of us have both the J.D. and M.L.S. degree.
And if, as suggested by Christopher Vallandingham in his AALL Spectrum magazine piece, which ran in the February 2003 issue, there is a potential "shortage of law librarians."
And if, again in Vallandingham’s article, it is not unusal for students to "...routinely graduate with more than $100,000 in student loans," then it would seem to benefit all to be open to all applicants.
It does not dilute our professional standing to open academic reference position opportunities to single professional degree holders, i.e., either the MLS or JD. And it would allow those lacking one degree or the other to work in an environment where they can go on and obtained the second degree.
The current academic vogue of demanding both degrees for reference positions narrows the pool of applicants and blocks educational opportunities .
Academics heads seeking dual degree holders can explain their requirements lucidly: just not convincingly.
I have been told during one-on-one conversations that " of course single degree holders would be considered." Well, if that is the case, then make it a point of expressing that fact in your job solicitations and honestly interview with that in mind.
Those interviewing can open up opportunities by being flexible with their position requirements and those seeking employment can ask to interview. It is the right thing to do and it helps the profession.

Sid Kaskey -


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