Sunday, May 02, 2010

Young Blood: U. of Alabama, You're Doin' It Wrong

Dear University of Alabama Libraries,

Yes, we want to encourage folks to enter the profession. However, I'd take issue - and there have been other grumblings - at the way you've decided to implement your plan. In your job ad, you state the following:

Qualifications: Master’s degree in Library & Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution, or a Master’s degree in instructional technology or a related field received since December 2009.

So, only if you graduated in the past 5 months are you eligible for this job. I am curious as to whether this is because:

A) An MLS received six months ago is terribly out of date (as in, "You poor thing, you probably don't even know what an RSS feed is. I bet you even still use the blink tag in your html. How quaint. *clucks sadly* Bless your heart!");

B) You have an internal candidate and wanted to write the job description to fit them as well as possible to weed out other applicants (understandable, but better to write it to their strengths than the date of their degree);

C)You've been burned in the past for hiring someone whose skills were completely out-of-date;

D) This is a great way to take advantage of new grads that you can probably hire for a song due to their desperation for a(ny) job;


E) This is really a well-meaning attempt to provide a job for the recently graduated in this tough economy.

In any case, I think the wording here is a shame. You've written yourself out of all kinds of excellent applicants. And yes, there's grumblings in private channels about it.

Amidst all of the discussion about the profession of librarianship, a librarian I respect and admire said, upon seeing your ad, "things like this just prove it, the only people who are de-professionalizing our profession are ourselves." I have to agree. And though you don't owe me anything - I'm not an applicant or a booster, just a fellow professional - I'd love to hear what the rationale was for such a stricture on the time from receipt of degree. It seems a shame to cut out some highly qualified folk from your pool.


Amanda Clay Powers said...

Well said...I have passed this on to some of their alum that work with me, who hopefully will pass it on again (gathering compliments for your blog along the way!). Let's see what we find out--surely someone at U of A will be interested in what is being said about them in the biblioblogosphere...


Colleen said...

Thanks, Amanda! And I wasn't being facetious; I would love to hear how they could have thought this wording would go over well, and what the original intent behind it was.

Amanda Clay Powers said...

Yep--me too! Let's see what comes of it. So far I've heard speculation of missing punctuation...

Colleen said...

I was wondering if it was an "on or prior to" text that got mangled, but that's a pretty big error for an ARL ad.