After reviewing a job posting for a Digital and Bibliographic Technologies Librarian for Texas Tech School of Law in Job Analysis, Part 1, in this section I will discuss a possible trajectory that would get me from Library Science Student to actual librarian.
As the job title itself would suggest, this job focuses heavily on technology and digital archiving. The job skills require somebody to be extremely proficient in digitization, database management, cataloging, and collection development. In addition, because this is an academic library, it would be practical to have a thorough understanding of those as well. I think if this were my dream job, I’d be at an advantage because I’m still in school and could tailor my class schedule accordingly. Classes such as Academic Libraries, Electronic Archives, Advanced Classification and Cataloging, and Database Concepts and Applications for Librarians would all definitely be beneficial in terms of acquiring the necessary skills.
Doing a practicum in an academic library would give me hands-on experience in the appropriate environment, particularly if it were a law library. However, if that were not a option, I would look into volunteering in such a place, or setting up job shadowing in order to get an insider’s look at the way a law library actually works. In addition to that, I would explore the possibility of taking some classes focused on law terminology or basic principles of law. Though the job posting suggests that the preferred candidate would hold a JD in addition to an MLIS, I doubt that many people hold both degrees, and personally, I find it unlikely that I would have the time or the money to go to law school once I finished my MLIS. However, by taking a few classes that would give me familiarity with terms and concepts that law students might be researching, I would be better equipped to fulfill the outlined duties of the Technologies Librarian.
Aside from creating a goal-oriented curriculum at school and attempting to get practical experience, I also believe that getting some basic computer certifications could be immensely beneficial and make me stand out from other candidates. A basic A+ certification, with additional certificates in areas such as Access or MySQL could hone my skills in tech-specific areas. Though I already have a good working knowledge of many programs, as well as a solid foundation of basic computer knowledge, I believe that getting certified would only increase my marketability.
Overall, taking a closer look at a real job posting did not truly alter any of my professional plans or goals, but rather served to reinforce the idea that I’m on the right path. Technology is becoming the cornerstone of the library science profession, and I think that the more I learn to utilize it, the better placed I’ll be when it comes time to seek employment.