Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/21/1009

Jan Baptist Weenix, Portrait of Rene Descartes, 1647, Oil on Canvas

Daily Thoughts 11/21/2009

Sometimes you find interesting things then learn you are not quite a match. This is a grant available from the Women's National Book Association for attending a publishing class if you are a librarian. It is an interesting idea.

I found this while reading What's the Alternative Career Options For Librarians and Info Pros by Rachel Singer Gordon. So far, the book is quite interesting. It covers all the other options than traditional library work; indexing, publishing, government work, associations, editing, writing, teaching, training, information technology, archives, museums, competitive intelligence, knowledge management, metadata, and information architects.

This is a bit on my profile from the library roots project. A bit on my beginnings as a librarian from Bookcalendar:

What's The Alternative Career Options For Librarians and Info Pros by Rachel Singer Gordon.

This was a very interesting book to read. It brought up a variety of thoughts. I was rather surprised that bookstore worker was mentioned. An owner of a small independent bookstore makes about $40,000-$50,000 a year around New York, New York if they are quite good. The same is true of a comic book store owner. It is a labor of love with many extra hours each day.

Publishing does not pay much better as well. An editor makes about the same amount of money in New York, New York. It is not that different from a librarian. An editors job is very different though, there is a lot of writing and of course editing. If you really like writing it is the right for you. Of course if you are an editor, you are expected to write as well, maybe novels or nonfiction books. It tends to extend beyond the job with many extra hours.

Rachel Singer Gordon describes many similar institutions to libraries; genealogical societies, museums, record centers, schools, bookstores, and other sundry places full of paper. Also the traditional paper oriented abstracters, indexers, information brokers, catalogers, and knowledge managers are described.

My favorite job description is for an army orchestral librarian. Imagine having to mark all the scores for the musicians you ordered. Another job description I liked was the emerging technologies librarian. I have a soft spot for technical toys.

This book seeks to redefine the job of librarian as one of an "information worker." This opens the career field to include library webmasters, Google content specialists, prospect researchers, and many other knowledge economy positions. It brings in job boards like Craigslist, Mediabistro, and Idealist. This seems quite diffuse and a bit fanciful.

The different professional associations are also covered including the American Publishers Association, the Society of American Archivists, the Society of Indexers and many ohters. Also how to create your own business is suggested.

This book is a nice overview of a path of career change for librarians. It has many examples of people who followed a different career path with short two page stories. There is a survey on nontraditional library careers, a list of suggested websites, a bibliography of books, and an index. It is a very complete and deeply researched book.

But, what if what you are seeking really does not fit into the "traditional" alternative job descriptions. Publishing and librarianship are dealing with many fast emerging technologies that are introducing rapid change. The positions these technologies engender are not fully understood. What if you are interested in content portals, social media book sites, or other things that defy categories like print on demand kiosks. How can a job board or an association help? Where does it lead?

I've started reading Moral Panics and Copyright Wars by William Patry. William Patry is the senior copyright counsel for Google. He even includes a disclaimer that his opinions are not necessarily the same as those of Google.

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