Monthly Archives: August 2014

Elitism vs the real world: A librarians perspective

A while back I was chatting online with one of my colleagues whom I graduated with, about the lack of full time, permanent, livable work in our area. The chat was public over facebook.

I had mentioned my opinion on the subject (ie the job market) and I will reiterate it here: Unfortunately the market is not as great as it once was and we as librarians are relegated to para-professional/part time/casual/short term contract work. You have to start somewhere. I try to be positive and look at these types of positions as stepping stones to better jobs that are more permanent and prominent.

The person responding to us was from our school and was still working through his MLIS, his opinion was closer to the following: We shouldn’t have to put up with these types of limitations. We have a Masters for crying out loud.

So there is the difference. There are those who believe that they have worked hard and deserve better, and those who believe we are not done working and our education is just the basic entry level requirement to get work. Plumbers, Lawyers, and Business men/women don’t immediately start at the top of their profession when they finish school. These professionals start as apprentices, and work in offices serving coffee to lawyers and filing before they get into what they originally went to school for. Librarianship is no different.

I think there is a difference in hirability of the two types of people. A person who is willing to try different things and work their way up is more likely to get something and find an in. The elitist who believes they are ready to run the Toronto Public Library are going to be looking at a smaller pool of jobs, build limited networks to get the better job, and will likely project his elitism out to others…..this could be problematic in their hunt for the perfect job.