Friday, September 03, 2010

Lisnews post on the need for a masters degree

Lisnews has a interesting post entitled The Master's Degree Misperception which looks at the need for librarian need for a masters degree (or as this is an American post an MLS degree).

The author puts forward the idea that:-

I’d like to imagine that I got an advanced degree so that checking out books would be a once in a while thing, not a regular gig.)

It is a disservice to the education, to the degree, and to the profession when the bulk of a librarian’s daily tasks could be performed by someone with a GED. It does not take a master’s degree to place a hold on a book, clear a copier, push in chairs, tell people they are being loud, shelve items, or other similar tasks. When librarians are seen doing this and then told there is an advanced degree requirement, there is a reasoning dissonance that occurs in the outside observer.

Well, although the author says he helps out on the desk etc, do many of us with degree's get the profession insist on a greater separation of duties?

Actually, no. Just because you have a masters degree does not mean you get to do the reference work, cataloguing or specialising. Many masters students in the UK certainly won't even get the most basic library roles. I remember the real wikiman, point out that his first jobs in libraries uasually asked for a minimum of 5 GCSE's but usually wanted at least degree's students, if not masters students.

I would love to be able to do more interesting things at my library, but my masters degree does not allow me to do that, as i'm doing shelving, photocopier repairs etc but i'm just happy to be able to work.

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