The problem with searching for my dream job in the library and information science profession is that even after a few minutes of looking, I found dozens of jobs I would love to either apply for (upon graduation, of course) or strive to work toward.
As stated previously, my professional goals are to eventually work at an academic library, working with digital preservation, database management and new technology initiatives. An ultimate goal would be to serve as the liaison to a journalism or English department, with the hopes of helping students explore new media.
Upon searching the American Library Association’s job postings, I found several jobs that I would jump at the chance of filling, and indeed, I want to tailor my educational goals so that by the time I graduate with my MLIS, I will be poised to either start applying for my dream job, or begin working to gain the experience needed to reach those career goals.
I found my ideal job, however, at a place where I’ve already spent quite a bit of time: my alma mater, Miami University.
Position: Digital Scholarship Librarian
Institution: Miami University (Oxford, OH)
Position Summary: Serves as a member of the new Center for Digital Scholarship and actively engages in support of faculty and students involved in digital scholarship. Teach credit/non-credit workshops and classes in the Libraries’ instruction program.
- Provide consulting to faculty and graduate students in defining and implementing digital scholarship projects.
- Investigate new and innovative ways to create, organize and deliver online content.
- Serve as the developer in the building, maintenance and technical support of the Miami Digital Repository.
- Participate in repository and technology development projects for the OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons.
- Serve as the liaison to the Center for American and World Cultures.
- MLIS or MLS
- Two years working experience with digital repositories, digital libraries, metadata, scripting languages, etc.
- Hands-on experience teaching and training
Working environment: Due to my working knowledge of this particular university library (I worked there for four years!), this position would likely work out of Miami’s main library, King Library, working with other librarians at the Center for Digital Scholarship and the reference desk. Interaction with students would be a daily occurence, though I assume a significant amount of time would be spent working with teams (made up of librarians, technology staff and other university administrators).
Skills/Competencies: For this position, hands-on experience working with digital libraries and digital material is key – this position is actively involved in maintaining an important resource for the university community, and knowledge of the appropriate programs, technology and preservation methods is absolutely necessary. However, there’s a lot of student interaction involved with this position as well, which I find particularly attractive; not only must you be a teacher, but this position serves as the gateway to library resources for the faculty and students in a specific academic department.
Where this would take me: Part of what I imagine an academic librarian to be I learned during my undergraduate years at Miami’s King Library, and the thought of being at that library yet again, working on projects that I’m professionally and academically passionate about, as well as interacting with students on a daily basis – well, it’s definitely a dream job.
On top of that, the thought of being part of the new Center for Digital Scholarship (which did not exist when I was in school!) and working directly with the Miami Digital Repository is an exciting opportunity I’d be loathe to pass up. In this position, you would have the chance to explore the yet-unexplored territory of digital scholarship at Miami, laying the groundwork for new methods of teaching, researching and learning.
In addition, I would be anxious to get my hands into the Miami Digital Repository and look for new (and better) ways to make that information accessible to students, staff and the Oxford community at large (where the university plays an important role in local history).
Though I call this my “dream job,” I also believe that experience gained working with students, technology and digital preservation as there would position me well for other jobs in the digital librarian marketplace. These include positions as the emerging technologies librarian at the College of New Jersey, a digital collections librarian at James Madison University, and a digital archivist position at the prestigious Princeton University (a girl can dream!).