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From LJ-Library prospects may appear bleak right now, but don’t give up

Posted by Editor on October 21, 2009

By Francine Fialkoff, Editor-in-Chief — Library Journal, 10/15/2009

Library Journal: September 15, 2009--Editorial, Francine FialkoffJust half a year before June 2008 graduates flipped the tassels on their caps from one side to the other, the recession officially began. They walked out into a job market where, as one fall 2008 University of South Florida grad put it in a letter to LJ, “What does it take to get a public library job? I know the economy is bad and that budgets are tight. I am so afraid if I don’t get a job soon, some of the valuable knowledge I learned in school will slip away” (Feedback, p. 10).

In the same Feedback section, however, Jennifer Forgit, another 2008 grad, wrote in praise of Steven Hoover’s “Surviving Your First Job Search” (bit.ly/o0Y2l). She reported that she started her search early, and it “took 20 applications over two years” for her to get the public library job—and geographic location—she wanted, but she advised new grads not to despair. “The jobs are still out there; you just have to look a little harder to find them.”

For 2008 Indiana University, Bloomington, IS grad Kristin Centanni, on the cover of the October 15 LJ, the job search was rigorous but successful. She interviewed at about ten firms with about ten people at each. With a dual degree in IS and Public Affairs, she, too, started her search early and landed a lucrative job at a technology management consultancy in Chicago. She thinks that those who started looking later had a harder road (see “Change Agent,” p. 25).

The personal stories vary, but the numbers tell a more consistent tale. According to Stephanie Maatta’s 2009 Placements & Salaries Survey (“Jobs and Pay Take a Hit,” p. 21–29), starting salaries dipped slightly overall, dropping 1.8% (to $41,579) after 18 years of growth. While the number of grads reporting any employment was relatively level at 87.2%, part-time employment rose to 18.3% (from 16.3%) after remaining steady for two years. In public libraries, full-time jobs were even scarcer, 12.5% fewer than in 2007. Those looking for academic library posts fared better; full-time jobs increased by 13.4%, though academic institutions have begun to feel the budget heat….Read entire article here: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6700346.html

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