Staffing For the Future


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This presentation, by Tito Sierra, was given as part of the Program on Information Science brown bag series.

This study investigates how research libraries are staffing for the future by examining their planned investment in new professional positions. The data for this study are vacancy announcements for full-time professional positions advertised by ARL member university libraries throughout the 2011 calendar year. This yearlong survey of ARL hiring provides insight into current research library staffing priorities, and evidence of emerging job specializations in the research library field.

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  • Removed punctuation and commonly occurring words across data set including: librarian, library, libraries, services, head, associate, assistant, director, dean, university, department, college, coordinator, senior, I, II, III, and proper nouns. Wordcloud courtesy
  • Note the increased prominence of: Digital, Technology, Data.
  • Despite the economic downturn, the vast majority of ARL university libraries continue to hire full-time professional positions in 2011.
  • New Functional Specialist Positions
  • Staffing For the Future

    1. 1. Staffing for the Future ARL University Library Hiring in 2011 Tito Sierra MIT Libraries Information Science Talks July 15, 2013
    2. 2. Research Questions
    3. 3. How are research libraries staffing for the future?
    4. 4. What are the new and emerging jobs in the research library profession?
    5. 5. Data Source for Study Vacancy announcements for professional positions advertised by ARL university libraries in 2011
    6. 6. Methodology
    7. 7. Scope of Research Study • 2011 calendar year • 113 ARL member university libraries • Full-time librarian/professional staff • Excludes • Contract and term positions • Support staff, civil servant, student workers • Medical and law libraries
    8. 8. Data Collection • Method – Manual retrieval of job descriptions for all 113 libraries • Source – University-wide employment website or library website • Frequency – Four quarterly sampling periods in 2011
    9. 9. Data Collection Summary
    10. 10. Data Collection Summary
    11. 11. Supplemental Data • Method – questionnaire • Completed by library administrators • Assign a single category for each job • Position is a refill for existing role • Position is similar to existing role, but description significantly redefined • Position is new to the organization • Responses collected for 96.6% of jobs!
    12. 12. Study Limitations • Excludes jobs that are posted and filled between quarterly retrieval periods • No trends can be inferred by a single year of data • Data set is 1.5 to 2.5 years old • Posted vacancies, not filled positions
    13. 13. Analysis
    14. 14. Degree Requirements With special thanks to Randi Shapiro for data capture and analysis
    15. 15. Type of Job Responsibility
    16. 16. Type of Job Responsibility
    17. 17. Job Role Newness to the Org
    18. 18. Job Role Newness to the Org
    19. 19. Job Titles: Existing Role
    20. 20. Job Titles: Redefined Role
    21. 21. Job Titles: New Role
    22. 22. Key Findings
    23. 23. Over 80% of ARL university libraries had at least one job in the data sample during the 2011 calendar year.
    24. 24. Data Collection Summary
    25. 25. Over half of all jobs advertised by ARL university libraries in 2011 were newly created positions or significantly redefined roles.
    26. 26. Two-thirds of Functional Specialist positions were newly created or redefined roles. Less than a third were “refills”.
    27. 27. Less than 10% of Subject Specialist positions were newly created, however 30% were significantly redefined.
    28. 28. ‘Digital’ figures prominently in newly created Functional Specialist position job titles
    29. 29. New ‘Digital’ Jobs • Digital Preservation Officer/Librarian • Librarian, Digital Projects (x3) • Digital Humanities Librarian (x2) • Metadata and Digital Resources Librarian • Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship • Digital Humanities Technology Consultant • Chair, Digital Services and Shared Collections • Director of Digital Scholarship • Digital Records Archivist • Digital User Experience Specialist
    30. 30. Research libraries continue to create plenty of new positions in ‘traditional’ library areas such as special collections, administration, and public services.
    31. 31. Thanks! 2011 ARL Job Descriptions: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
    32. 32. Selected New Jobs Lists
    33. 33. New ‘Administration’ Jobs • Assistant/Associate Dean for Collections • Assistant/Associate University Librarian – Information Technology and Digital Initiatives • Associate Dean for Learning and Outreach • Associate Dean for Public Services • Associate University Librarian for Research • Chief Technology Officer
    34. 34. New ‘Department Head’ Jobs • Head of Access Services • Head of Archives Processing • Head of Cataloging • Head of Collection Development • Head of Library Instruction and Undergraduate Outreach • Head of Research Services • Head of Technical Services
    35. 35. New ‘Archivist’ Jobs • Archivist • Digital Archivist • Manuscripts Processing Archivist • Baron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration • Digital Archivist, Digital Curation Services • Digital Records Archivist
    36. 36. New ‘Subject Specialist’ Jobs • Librarian for Romance Languages • Middle East and North African Studies Librarian • School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures Librarian • Science Reference Librarian – Biomedical Specialist
    37. 37. New ‘Technology’ Jobs • Discovery Systems Librarian • Digital Initiatives Applications Librarian • Emerging Technology Services Librarian • Digital Humanities Technology Consultant • Digital Technologies Development Librarian (2) • Innovation and User Technology Research Librarian • Geographic Data Infrastructure Developer • Library Web Developer/Designer • Senior Software and Systems Engineer • Web Services and Emerging Technologies Librarian
    38. 38. New ‘Data’ Jobs • Data Visualization Coordinator • Data Management Planning Consultant (x2) • Manager, Data Management Services • Data Curation Librarian • Digital Data Outreach Librarian • E-Science Librarian (x3)