Four Decades of Position Announcements for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarians in U.S. Academic & Research Libraries: 1970-2009Presentation Transcript
Four Decades of Position Announcements for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarians in U.S. Academic & Research Libraries: 1970-2009 Jesús Alonso-Regalado University at Albany, SUNY SALALM LV, Providence, RI July 25, 2010
Update of the research article: “Librarian for Latin American and Caribbean Studies in U.S. Academic and Research Libraries: A Content Analysis of Position Announcements, 1970-2007.” Full text available at: http://eprints.rclis.org/17799/
Object of study: 100 job announcements mentioning collection development as a duty and Latin American Studies as a subject responsibility.
Sources: C&RLNews, SALALM Newsletter, and LALA-L
Methodology: Content analysis
Summary of the Study
Variables: 121 (73 analyzed in detail) Variables divided into the following categories: Position description characteristics Academic background & knowledge Work experience Technology skills Language skills Personal traits Duties Subject responsibilities
Job title: The most common title was “librarian”
Institution type: public Universities (64%), private (21%), research/specialized libraries (15%)
Geographic location : The Northeast and South accounted for 80% of the jobs offered in 2000-2009
Position Description Characteristics 1970-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 25 35 40
Master of Library Science: 80% of the job ads required it. 63% required an ALA-accredited MLS. 28% would accept an MLS equivalent.
Advanced degree in a related field:
Adv. degree in LACS or emphasis in this subject: 40%
PhD: 19% preferred; but only 1 required.
Knowledge of area publishing trade: Increase as required from 12% in 1970-1989 to 42.5% in 2000-2009.
Academic Requirements & Background Knowledge 1970-1989 2000-2007 14 required or preferred (56% of ads) 28 required or preferred (70% of ads)
Type of Required Prior Experience by Time Period
Language (Required + Preferred) by Time Period
Personal Traits by Time Period
Top 10 Most Demanded Duties by Time Period
Latin American and Caribbean Studies: 88% of the jobs require it. An additional 12% list specific countries.
Iberian Studies over time :
Most common subject with LACS % of job ads Iberian Studies 43% Spanish language and literature 20% Portuguese language and literature 19% U.S Latino Studies 12% 1970-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 8 18 17
Evolution of the position from being narrowly specialized to being more diversified
Changing Role - Duties The average number of duties per announcement has increased over time
Increased vagueness in subject responsibilities:
▪“ will support the curriculum of assigned departments ”
▪“ will serve as liaison with faculty in assigned subject areas ”
▪“ outreach to faculty/students in academic units as needed ”
Growing number of subjects:
▪ Modern Lang. and Cultures Librarian “to collaborate with faculty in programs for Spanish, Chinese, German, Italian, and Japanese.”
Increasing number of positions not filled after r etirements and librarians leaving jobs . Some of these jobs are distributed among librarians who were already in the institution, adding more duties into their job profiles.
General Trends in Job Ads for Subject Librarians
Limitations of the study: Job ads do not necessarily reflect the actual work experience of individuals employed in this field.
Subject responsibilities can be later.
Survey study of those librarians hired would provide a more accurate picture of the current profile.
As globalization studies gains recognition in academic programs, how this would affect the scope of area studies positions?
Example: “Global Studies & Foreign Languages Liaison Librarian”
Current & Future Studies
Latin American Studies in the U.S. has grown significantly
Number of academic programs
From 120 in 1970 to 202 in 2010
Number of degrees conferred
From 431 in 1970-71 to 825 in 2007-08
Volume of dissertation and theses
From 954 in the 70’s to 4,705 in the 00’s
LACS library subject expertise still needed but growing number of librarians responsible for Latin American Studies WITHOUTbackground in this subject.