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In the field
The last several years of results identified emerging employment areas that are working with LIS skill sets in new ways, in both libraries and other organizations. This year we focused on whether graduates are employed in or outside of the LIS field, since there are ambiguities about defining what constitutes a professional position. It means that some direct comparisons to prior years cannot be made, but it accurately captures the idea that professional positions can require LIS skills regardless of the type of situation. Some examples of job areas that are using LIS skills include: social media, data curation, data analytics, e-learning, organizational development (fundraising), user experience, and competitive intelligence.
Providing the foundations
Reflecting the foundations of our field, more than three-quarters of the job titles reported by survey participants include the term librarian in the title. These titles represent the diverse skills and services of the LIS profession. Naturally, the responsibilities for the myriad positions vary greatly.
Nearly 12% of the respondents hold the title of “librarian,” which represents a wide array of responsibilities and pay levels, ranging from $19,798 to $80,000, with an average salary level of about $44,892. Highlighting the need to employ a competency-based approach to identifying the job responsibilities for these positions is the list of responsibilities noted by librarians, including programming, collection development, curriculum development, supervision, and administration.
School media specialists/school librarians account for 8.5% of the jobs attained among these 2014 graduates with an average salary of roughly $48,000. Responsibilities that graduates noted for this position include those that were listed by many (i.e., instruction, collection development, circulation) and some that were less commonly noted (i.e., technology integration, website design, digital citizenship).
The next two most common “foundation” job titles are reference/instructional librarian (7.7%) and teen/young adult librarian (7.3%). The average salary for these positions is $43,221 and $38,596, respectively. Instructional librarian responsibilities include such activities as technology training; course design, both for their own courses and assisting faculty; and tutorial instruction. The teen and young adult librarian manages the collection and the space, helping teen patrons and conducting outreach to this group.
Serving up the future
Archivist accounts for 6.7% of all jobs in the first year after graduation and has an average salary of $44,763. Several of these positions were specifically designated as dealing with digital objects; one was focused on data. Responsibilities include applying metadata skills and managing the archives, whether analog or digital.
Last year it was noted that user experience (UX) specialist, including user interface designers, was an area of growth. This year, UX specialist is tied for being the third most common of job titles, at 7.7%. The average starting salary rose significantly over last year to $78,075 (+11.5%).
Other jobs that are emerging include research librarian (average salary $49,992), digital services librarian ($45,778), and outreach librarian ($51,558). For those job seekers with the right skills, some emerging areas offer higher salary levels. These include software engineer/web developer ($85,450) and data scientist ($72,571).
The box [GRAPHIC SHOULD GO HERE} includes several areas that are trending over the last few years or were mentioned specifically in the school institutional surveys. Data is an area that has a need for a larger workforce equipped with the specialized skills to manage data and support data analytics activities. Digital assets and digital archives also expanded, providing opportunities for LIS graduates. Both of these areas also need metadata experts. Some areas that are new to the “watch list” are competitive intelligence, e-learning, geospatial information, and information security.