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For When the Ordinary MLS Won’t Do

I don’t know how this escaped my attention for so long. The Executive MLIS! For when the ordinary casual MLIS just won’t do!

A kind reader sent on this reminder that the deadline is fast approaching to register for the Executive (!) MLIS program this year at San Jose State University. Daylight’s burning, boys and girls, so you better sign up quick.

Frustrated trendsetters like to claim that libraries aren’t innovative or entrepreneurial enough. They like all that businessy rigmarole so they can seem serious and professional, you know, like telemarketers. But when it comes to entrepreneurial innovation and businessy logic, it’s not librarians but their cousins who’ve crossed over to the dark side who win every time. Library schools, baby, that’s where the action’s at.

Library schools depend on convincing people that regardless of whether they have any experience in or skills relevant to libraries or whether there are any jobs, a year of classes on library ethics and videogaming will prepare them for jobs as librarians.

SJSU gets plenty of people that way, I’m sure, but some bright entrepreneurial soul there had a revelation a few years ago. Let’s target people already working successfully in libraries and sucker them into getting an MLS! Even better, let’s target people who might already be running libraries and convince them the precious MLS is a must-have degree for their advancement!

The Executive (!) MLS is "designed for experienced library managers or supervisors who are interested in earning an ALA-accredited master’s degree, allowing them to take the next step in their professional growth."

How many experienced library managers are there without an MLS, anyway? Wouldn’t you normally need an MLS to become one of those library managers?

Some people like to think that having an MLS is what makes one a "librarian," but not the Executive (!) MLIS program. "Many library leaders in the nation, and beyond, do not hold the MLIS degree yet are successful librarians and leaders in their various professional and geographic communities." Let’s ignore the fact that this sentence says "many library leaders are leaders." I’d be willing to go so far as to say that all library leaders are leaders, but I’ve always been good at grammar.

The key part for me is the undeniable claim that many people are successful librarians without the MLS degree. If they are already successful, then what’s the point of getting the MLS? I mean, besides making the SJSU library school some money?

They give some examples of people working in libraries who might benefit:

Examples include directors of public libraries, branch librarians, senior supervisors of library staff, special librarians in the for–profit and not–for–profit sectors, teacher–librarians, library technicians with university degrees, information specialists and knowledge managers in the corporate sector; second tier senior management in major libraries (e.g., directors of human resources, information technology, marketing) for whom the lack of an MLIS is both a glass ceiling (not able to move up) and glass wall (not able to move laterally).

Some of these have been the targets of library schools for years, though. "Library technicians with university degrees," for example. There’s nothing especially "executive (!)" about them. Or teacher-librarians. Or "information specialists in the corporate sector," which, eliminating the verbiage, I think means corporate librarians, but that lacks the hip bureaucratic tone of "corporate sector." They seem to have expanded "executive" to mean "people executing tasks in libraries." Maybe the "executive" makes the program sound sexier.

Some of the others are definitely "executive (!)," but where will they move up to? If you’re already a library director, where are you going to go? A bigger library, I guess. And do we really want directors of marketing to move up (through the glass ceiling) or over (through the glass wall) in the library world? Wouldn’t that just make libraries that much more annoying to work in?

There’s one thing to be said for a program like this, I guess. At least it’s not trying to bring new people into a profession without enough jobs. The people will already have jobs in libraries. Acquiring the precious MLS isn’t going to change that. Heck, it probably won’t even change their job, but now they can add MLS after their name on their business card. That alone ought to be worth the price of tuition.

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Comments

  1. Bruce Campbell says:

    Sounds like an MBA in Geek’s clothing to me.

    I wonder if there are a number of public librarians who are looking to jump ship and head to the private sector. Maybe this degree is playing to this tendency.

    Maybe I’m just projecting.

  2. Jaded says:

    It would be nice, though, to actually have library supervisors/managers with actual experience in managing people and libraries. More often than not those positions go to lifer librarians who haven’t the faintest idea on how to manage. A good librarian doesn’t automatically mean you can be a good administrator but almost anyone CAN be a good librarian.

  3. AL=RK says:

    All innovation has to go through the office of the Annoyed Librarian.

    The last idea that was approved by the AL was the switch from manual typewriters to electric.

    The only reason that was accepted by the AL was the fact that AL was heavily invested in Con-Ed at the time.

    Go crawl back into your bile filled hole, will you.

    Thanks.

  4. merricat says:

    AL=RK,

    You forgot the other role AL plays:

    She is your muse. You love to hate her, hence the fact that you read every one of her posts and make obligatory negative comments on them. Most people do not give heed to those they do not respect. You are not one of these people.

  5. Bruce Campbell says:

    That’s true, Jaded.

    My last manager said she believed she had asperger’s syndrome. Why someone with asperber’s syndrome would be in management is beyond me…

    I wish prospective librarians would realize that this IS a people-person profession. You deal with them. ALL DAY.

  6. Passive/Agressive Librarian says:

    The director of my library (all be it a three person operation) suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.

    He never introduces his staff to anyone, if any question comes up he pushes his way in to answer it, all phone calls have to go to him, etc.

    When any problems arise, he has no way to know how to deal with it in a rational way. If the public use computers are being used inappropriately and he finds out, rather than come up with a solution (or listen to one of ours) he pulls the plug on the machines and NO ONE is allowed to use them. If a member of the public asks why, he says it is because of budget reasons.

    The man is not a tyrant because you have to have some social skills to be a tyrant.

    God Bless the Peter Principle.

  7. Trender says:

    Not to be a spoil sport, but I work in an area that serves title one schools (like most of the US by now, I imagine). Before the MLS, I was making barely under 25k as a circ person. Now, I am just short of 40k. MLS was a big step up for me, and by serving in a Title I school district is allows me to have to government write off my Perkins loan in 3 more years. That saves me a majority of what I spent on the MLS in the first place.

    Now, I am not defending these MLS schools, but to say that its always a waste of money is being a bit shortsighted. I like working in libraries and enjoy the service I bring to the community.

    I do agree though that MLS schools and the ALA need to be more honest about the job market for new grads.

  8. a librarian says:

    Maybe I could see it if someone knew that was the angle they wanted their career to take and got the MLIS executive degree before getting their MLIS, but not after.
    Unfortunately, most managers and higher ups have years of experience before getting to that executive level so if you’re straight out of undergraduate school and get this you’ll probably be sitting on it for awhile.

  9. THE Man. says:

    Shut up and get back to work.

    We want people shelving books and answering reference questions.

    If you were smart enough to know how to manage something, you would be working at Wal*Mart.

  10. Picard says:

    We had a Director with mild Aspergers. I thought he was bad until he left. Nope – he was the best one we had in 10 years. At least decisions were based on some sort of logic. This one was rational. Just couldn’t communicate as well as he needed to.

    When the subsequent directors are Manic-Depressive, an evil Narcissist (no other way to say it) , and a sufferer of Histrionic PD with drama every 30 minutes the Aspergers thing is a dang nice relief.

    On the plus side I have become better versed in the DSM-IV TR.

  11. librarianry says:

    This is somewhat different than the topic at hand, but when I went to get my MLIS I wanted the end goal to be working in an Academic Library. I was told that my chances would improve significantly if I had another Master’s Degree. Upon getting both, I have not encountered anyone thinking that I needed the 2nd, that it wasn’t necessary in the slightest. Has anyone heard or encountered that it is useful/useless to get the 2nd degree? Also, it wasn’t the school offering the advice (presumably in hopes to get more money) but rather a few people in the library profession.

  12. librarianz says:

    This is somewhat different than the topic at hand, but when I cook, what is a good substitute for cream of tartar?

    I ran out, and the recipe calls for a teaspoon. What can I substitute?

    I need help before my husband comes home and finds me with ANOTHER ruined meal.

  13. teetop says:

    >> A good librarian doesn’t automatically mean you can be a good administrator but almost anyone CAN be a good librarian.<<

    If you really believe that, then I’m guessing you are a bad librarian. I’m not saying it’s brain surgery, but to suggest that anyone can not only do it but do it well is far too cynical. Not everyone has the aptitude for it. Not unlike management, really.

  14. treedforest says:

    $27,821 in fees?! Are they serious? That’s just tuition! As someone who’s been assigned progressively higher responsibilities, a librarian’s salary is not substantially more than what I currently make. How plentiful are “executive” positions? I have to wonder what SJSU was thinking . . . .
    Yours,
    A potential sucker warded off by cost

  15. Anonymous says:

    As some of the previous commenters have noted, many librarians are terrible managers, and the management training offered in library schools is often pathetic – in my program, one class that was basically Business 101, and taught by a professor who was a classic LIS PhD type who’d never worked in a library, much less managed one. So why would someone want to do an executive MLIS to become a better library manager when there’s no evidence that our profession contains a lot of management expertise? If I were interested in pursuing a career in library management, I’d do a master’s in public administration. The issues behind library management aren’t radically different than the issues facing other public-sector managers.

  16. me too says:

    I hate people who borrow money and then let the government (me and we) pay it off for them. Be nice if I could get all my money back. I paid off student loans for undergrad and grad school because I borrowed the $$$ and took responsibility for paying it off. Frikin teachers only work 9 months a year anyway and want more.

  17. TheCommonGood says:

    I’m with you, teetop. I’ve met some excellent librarians, a fair number of so-so librarians, and a bucket-load of bad librarians. The bad ones can’t find their way out of a paper sack, don’t like people, and make sure library users leave with a bad impression.

  18. 17 possums in a 16 possum sack says:

    librarianz wrote:
    “This is somewhat different than the topic at hand, but when I cook, what is a good substitute for cream of tartar?

    I ran out, and the recipe calls for a teaspoon. What can I substitute?”

    If the recipe calls for a teaspoon, that’s what you use; just be sure to chop the teaspoon up into a very fine mince before adding it to the rest of the dry ingredients.

  19. Bruce Campbell says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has experienced a manager stricken with asperger’s syndrome.

    “Not to be a spoil sport, but I work in an area that serves title one schools (like most of the US by now, I imagine). Before the MLS, I was making barely under 25k as a circ person. Now, I am just short of 40k…I do agree though that MLS schools and the ALA need to be more honest about the job market for new grads.”

    I agree completely with you.

  20. Monty says:

    and now for something completely different,

    A thread about chutney.

  21. Amy W. says:

    Autistic Director’s? Who hires these people? I worked for a director who had a multiple personality disorder!

  22. Peter, Paul and Librarian says:

    It is the Peter Principle.

    I work for a director who happened to be at the right place at the right time. The previous director got fired for ordering pornography on the library account and got canned. The guy I work for was the only MLS in the shop at the time of the firing so he got the job.

    Incompetent.

    You bet.

    He couldn’t manage two people and a book order if his life depended on it.

    **sigh**

    If I only hadn’t succeeded so well.

  23. Barnes-n-Noble says:

    Library management.

    What a joke.

    You can hire a 22 year old college drop out to manage any library in this country.

  24. Library Guy says:

    I’m glad I haven’t based my self-worth as a librarian/director on the comments posted here. Whether you’re management or not, do the best job you can every day; realize sometimes you’ll succeed and sometimes you’ll fail. Get up the next day and give it another try. And remember – you control your own destiny – if you don’t like being a librarian, be something else. If you’re a 22-year-old college drop out who thinks they can manage a library, find one that will let you.

    And frankly, I don’t find the attempted insults that are thrown around in here offensive. To let anonymous posters influence my life is to give someone else the power to control my emotions. That isn’t going to happen.

    Ultimately, I enjoy my work. And being a good husband, a good father, and a good friend is more important in my world.

  25. Library Gay says:

    Wow, the sun must shine out your a$$.

  26. merricat says:

    I think the vitriol expressed herein these wise pages of the AL is healthy, a fine outlet for the frustrated segment of the library field. Gems of loathing and all around trolldome is included here. I myself am proud of this tradition. Tradition, you say?

    Yes, tradition. Because when you think about it: Socrates was the greatest and most adept troll, EVER. I can only hope to be put to death for my trolling efforts on the AL.

  27. Anon says:

    There is a flask of hemlock with your name on it.

  28. merricat says:

    I prefer heroin overdose, but I’ll settle for hemlock.

  29. Anon says:

    Trollers can’t be choosers

  30. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    This is hilarious! As if the LIS isn’t a waste already somebody comes up with this! God!

  31. Library Guy says:

    To comment on the stupid is to validate the dumb – but I can’t let this pass – the ‘Library Gay’ referenced by ass. Coincidence?

  32. Library Gay says:

    No coincidence.

    I am an a$$. I just don’t flaunt it the way some a$$es do.

  33. Library Guy says:

    What I meant to say – To comment on the stupid is to validate the dumb – but I can’t let this pass – the ‘Library Gay’ referenced MY ass. Coincidence?

    I should follow my own advice.

  34. Happy Patron says:

    I don’t like seeing the disharmony here.

    Neither does God.

    We should all get along and follow the sage teachings of any and all local children librarians. Have you ever seen the look of wonder in the faces of the children when one of these wonderful people read them a story?

    We should cherish that magic all our lives and live humbly, simply, and happily in the prescience of God!

    Have a joyous and fruitful day with our Lord!

  35. Luxembourg says:

    Yes, I’ve seen the looks of wonder on children’s faces when some well-meaning, well-educated, well-trained children’s librarian who is good with kids reads them a story. It’s very commendable. Even AL would agree with that. But you’re talking about the good stuff. AL’s blog is about the bad stuff. You say you don’t like seeing the disharmony. Yes, disharmony sucks. We should eliminate it and be harmonious instead. Until we succeed in that, however, we will need outlets for cranks to vent. AL provides entertainment with some thought-provoking ideas thrown in here or there. We may as well keep her. So put up with the disharmony if you can. People fussing and spitting invective on the comments section on this blog can’t do too much harm if that’s all they do. Take that Library Guy dude and the other person calling himself Library Gay or whatever – if the first dude really does go home to his loving family every day, then do any of us really think that some buffoon posting snipes on the comments section of a satirist’s blog is *really* going to run that dude’s day? So if people want to vent – let ‘em – even if it creates disharmony, it’s mostly harmless (although John Buschman would disagree, his argument in that matter doesn’t hold water.)

  36. Mayor McCheesy says:

    You know, Luxebourgers really don’t sell well at McDonald’s.

    They are greasy, sloppy, and ill conceived.

    I much prefer the French Fries and Hamburgers.

  37. merricat says:

    Luxembourg,

    I concede to your admonition to let the venting begin! Vent my librarians, vent! for tomorrow we shall be unemployed.

    Honestly, though, this venting is similar to Primal Scream Therapy: shall we call it Primal Troll Therapy?

    Oh, I think so.

  38. Queequeg says:

    Or we could just to Starbucks and get a vente for everyone.

    Once they get mellow with the caffeine, they won’t want to vent anymore, except for the fact that they are poor librarians and they just poured $5.47 worth of coffee into themselves.

    Oh the humanity.

  39. Spekkio says:

    Can we tone down the anti-Aspie talk, please? You all do realize that people with Asperger’s syndrome have a developmental disorder, and as such are protected by Equal Employment Opportunity laws? It’s no more acceptable to say that an Aspie can’t be a manager than to say that a woman can’t be a manager or an African-American can’t be a manager.

  40. Happy Patron says:

    We are all equal in God’s eyes.

    Whether we have Asperger’s or are jerks, God loves us and gives us equal protection in his eyes. Once we accept Jesus, we will have no problems.

    God Bless!

  41. merricat says:

    Protection by law and competency are not equivalent in definition.

    You mentioned that Aspergers was a “developmental disorder.” Doesn’t this imply there may be certain things that are especially challenging to a person with Aspergers?

    This doesn’t make the person with Aspergers syndrome any less a person, just not one with, perhaps, certain competencies.

  42. Hateful Kat says:

    merricat is not merry.

    merricat is a hater.

    If I said the same things about African-Americans and managing in the major leagues, I would be Al Campanised in a heartbeat.

    Let go of the hate.

  43. libtech says:

    Here’s how much I “hate” this blog: No matter how busy I am, I will always stop to read everyone’s comments. Library workers are so creative, even in their vitriol (or is it vituperation?)

  44. Picard says:

    Back to Aspergers. Our Aspergerish director made up for many of his deficiencies through the sheer quantity of work he performed. People skills are important but so is not being lazy.

  45. merricat says:

    Hate or not: Hateful, all you’ve done is thrown out a red herring; typical fare for a hater of haters like yourself. The answer to my question has yet to be answered.

    To clarify your foggy thinking. Being Af-Am is not the same as having a “developmental disorder.” Do you know the difference or are you speaking our of your silly arse again? Because if I were African American I would sure as H be offended that you were grouping me in with a segment of the population with a “developmental disorder.”

  46. Hateful Kat says:

    I am not a Hater. I hate when people hate when I don’t hate.

    I am a troller, not a hater.

  47. Sonny Hill says:

    The Executive MLIS has all the features we’ve come to love in the traditional MLIS, but with added legroom and trunk space. And the leather upholstery with seat-warmers makes all the difference!

  48. Sonny LISton says:

    But, the Executive MLIS has too high a price tag and breaks down a lot.

    Plus, you have so many gangsta’s with one thinking it is really cool in the hood, that ordinary, mild mannered, bun wearing librarians would not want to be seen with one.

  49. Spekkio says:

    Asperger’s Syndrome is not a mental illness – it’s a pervasive developmental disorder. That’s the technical term for what Asperger’s Syndrome is – a pervasive developmental disorder. I don’t know why people are putting the words developmental disorder in quotation marks – but I’m not sure I like it.

    Are there things that are more challenging for such people (like myself…)? Absolutely true. Does that mean that Aspies can’t be managers? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s widely believed that many great leaders and thinkers were Aspies. (Of course, the caveat is that you can’t truly diagnose the deceased. But there are whole books on this topic….)

    All I’m saying is that suggesting that someone cannot be a manager based solely on the fact that they have a pervasive developmental disorder is prejudicial.

    Oh, and Happy Patron – the Flying Spaghetti Monster loves me. It doesn’t mean much – the FSM is a very “hands off” sort of deity – but it’s nice to know. You might consider converting to Pastafarianism – our religion includes pirates, strippers, and beer.

  50. Rally Man says:

    I would rather work for a manager afflicted with Asperger’s syndrome than a Canadian.

    Anyday.

    And I think that Spekkio would agree.

  51. Elisa says:

    Reminds me of all the ads I heard for iMBA from a New England business school.

  52. mani says:

    good

  53. womani says:

    bad

  54. Liz says:

    As I was looking at the post, I noticed there was an ad for the program right above it! Unfortunate placement.

  55. cataloger says:

    Response to librarianry:
    I worked a number of years as a cataloger, and I often found in job ads for catalogers a requirement for a second Master’s in the area where one could expect to do most of the cataloging (e.g., sociology, law, chemistry, etc.) It was also common to require multiple foreign languages, though not necessarily a Master’s degree. These requirements were for academic positions, not public.

  56. dataloger says:

    response to cataloger,

    Most requirements for academic positions are written with a specific person in mind so that the hiring committee can pick the chosen person.

    Very rarely does someone from outside the fraternity get chosen.

    So it is written, so shall it be.

  57. LibLiz says:

    When I was investigating library schools a few years ago, two of the three I visitied tried to sell me on their dual-dgree programs, citing the need for a second master’s to get a job in academic libraries.

    The third school doesn’t offer dual degree programs. When I asked why, the department head made the excellent point that generally the 2nd master’s just pigeon holes you even further. If you find yourself in/applying for a job that needs a 2nd master’s, take classes at the college where you for cheap/free.

    I went to library school #3, don’t have a second masters, and am gainfully employed as an academic librarian. Waste of money.

  58. Techserving You says:

    Check, check, and check, to everything the AL said about this program and the fact that SJSU is actually admitting that there are successful librarians who do not hold the masters degree, when in general, all library schools including SJSU try to make prospective students think that it is the MLS that makes one a librarian. I don’t think that if someone truly IS a successful librarian or library manager, he or she really needs the MLS unless maybe he or she has a desire to move to another institution.

    But, the program is apparently also directed towards people who simply work in libraries, librarians or not. I will say that, as someone who got the MLIS after working in libraries for a decade, there is something appealing about this program. My pre-MLIS library work was as a paraprofessional, albeit one making more money than many “professional” librarians, and doing the same work as many “professional” librarians. To get a professional librarian job, I had two options – 1.) get the MLIS and then move into a different position, or 2.) move to some podunk town and make $20,000 as a librarian in a public library (small town public libraries often do not require the MLIS… and sometimes don’t even require college degrees.) I opted for the MLIS.

    So, once the decision was made that yes, it made sense to pursue the MLIS, it would actually have been nice to attend a program in which my classmates all had library work experience. I don’t imagine that this program is much like an Executive MBA program, and I consider the name of the program to be rather pretentious. Nevertheless, it might dispense with some of the more stupid aspects of library school. Or, at the very least, my classmates would not all be people who “like books” and imagine they can sit around all day reading while on the job, and have been duped by the ALA into thinking the MLIS is the key to a whole world of job opportunities, even without relevant work experience.

    I’m not saying that I would have attended this program had I known about it. I chose to quit my job and attend library school (at a large research university) full-time. The program may not have truly been graduate-level, but at least I got somewhat of a grad school experience by attending the particular university I attended, and making friends with people in other programs. The Executive MLIS would clearly have given me a very narrow school experience, and I would have missed out on some of my favorite parts of the program I attended. But, for someone who wants to attend school part-time while continuing to work, being able to “study” with equally-experienced students could be nice.

  59. Techserving You says:

    I’ve gone back and read the other comments posted here, and I think that some people are misunderstanding what the Executive MLIS program is all about. First, I want to state, again, my opinion about the MLIS/MLS in general. I do not believe that it is needed in order to be a librarian (that is, to actually DO “professional” work) or even (maybe especially) to be an effective manager. Nevertheless, the “system” (particularly in academia) usually dictates that it IS needed to be offered the professional job in the first place, even if the work itself could be done without the degree. So, I did get my MLIS. I didn’t get a lot out of the program that I didn’t already know, but I got the required piece of paper, and I had no problem getting a job after finishing my program, given my significant library work experience. I don’t usually recommend the MLIS to anyone who doesn’t already have library work experience. For them, it would usually be a waste of time.

    Anyway – people here may not all be familiar with the Executive MBA concept, on which this Executive MLIS seems to be based. Executive MBA programs are accelerated MBA programs for people who are already working as managers in companies. Some of the usual foundational MBA work is excluded, and the classes take place at night and on weekends, to accommodate the working manager.

    That’s the idea here, too. The name Executive MLIS might suggest otherwise to those unfamiliar with the general concept, but this is NOT a specialized MLIS that people without library work experience, but who think they want to move into library management, might pursue. Obviously, that would be ridiculous – it’s hard enough for those without previous experience to get an entry-level librarian job, let alone jump into management.

    There was a comment about getting this degree before getting a regular MLIS degree… that seems to miss the point of this program. This IS an ALA-accredited MLIS program, not some separate thing. The whole idea is that people who already have significant library work experience (and particularly management experience) could focus more on management/leadership and less on the usual foundational work. There is some sense in that. I worked for years in both cataloging and acquisitions. Yet, I had to take a cataloging class, and I had to take a collection development class. Suddenly I was reading in a book about what I had already done on the job. It was a massive waste of time.

    Although the current system makes it difficult for people without the MLIS to get professional jobs, there are actually a fair number of mid-level “manager” positions which are hourly non-librarian positions. And, in many public libraries, even directors might not have the degree. So, I imagine there is SOME market for this sort of thing. The question, of course, is what someone already in management might gain from paying for this degree. It does seem to all come down to the ability to move to a different institution (or perhaps to pick up new skills… but that’s debatable.)

    My impression is that it would be more appealing to and make more sense for someone with a fair amount of library work experience, but who is low enough on the totem pole to have plenty of places to go once the degree is earned. As I said in my previous post, I like the idea of being in school with other experience people rather than the irritatingly idealistic and naive people who want to become librarians because they like books. And, it would be nice to dispense with all the theory and all the nitty-gritty library classes that most MLIS programs include. Once you’ve worked in a library for awhile, even in a paraprofessional position, you often have all the basic librarian skills. I would have liked to focus more on management – which is not always management of people, but management of projects, budgets, etc.. Rather than getting a piece of paper which did not truly represent the acquisition of new knowledge, it would have been nice to get a degree which gave me new skills – or at least exposure to some new areas.

    So overall, I don’t think the concept is really so ridiculous… I could see it being a better idea than the traditional MLIS, for a certain population. It’s the description which kind of begs for ridicule, especially as it generally conflicts with the oft-repeated idea that the MLIS has to come BEFORE being a successful librarian/manager.

  60. Frederick Cox says:

    I have never heard the term executive MLIS until now. The whole think makes no sense. If you have library experience already, any ALA accredited MLS will put you in line for a job. My issue is that despite having an MLS I can’t get a job period. I am also certified as a school media specialist yet I can neither find a job as a librarian nor as a media specialist. I meet or exceed the credentials listed in every job description I pursue, but less than half of the places I apply to even call me for an interview. Of the few that do interview me, they send me letters of rejection. I am now looking for work in other fields. Maybe one of you can help me. What other jobs besides librarian will my MLS qualify me for? I need suggestions.

  61. Techserving You says:

    Frederick Cox… read my post on the matter. If you think about it, a so-called Executive MLIS DOES make some sense. Of course, any ALA-accredited MLIS program will do. It’s not that an experienced library manager NEEDS a special program… but it does make sense that they be able to skip out on a lot of the foundational courses usually required in library school. As an experienced library worker, having to take classes which cover what you already know through and through from your job sucks.

    Mmmm…. your MLS will qualify you for secretary… custodian… no, kidding. I’m not sure how many people truly do this successfully, but the MLS is supposedly useful in other careers. I HAVE actually seen postings for marketing research jobs which require an MLIS OR MBA… the idea being, I guess, that the MLIS will give you useful research skills, which is sometimes the case. But, you may have to just say “for what other jobs am I qualified?” ignoring your MLS. Don’t think, “I have an MLS and it must qualify me for something.” Think, in general, about what your actual skills are, whether they’re from your MLS program or not, and then look for postings in those areas. You don’t HAVE to do something that uses your MLS, if such a job is not available. You might make more money doing something else.

  62. Alice says:

    You mean the one that’s being advertised in the banner ad at the top of your blog?

  63. vv.richard6 says:

    sangambayard-c-m.com

  64. another librarian says:

    Let’s be honest here…most MLS/MLIS programs are little better than bachelor’s degree programs, when you consider the pitiful amount of effort and work it takes to complete them, and the simplicity of the information they teach. They aren’t real “masters degrees,” at least in comparison to graduate programs in most other fields of study.

    There used to be bachelor’s degrees in library science. The only reason the “basic degree” to be a librarian became a masters is that librarians wanted more pay. With a graduate degree on their resumes, it was easier to force schools, cities, counties, and universities to pay them more.

    Why would anyone go for an “Executive MLIS?” So they can get paid more, of course. Who can blame them?