For years, adults who had dropped out of high school had only one venue to prove that they’d mastered the same skills that a diploma reflects: passing the general educational development (GED) test. While it’s better than nothing, though, in practice, a GED is not a complete replacement for a diploma, since it’s treated as a lesser substitute by colleges and employers. Now, Gale Cengage Learning is partnering with the country’s first accredited online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE), to offer a way for adults to earn a full high school diploma through libraries across the nation: Career Online High School (COHS).
Before deciding librarianship is right for you, make sure you understand what today’s librarians do all day. If you want quiet and lots of time to read, think again. Today’s libraries are full of collegial, and sometimes even downright noisy, collaboration, creation, and community activities, and are as much about technology as print on paper.
Modern librarians need to be comfortable and conversant with technology, be willing and able to speak in public, and possess people skills and a commitment to lifelong learning, as the profession and the expertise necessary for success are constantly changing.
As the general economy continues its slow climb out of recession, this past year offered ongoing unemployment and stiff competition for jobs, especially for school library media specialists and reference librarians. However, despite erroneous media reports that library and information science (LIS) is a dying field, there were numerous bright spots and unprecedented gains, ranging from positive salary growth to increased numbers of placements in agencies outside of library environments, and an exciting array of descriptors available to students seeking work inside the LIS field and elsewhere. This year more than 2100 LIS graduates responded to LJ’s annual Placements & Salaries survey, representing 34.7% of the 2011 graduating class from the 41 participating programs.