Michael Kelley’s April 29, 2013 editorial “Can We Talk about the MLS?” and the 157 comments posted to that article so far prompted us to consider accountability for the American Library Association’s (ALA) accreditation of graduate programs in library and information science. The ALA Standards emphasize what programs must accomplish in terms of strategic planning and student learning outcomes. ALA does not dictate what those outcomes should be nor does it specify any particular courses that must be offered in an MLIS program. So, what does it mean to be a graduate of an ALA accredited program?
Can we have a rational discussion about the MLS? Why is the MLS indispensable? What does it confer that could not be accumulated incrementally on the job just as well? Most important, can’t we have a fraternal, respected, and smart profession without overreliance on an expensive and unnecessarily exclusionary credential?
A total 1,789 LIS graduates responded to LJ’s annual Placements & Salaries Survey, representing a solid 37.3% of the approximately 4790 2010 graduates from the 38 participating schools. Read all about what they’re experiencing, where the jobs are, and salary trends, and dig into the data here.
For 2010 graduates, the past year presented challenges in finding professional jobs with adequate living wages; however, it also offered unexpected opportunities and sounded positive notes despite a battered economy.
A region by region and library by library examination of the survey results shows strength in the Midwest, confirms a decline in public library jobs as budgets get cut, and more.
On the upside, jobs in private industry continued to be lucrative for new LIS graduates, with higher starting salaries and more jobs on offer. On the downside, all too many grads are struggling to make ends meet working lower-paid jobs in coffee shops, retail stores, and offices.
In a year that brought disappointment to many grads, both women and men found modest salary growth in a number of areas, and the gender gap closed significantly. Graduates claiming minority status recovered much of what was lost in 2009, but inequity persists.
Numbers and statistics do not convey the complete story. The words of the graduates provide a sense of what is really happening. They spoke of both triumphs and disappointments in reaching their postgraduation goals and expectations.
Data can be fun! Dig through these tables to discover the details about where 2010 LIS grads are landing jobs, at what salaries, and in what kinds of roles.
We received responses through either the institutional survey or individuals representing 38 of the 48 American Library Association–accredited LIS schools surveyed in the United States and from 1,789 of the reported LIS graduates.