> Date: Mon Jul 19 15:52:58 ADT 2004
> From: "barbara emodi" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: My two cents worth
> To: [log in to unmask]
> I have watched this dialogue with interest and have decided to jump in. I am
> a professional in other fields and have decided recently to go back to
> school to do the tech's course. The reasons I made this choice and my
> perspectives on how employers view professionals may add something. First I
> already have two degrees, one a masters. I have taught as a tenured member
> of a school of architecture, worked for the government. written for both
> Halifax newspapers, worked with Nortel engineering staff writing online
> classes and been a national marketing manager for a German multi-national.
> What I am trying to say is that my experience is with a variety of employers
> and am aware of how the labour market and ways of work are changing. I feel
> that the present discussion fits into that context.
> First apart from pay rates much of the discussion of professionalism in
> librarianship is academic. To compare the profession of librarianship to
> medicine or dentistry or law is silly. Ryan are you prepared to pay $80,000
> professional libability insurance ?
Thanks for bringing your broad experience to the discussion.
First of all, the comparison with dentistry was made by someone before me (who would have been a little ambiguous about the side of the issue they were on). But to answer the question -- yes, if I were getting a Dentist or Lawyer or Physician's salary I would pay that kind of liability insurance -- or find a group that would help me cover it. Mind you, insurance is a different issue from professional credentials -- dependent on the degree of liability and risk of the profession. $80,000 worth of insurance seems like alot compared to the sorts of risks associated with librarianship, and any smart insurance broker knows they could not attract demand from librarians for their insurance at this price. Teachers are a "profession" that would not have these sorts of risks -- however they do have provisions for disciplinary actions.
Teachers are also a good example of a lobby group that successfully established themselves as a profession to acquire higher wages. Like day-care workers, teaching used to be profiled as "women's work," thus teachers were expected to work because they enjoy serving society or because they enjoy kids or because their husbands were already bringing home the bacon. I think librarianship is a comparable profession to teaching.
Lobbying can result in some serious change as well -- today I even heard that a lobby is on to guarantee accreditation for fishermen. Go figure. They're even talking sanctions if compliance is not carried through. Don't ask me if they want a Masters degree though.
Of course, there is the possibility that -- as Kent homes and pre-fab houses may have impacted the market for architects -- the internet has impacted the labour market for "professional" librarians. I would contend that this is not the case -- although I concede that the library world has changed drastically over time. In fact, if librarians want to turn to records management, they could make a lot more than they would as librarians.
And -- one more time -- I believe this is a rural/urban issue, and that "professional" librarians are the ones most at fault. The end result -- I believe -- is that people in rural areas will get poorer library service than those in urban areas, especially in the Atlantic Provinces. This does not speak for individual library techs with tonnes of experience and multiple degrees, but to an overall scenario of lesser standards. And that's just my opinion as someone who has worked in a library for over 10 years -- doing just about everything -- and who is now just about ready to graduate with both an MLIS and a Master of Public Admin. And who is already doing a summer job that pays more than he would make as a starting professional librarian.
Ryan. . .
MLIS/MPA Expected 2005