Technical Services Librarian
(Female, Age 28) from Holliston, MA
This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 28 who works as a Technical Services Librarian in Holliston, MA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.
At a Glance
Basic data on your current job
|Technical Services Librarian
Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)
|Years in Career
|0 / 10
|0 / 10
|0 / 10
|0 / 10
Current job Q&A
Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a small graduate/medical college. All of the students study the same medical field, and the program lasts four years. There are also special programs for international students. In total, there are between 450-500 students at the school, plus residents. The library at the college serves students, residents, faculty, and staff.
Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Because we are a small library (5 full-time staff members) my duties as Technical Services Librarian are varied. In general, I am responsible for: selecting new materials for acquisition; receiving, cataloging, and making new materials shelf-ready; maintaining the current collection and catalog; cleaning up the catalog where necessary; mending and repair of damaged books; maintaining the special collections/archive; and performing circulation and reference duties when necessary.
Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
4 weeks vacation, 5 personal days, 1 sick day/month 403B (employer contributes 9% after first year of employment), Harvard Pilgrim health insurance, FSA
Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I feel I am well-compensated.
Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, I work closely with others. Because we are a small academic library, we all work together on common goals and share duties, such as circulation desk staffing. I like the other librarians and support staff very much, so this is something that I enjoy. Any librarian, though, can expect to work collaboratively.
Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work on projects collaboratively with both my supervisor and my co-workers. For instance, we are currently in the process of updating our website. Though our systems librarian is in charge of the project, we are all providing input.
Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 6
The Actual Work: 1
Table of Contents
How you got your job
How did you get your current job?
I had worked at the circulation desk part-time on the weekends for a year. My supervisor notified me that a position in an area in which I had part-time experience had opened up, and she offered it to me.
What was the application process?
I submitted my resume, a cover letter, and references via email.
Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Because I was in a unique situation in that the job was offered to me after having worked part-time in a different role at the library, I did not interview for this particular position. For my original part-time position, however, I interviewed both with the supervisor as well as with the rest of the staff.
If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. The job’s responsibilities were clearly stated, and I was well-trained by my co-worker and supervisor.
Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes. I was trained by the staff member who had been performing some of my duties temporarily. It entailed learning the software necessary to perform the various functions of the job, as well as other daily tasks.
Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes; I could not perform the tasks I do on a daily basis without having a Master’s in Library Science.
If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
First, go to graduate school for library and information science. Focus on academic libraries and/or technical services (especially cataloging) as well as collection development. Second, try to find a part-time job doing copy cataloging, or as a tech. services assistant in a larger library, or work circulation at an academic library part-time. I did all three while I was in library school and shortly thereafter, and it helped prepare me very well for the work I do now.
What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
First, you absolutely must have a fine eye for detail. Catalog records should not have any mistakes! Second, you should have a keen sense of knowing whether or not a title is appropriate to add to the library’s collection — or be able to collaborate with those who do know. Collection development is not as easy as it seems. Third, you must be open to collaboration with co-workers and supervisors, but accept the fact that you are not the librarian who gets to spend the most time helping patrons.
Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes — you must have a Master’s in Library and Information Science.
What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Make sure you are detail-oriented — if not, you will be very bored. Definitely try to find work in copy cataloging, to make sure that it is something you enjoy. Cataloging is not all I do, of course, but it does take up a fair amount of my time, and if you do not find it satisfying, you will not like being a technical services librarian.
Long-term career plans
Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. I had planned to become a librarian.
What are your current career goals?
I would either like to become the head of technical services in a larger academic/public library, or the head librarian of a smaller library.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I love being a librarian! Forget the stigma of the “shusher” — modern librarianship has undergone a major overhaul in response to the needs of the 21st century library user. I encourage anyone who is even mildly interested in the field to do some research!
Prior work history
Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:
|Prior Job 1
|Cataloging/Technical Services Library Assistant
|Prepared metadata and corrected errors in catalog records for metropolitan public library; prepared and maintained databases in MS Word and Excel.
|Prior Job 2
|Weekend Circulation Assistant
Please list your educational background:
High School GPA:3.3
|Small Liberal Arts
|Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
|Graduate School of Library and Information Science
|Master’s, Library and Information Science
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