Saturday, April 23, 2005

what's so special?

There is a category of the field usually referred to as "special librarianship." Personally I think ALL librarians are special - sort of like FBI agents, who are all special right up to the SAC (Special Agent in Charge) - but it's another career path into specialized work for law firms, corporations, or agencies with particular information needs. According to this story in Career Journal, though there was a downturn in jobs, it's picking up again. Worth investigating if you're particularly keen on seeing the research process through to the anaylsis stage.

There was a bit of an identity crisis a couple of years ago - the Special Library Association considered calling itself something without the L word in it - but in the end they voted to keep the name.

Barbara

2 comments:

superdave said...

Thinking back to library school, the course I took on special libraries was the one I remember most. It was there that we talked about collegial relationship building, outreach and promotion of services, adding value throughout the organization, etc.--things that were not really brought up in other areas. Now, these are the things I spend much of my time on as an academic librarian.

Barbara said...

For me, it was Collection Development. Kept me sane that first term. We talked about Big Things. And isn't it funny how much courses like this are really about community and collegiality? Whereas a management course I had to take - we were never really sure what it was about, but most of us were in slow-burn mode because the teacher kept telling us we should call ourselves Information Specialists because we'd earn more than if we used "librarian."