More on Switching between Academic and Public Libraries

book and red wine on a marble table

I want to be clear about something. I am interested in switching from academic to public libraries NOT because I am angry with or unsuited for academic librarianship. Just the opposite, in fact. I am well suited for that field. I am interested in making the switch because those same skills and dispositions that make me an excellent academic librarian ALSO make me an excellent public librarian.

It’s not one or the other, it’s BOTH.

Furthermore, it makes no sense to me that I should have to pick one track in librarianship. Together, public and academic librarianship make up approximately 80% of all library jobs. Why would I ever want to remove myself from half of those positions, intentionally? That makes no sense.

As I’ve been attempting to switch from academic to public libraries I looked for literature to help make the transition easier. What I’ve found has generally not been encouraging for someone going my direction. This is most notably represented by Annoyed Librarian‘s 2010 post Public to Academic, But Never the Other Way Around.

There are a very few more positive and helpful articles, however

That’s really about all I can find about moving from academic to public libraries that doesn’t concern “leadership” in terms of library directorships.

What advice might you have?

2 Comments on “More on Switching between Academic and Public Libraries

  1. hello. i have been thinking about this switch as well. have you made the change? what has been your experience since posting this? thanks!

    Like

    • I was never able to make the change. There always seems to be this weird sticking point around programming. Not being an outreach librarian I’ve never had the opportunity to learn that sort of thing and the public libraries’ attitude seems to be that it’s impossible to learn on the job. When I wrote this post I was living in a city with a closed system. Jobs were mostly given to those in the “cool girls club” (my term). Being neither cool or a girl it was difficult for me to break in.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: