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Bay Area Library and Information Network

BayNet Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 3

Spring 2015

Are We Burying Our Heads in the Sand?
Since the economic recession hit in
2008, library workers around the
country have been hearing devastating stories about the impact on
hiring freezes, layoffs, budget cuts,
furloughs. Articles such as Forbes’s
“The Best and Worst Master’s
Degrees for Jobs” and “Come to
Library School! Just Don’t Expect a
Job!” by Library Journal’s columnist Annoyed Librarian are especially disheartening to read. I
started my first professional librarian position in December 2009,
about six months after graduation.
Based on what I have heard from
fellow MLIS graduates, many of
them are still looking for library
professional jobs that are comparable to their expectations. Having
been at my job for more than three
years now and preparing for my
academic review, I constantly reflect on the future of my career
development and the outlook of the
library profession. As information
and library professionals, it is
imperative that we address the
social and economic aspects of both
librarianship and library job market trends, and share that knowledge with prospective (or current)
library students and recent MLIS
graduates.
Do your research: what do statistics tell us?
Most first-year library students

enrolled in an MLIS program prior
to 2008 had a good perception of
their future career as librarians.
Since librarianship is known to be
“a graying profession,” many of us
thought that there was no need to
worry about shortage of jobs. But
the business of online MLIS programs is booming. According to
ALA Statistics report, “Summary of
Changes in ALA-Accredited Programs Fall 2010 – Fall 2011,” there
are 19,128 MLIS students in 63
accredited MLIS programs. The
Digest of Education Statistics recorded that 7727 Master’s degrees
in library science were conferred
2010-2011. These statistics, along
with the continuing economic recession since 2008, made me wonder
whether the market will soon be
flooded with too many MLIS graduates and there won’t be enough jobs
to go around.
One can easily compile a list of
reputable statistical sources on the
labor and employment of the library
profession. The ALA’s Labor Trends
and Statistics for Library Workers
page provided various statistics
from Bureau of Labor Statistics and
U.S. Department for Professional
Employees, AFL-CIO. According to
the latter, there were 198,000 librarians, 37,000 library technicians, and 140,000 other education,
training, and library workers in

Thanks to a BayNet and Castro Valley Library tour last
week, I learned that those
flowers and frogs are just two
of the many things to love at
Castro Valley Library.

My Favorite Things
Branch manager Carolyn
Moskovitz was a delightful
and informative guide for our
eager group of visitors. While
she showed us many cool
things in and around the Castro Valley Library, these were
my favorites.
1. "Treat Everyone Like They
Might Want to Give You a
Million Dollars"

Are we ignoring issues
within the library profession?

Learn about the great
things going on at the
Castro Valley Public Library!

Ostrich reads newspaper of
caretaker Photo courtesy of
Nationaal Archief
2011. The Occupation Outlook
Handbook estimated that the employment growth rate for librarians
will be 7% by 2020, compared to
10% for library technicians and
assistants. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a program developed by the US Department of Labor/Employment and
Training Administration, projected
in 2010 that by 2020 there will be
51,400 job openings for librarians,
and 59,500 to 64,100 for library
technicians/assistants.
Many MLIS students are given the
impression that librarianship is an
aging profession, and there will be
plenty of jobs available in the next
5 to 10 years. Cont. page 3

Things to Love About the CV Public Library
Walking towards the Castro
Valley (California) Library,
the first thing I noticed was
the flowers. The second thing
was the frogs. Seriously. Extremely loud frogs.

Special points
of interest:

Planning for the current Castro Valley library started in
1990, when community members formed the Castro Valley
Library Advisory Committee
with the goal of planning for a
new library. The county
worked closely with this committee to ensure that the new
library met community needs.
The library's commitment to
working Cont. page 2

The Day of the Book
Festival Round-Up

The First Annual
BayNet Professional Development Grant Awarded!

Inside this issue:

CV Public
Library

2

BayNet Grant 2
Awarded
Day of the
Book Conference

4

Page 2

Monica
Cromarty will be
provided $500
from the BayNet
Professional
Development
Grant

BayNet Newsletter

First BayNet Grant Awarded to Monica Cromarty
Upon the recommendation of the
BayNet Grant Committee, We
are pleased to report that
Monica Cromarty will be provided $500.00 from the BayNet
Professional Development Grant
toward the following:
Conference registration for the
American Library Association
Annual Conference in San Francisco June 25-30, 2015 and
Registration for RDA/MARC21
preconference workshop
“Cataloging Special Formats for
the Child in All of Us”

Monica applied for the First
Annual BayNet Professional
Development Grant this Winter.
As a condition of her acceptance
of the grant she will be writing
an article for the BayNet Newsletter about her experiences at
the ALA Annual Conference.

application announcement on
the BayNet Website. Remember,
you must be a current BayNet
member in order to apply for the
grant. Information on how to
apply for membership is also
available on our website
www.baynetlibs.org.

We look forward to hearing
about Ms. Cromarty’s conference
experience and are proud to be
able to provide professional
development funds for her.

So if you’re attending the ALA
Annual Meeting and run into
Ms. Cromarty, please congratulate her on her award. We at
BayNet hope to see you all at
the conference!

If you would like to apply for
next year’s BayNet Professional
Development Grant, look for the

By Margot Hanson and Collin
Thormoto

Castro Valley cont.
with the community paid off.
Literally. While Castro Valley
got a huge head start on its
building budget with a $14 million grant, the building cost
closer to $20 million in total.
The library had to raise that
additional money from the community, and community members came through.
Exterior of the Castro Valley
Public Library Photo by Ariel
Gilbert-Knight

Five and a half years after the
new library building opened, the
library's philosophy remains:
"Treat everybody who walks in
like they might want to give you
a million dollars."
2. The Staff Tried Again (and
Again)
While Castro Valley did eventually get a large grant to build
the library, library staff members didn't get that grant the
first time they applied. Or even
the second time they applied. It
was only the third time they
applied that the application was
successful.
3. The Library Empowers Patrons (+ There's a Magical BookSorting Machine) Many libraries
offer self check-out, but fewer
offer self check-in. Castro Valley
Library offers both.

Interior of the Castro Valley Public Library Photo by Ariel GilbertKnight

Behind the drop-off slot, a
(really very fun to watch) machine remagnetizes each book,
then shoots it into a labeled bin
for a specific section of the library.

The magical book-sorting machine isn't perfect. It occasionally can't read a barcode, or the
receipt printer jams. But it does
save time and staff resources
compared to having staff manually checking in and sorting
books.
Also, it was hard not to say
"Wheeee!" every time a freshly
checked-in book shot into its
assigned bin.
4. They Have an "Honesty Shelf"
This spirit of trusting and empowering patrons extends to the
Friends of the Library bookstore. When the bookstore is
closed, the shelves can be
cranked closed to lock up the
merchandise. But that still
leaves some bookstore shelves
open to the public.
Rather than locking down all
the books, instead the bookstore
offers a "trust box" where patrons can pay for books they
take from the "honesty shelf."
5. Everything Is Flexible
Everything in the Castro Valley
library was designed to be flexible and movable:
All the furniture (except
the stacks) can be moved.
HVAC and wiring both
run under a raised floor,
making them easy to access
for new configurations or
repairs.

The library uses a lot of
slat walls which can be
quickly and easily reconfigured for different displays.
6. Environmentally Friendly
Choices
The library building is LEED
Gold-certified, and you can see
environmentally friendly design
elements everywhere: from lowwater plants outside to lowwater fixtures in the restrooms.
The crowning glory, though, is
the massive solar panel array on
the library's roof, which generates more than enough electricity to power the whole building.
A monitoring system provides
real-time statistics on how much
power the library generates
(including the amount of electricity saved, displayed in
"hours of videogames"). You can
see the stats online and on a
large flat-screen monitor in the
library lobby.
If you're in the Bay Area, you
should visit the Castro Valley
Library. It's just a few blocks
from the Castro Valley BART
station and easy to access via
public transportation.
Many thanks to BayNet, Castro
Valley Library, and Carolyn
Moskovitz for the tour!
By Ariel Gilbert-Knight

Page 3

Volume 1, Issue 3

Head in the Sand cont.
Indeed, the 1999 studies conducted by
ALA Office of Research and Statistics
confirmed that librarianship is on the
road of becoming a “graying profession”. The 2009 ALA report,
“Planning for 2015: The Recent History and Future Supply of Librarians”
continued to explore the retirement
wave. The report found that as of
2005, over 40 percent of 104,600
“credentialed” librarians are between
the ages of 50 and 59. The report
estimated that by 2015, 30,500 librarians (30%) will be above age 60.
28,200 retirements were projected
among credentialed librarians between 2005 and 2015. This means
that the profession may lose an average of 2,820 librarians each year to
retirement. If we assume that the
same amount of Master’s degrees in
library science will be conferred each
year, the supply of vacant librarian
positions according to the ALA’s report will not be able to match the
demand of the incoming MLIS graduates.
Reevaluate your perspective
One of the questions that we need to
ask ourselves is whether we have
changed our minds about becoming
librarians. If the answer is no, we
should prepare ourselves to face the
harsh economic reality and the emotional challenges associated with it.
Library Journal’s “LJ 2011 Job Satisfaction Survey,” analyzed some of the
frustrations experienced by library
workers across the field. According to
the survey, the top three dissatisfactions were: low pay, management
issues, and budget crunch. Library
workers constantly struggle with job
stress and low morale. Despite the
complaints, 70 percent of library
workers across all library types and at
all levels were satisfied about their
jobs and remain optimistic about the
future.
Library Research Service (a unit of
Colorado Public Library) conducted a
survey on the perception of the value
of MLIS degree among Colorado
librarians. On the whole, most Colorado librarians remained optimistic of
the value of their MLIS degree. 79%
of survey respondents agreed that
their MLIS degree is worth investing
the time and money, and 63% of the
respondents would indeed recommend
the MLIS degree today. However,
among those who have had their
degree for 1-5 years, only 49% of them
would recommend getting the degree,
and 35% indicated that they would
not recommend or actively dissuade
others from pursuing an MLIS
(Teglovic, Jordan-Makely, Boyd, &
Hofschire, 2012, June). These lower
numbers most likely showed the
impact of the economic downturn on
librarians’ perception of the value of

their MLIS degree.
It is a tough job market for new library information workers. Library
Journal’s “Placements and Salaries
Survey 2012” provided an in-depth
analysis on library job prospects
based on its survey on recent MLIS
graduates. The survey estimated the
unemployment rate among MLIS
graduates at 6.8%, but only 75.4% of
current graduates had full time placements. Despite the challenges, the
survey advised graduates to broaden
their library experiences and open
their job hunt to positions outside of
the library field. Given the recession
it is reasonable to assume that it will
take longer for MLIS graduates to
land their first professional librarian
position.
Think outside the box
Many new MLIS graduates are frustrated that they cannot find a librarian position that meets their expectations. And the economy is not making
job hunting easier. Two frequently
asked questions among new MLIS
graduates are: (1) What should I do if
I cannot find a professional position in
libraries after I complete my MLIS
degree? (2) What can I do with my
MLIS degree without becoming a
librarian?
Hiring supervisors are seeing many
candidates with an MLIS degree
applying for library technician positions. Confronted by the lack of employment in the current job market,
these new graduates may have to
accept jobs for which they are overqualified. It is understandable why
some new MLIS graduates may feel
de-valued if they have to work as
paraprofessionals.
In certain institutions, the barrier (in
terms of job responsibilities) between
a library professional and paraprofessional is blurring. In spite of their
frustrations, MLIS graduates may
find that being a paraprofessional or a
paralibrarian is not as devastating as
they thought if their workplace provides support to further their professional development.
Some MLIS graduates who are in
need of a job are broadening their job
searches to include non-library areas
of expertise. According to Breitkopf’s
article, “61 Non-Librarian Jobs for
LIS Grads,” MLIS graduates should
not limit their job search to just libraries. Although some jobs do not
necessarily require an MLIS degree,
an MLIS degree is marketable in
many information or education fields,
such as museums, archives, vendors,
publishers, digital systems, government agencies, Web technologies,
teaching, and researching. MLIS
holders need to be proactive and

creative in applying for jobs, taking
extra care to tailor their resumes and
cover letters to match the employer's’
hiring qualifications.
Transform options into action
MLIS graduates who want to land the
library jobs they desire need to be
more determined and competitive
than ever. As we are waiting to be
hired or searching for the perfect job,
we need to maintain confidence and
display a positive attitude during the
job searching process. It is essential
that we keep ourselves updated on
library trends by reading library
literature, magazines, and online
media. We should consider extending
our skills and professional experience
by interning or volunteering at other
information organizations. Whenever
possible, we should attend local and
regional library conferences and be
actively involved in professional activities. We should strive to build a
network of connections among mentors and colleagues, as a wellestablished network is a valuable
resource for new MLIS graduates and
librarians to reach out and help one
another.
Reshape the future of librarianship
The mission of educating the current
and future MLIS graduates rests on
the shoulders of librarians, librarian
educators, and administrators of
MLIS programs. It is our responsibility to prepare new and future librarians for the challenges and opportunities in the profession as they embark
on the road to librarianship. The
sustainability of library profession
depends on how we can cope with the
fluctuating job market and adapt to
the changing perception of the value
of librarianship. Library and information professionals need to maintain an
on-going discussion on evaluating the
dynamic career outlook of the library
profession and assessing the various
ways to balance the supply and demand of the library labor workforce,
in order to ensure that future managers and leaders are equipped with the
necessary knowledge and experience
to thrive in the information age.
Reference
Teglovic, J., Jordan-Makely, C., Boyd,
L., & Hofschire, L. (2012, June). What
is the value of an MLIS to You? Retrieved March 13, 2013 from Library
Research Service Website:http://
www.lrs.org/documents/closer_look/
MLIS_Value_Closer_Look_Report.pdf
By Elise Wong

One of the
questions we
need to ask
ourselves is
whether we
have to
change our
minds about
becoming
librarians.

Bay Area Library and
Information Network

As a multi-type library association, BayNet represents librarians
and information professionals from all varieties of organizations.
Our mission is to strengthen connections among all types of San
Francisco Bay Area Libraries and Information Centers, and to
promote communication, professional development, cooperation,
and innovative resource sharing.
If you would like to know more about what we do, contact us via
email at baynetlibs@gmail.com

J OIN B AYN ET ONLINE:
WWW. BAYNETLIBS. ORG

Submit a story:
http://baynetlibs.org/news/
submission-guidelines/

Day of the Book Conference Roundup
On Saturday March 7th, the
2015 Day of the Book Conference was held at JFK University in Pleasant Hill. The conference focused on resources
and advice for aspiring writers
of all skill levels.
BayNet sponsored a talk given
by Jason Dezember, a librarian
at JFK University, called
“Books Do Furnish a Room.” He
contextualized the debate
around ebooks versus print
books through a brief overview
of the history of the printed
word (mainly focusing on Western European printing history)
and there was a good discussion
with the audience about reasons for liking both digital and
print versions of books.
Many of the audience members
were surprised by the statistics
from recent studies showing
that younger people often prefer print books to digital books.
I’m not surprised based on dis-

cussions with my students and
other studies showing that
teens and young adults are very
conscious and deliberate about
their use of technology. He
noted that the scroll and the
codex co-existed for around 400
years and that, even with the
increasing pace of technological
change, we won’t see the complete death of the codex for a
long while. I liked that the
subtitle to his talk was “A Celebration of the Codex.”
I asked Jason for a copy of his
Prezi presentation to share and
you can find them below:
The first is his main presentation, "Books Do Furnish a
Room": https://
prezi.com/0hyewrwmckk-/books
-do-furnish-a-room/
This second presentation is a
Timeline of the Printed Word:
https://prezi.com/i3kl9m_ng908/
timeline-of-the-printed-word/

Another informational presentation focused on endangered
languages. UNESCO estimates
that by the end of this century
that 50% of the world’s 7,000
languages will be extinct and
that a language dies approximately every 2 weeks. Hanna
Regev, a curator, showcased an
exhibition she curated where
artists created works using
various endangered languages.
It was a unique exhibition as
most work with endangered
languages is done by anthropologists and linguists. While it
is no longer at Root Division,
you can see video from the
opening reception that shows
off some of the pieces (https://
www.youtube.com/watch?
v=8e7Box40a4s).
By Diana Wakimoto

Miss Grace Sutherland Photo
Courtesy of George Eastman
House