Does anyone have a MLS degree?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
1587 posts
Bumble bee

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filkenburg2857 :  One of my dearest friends has a MLS and LOVED her job.  Her BA was in English. 

She worked (now a stay at home mom of four w/ one special needs – Spina Bifida) at a junior college library for eight years and once her youngest is in college, she’s going back.  She is a very active volunteer with her community public library and has been an active volunteer at the schools while her daughters were attending.

Post # 3
Member
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

I had a few friends from college who went to school for MLS.  The one challenge I heard (at least in the areas they lived in) was that there were limited #’s of jobs vs.# of people interested in the field.  At least from my circle of friends, finding a steady college gig seems to be even harder, depending on what field you want to teach in.  They all have English/lit/writing backgrounds and none have found full-time positions.  They make ends meet by supplementing adjuncting positions (which pay pitifully low) with part-time work.  Maybe it’s worth looking at the schools and libraries in your area to see what positions become available and how often.  Or do some research on LinkedIn to try to find alumni of the programs you’re interested to see where they are working.

I’m in the marketing field (advertising specifically) and have been thinking of making a move for awhile but it seems that everything I’m considering either has few openings or would require a substantial cut in salary.  Accordingly, I’m pretty pragmatic about my next move.  BUT I’m also 13 years into my career so you may feel differently if you’re just starting out.

Post # 4
Member
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I have an MLIS and never was able to break into the field, despite working a university library circulation desk for a few years. Too many people, not enough positions. That’s not to say the same would happen to you, of course. I’m sure it depends on where you are. But all the librarians I know actually discourage people from going for an MLS because of how hard it is to get a job. Basically, don’t go into debt for it.

 

Also, my mother was once a public library director, and she hated it. So much bureaucratic BS from the library board. It’s a pretty thankless job. She’s now a branch manager, and while there are aspects she likes, she’s looking forward to retirement.

Post # 5
Member
1704 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I’ll join the chorus. I got my MLIS is 2008 and even worked at a community college library as a Librarian 1 while finishing my degree. They paid so poorly though, that I quit to temp for awhile and tried to get hired on at any sort of library. I applied for academic, public, and private. I did temp at a corporate library while the librarian was on maternity leave, but she came back. Eventually I gave up trying to break into the field.  I say this as someone who decided when she was 12 that she wanted to be a librarian lol.  If you’re lucky and good, you’ll find a job.

I’m happy in my career now. I sometimes see part time public librarian jobs, I wouldn’t want to give up my career, but it would be fun to use my degree.

Post # 8
Member
1704 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

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filkenburg2857 :  if you really want to work in a library as a Librarian, you should go for it, but I wouldn’t go into debt for it. I live in a large metropolitan area and applied throughout he United States and got several interviews, but it was the height of the recession, so I often got letters saying they weren’t filling the position. 🙁 Maybe that wouldn’t happen so much now. My current job involves law and paperpushing and I love it, but it doesn’t really relate to my degree.

I don’t have any regrets for getting my degree because I COULD have found a library job and every experience makes you who you are today. Maybe I didn’t try long enough.

I applied constantly for 3 years, but it’s uber competitive, especially in academic libraries. Lots of interviews and lots of multiple interviews, but I didn’t go to an Ivy league school for either my master or BA. Also, it can be helpful if your BA is in something other than history of English. Marketing might make you more marketable if they are looking for a librarian to specialize in that area. From what I understand from friends in and field and from what I observed, Librarian position see to be being phased out for beginning librarians. Now they’ll hire a Library Assistant and a Librarian ii will oversee them. Doesn’t help if you don’t yet have the experience to get a librarian ii position.

I haven’t applied since going career track in my current job (6 years) because I make more than I would as a Librarian anyway. Maybe I’ll find a use for my degree after I retire.

Good luck with whatever choice you make!

Post # 9
Member
1585 posts
Bumble bee

I used to work in a college and two of the nicest ladies I ever met had MLS degrees and taught a very popular Library and Information Technology program.  So aside from working in a library, you could also see about finding employment in academics and teach.  I know the two ladies found this to be a very rewarding and fulfilling career.

Post # 10
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t have an MLS, but I hire them! Uhhhh, I would not recommend it, but I also work in an academic research library. We have a lot of applicants, but only really hire either brillant people or brilliant people who also had an undergrad in Engineering or Computer Science. A lot of our paraprofessional staff have MLS but we don’t hire them when we fill our positions. They end up staying in their jobs because they are paid more than other entry level librarian jobs. 

We get lots of applicants with English degrees in addition to a MLS and also folks with PhDs too. We generally don’t hire them. We’re also not an old school library system, so we don’t have need for archivist beyond the two that we have on staff, but those are the applicants we get. 

Well, whatever you decide, good luck! 

Post # 11
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2018

My fiance did his Masters degree in MLS and enjoyed is immensely. He also did not have issues finding a job, however he did go about a different route. Instead of focusing on academic institutions or libraries, he focused on government. He now works with the government in his field, where he is paid very well, and there are tons of opportunities for growth and expansion. I would definitely do research on alternative career paths and whether this route is something you would be interested in, if it is feasible for the area you live in, or if you are willing to move to a city with these kinds of opportunities.

Post # 13
Member
977 posts
Busy bee

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franklymydearidont :  It’s even this way with many of the sciences too, even growing fields! So many people, but just not enough jobs, even with more and more jobs opening up. I the Masters and PhDs are great for people who have an insatiable need to go for them, but if it’s not, I feel like it’s setting yourself up for resentment and regret. 

Post # 14
Member
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I have my MLIS. I’m a youth services librarian and I LOVE it. Professionally, I get to act like a 10 year old every day for the rest of my life. How cool is that? I chose my field because i worked in a library all through high school and college in the YS department and I was majoring as an undergrad in elementary education. I decided I didn’t want to go into the classroom and wanted to go for my Master’s, so I chose a MLIS with a concentration in youth services.

As far as the job market, I think it’s getting much better as, like I was told, a lot of baby boomers are retiring. Hope this helps. 🙂

Post # 15
Member
26 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I got my MLS in 2013, and it took me almost a year to get my first librarian job, even though I had worked in libraries as a paraprofessional for more than 13 years before that. So yes, jobs in this field are very hard to come by, even for experienced people like me. I agree that you should never go into debt for the MLS, especially because your salary as a librarian will not be all that high compared to most other fields. And you need to want the degree for the right reasons. If you apply to library school simply because you love books and libraries, the job search will be very difficult for you as the field is already very competitive. I got my degree because it helped me advance in the field after already working in it for a long time. 

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