20 May 2016


For many LIS graduates, up until now the idea of an entry level job unfortunately often meant an unpaid internship or Jobbridge position. A quick Ctrl+f of "library" on this spreadsheet shared by Third Level Workplace Watch indicates the prevalence of such jobs in the recent past. However, after several years of scant pickings, the past few months have brought quite a number of library vacancies - and not just in the usual places like academic and public libraries, but also in smaller and special libraries. It has been particularly interesting to see 'new' non-traditional library and information-related posts emerging also - job titles such as engagement librarian, data technologist, digital learning librarian, and information and communications coordinator among others.

Thinking back to when I finished my MLIS in 2009, at the time my job search mainly involved a weekly trawl of all the University websites, localjobs.ie, publicjobs.ie, and a few other recruitment sites (I had pretty much given up on newspapers by that point though it seems they are making a comeback!). At that, I still felt I was possibly missing out on a few places, as library positions can often pop up under the radar and in unusual places (though this was not so much the case in 2009 when library jobs were not really "popping up" anywhere:().

Fast forward to today, and there is really only one place I would check for job opportunities now: Twitter. Thanks to the hard work of a large community of tweeters (too many to name everyone, so sorry if I have missed you out) including @LAICDGroup, @ASLibraries, @libraryjobs, @LAIOnline, @AnnieOSullivan, @JMBurns99, @curiousfee, @BowsBooksLooks, @shinyshona and many more, the #LISjobsIE hashtag has become the place to find Irish LIS vacancies. If you are a recent graduate or current MLIS student who is not on Twitter yet, there has never been a bigger incentive to join.

But I didn't write this post just to highlight the value of #LISjobsIE to those who might be looking for a job. To me, it is yet another example of why Twitter can be such a remarkable and important tool. I can't think of many other platforms that would work as effectively or organically in bringing together a community, and connecting information and people. It is not just a case of people posting vacancies from their own organizations (though this certainly makes a very significant contribution), but also those who are job seeking or who might come across a position through another channel, actively opting to share this information with others. At a time when library jobs are still very much hotly contested with extremely high numbers of applicants, the idea of sharing information about vacancies - especially lesser-spotted, hidden roles - is also testament to the openness, generosity and supportiveness of the LIS profession and those who work in it.

Thanks to all who have made #LISjobsIE such a great resource for the LIS community, and long may the jobs continue :)


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