Catherine Murray-Rust speaking in the "Creating the Future Library Workforce" program at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

Solving Worker Struggles

June 27, 2022

Murray-Rust offered four questions, adapted from the Harwood Institute: What are your aspirations for the library workforce community? What challenges do you face in meeting them? What changes are needed in your community to reach those aspirations? And how are you committed to reaching those aspirations? Low compensation is a major problem across the library … Continue reading Solving Worker Struggles


Illustration of three people running toward an open door with office files and boxes in their hands

Quitting Time

June 1, 2022

*Editor’s note: All librarian names have been changed to protect their privacy. The burnout began earlier for Chris. “Even before the pandemic started, I’d been feeling increasingly ambivalent,” says the Midwest-based academic librarian who left her associate director position in fall 2021. “Then we had the pandemic, which required libraries to make a ton of … Continue reading Quitting Time


Illustrations depict five library jobs that are currently on the rise. From left to right: There is a man holding a magnifying glass, representing user experience librarians. A woman stands next to a lightbulb that is filled with gears and a plant, representing sustainability librarians. Game pieces of different colors represent directors of equity, diversity, and inclusion. A laptop with human arms represents open educational resources librarians. And finally, a person on a ladder lifting a slice from a pie chart represents data visualization librarians. These illustrations were made by Adobe Stock user Nuthawut.

5 Library Jobs on the Rise

June 1, 2022

Luckily for job seekers, that trend seems to have receded. CNBC reported in late March that there were a record 5 million more job openings than available workers. That tendency bears out across the library industry. “The number of library jobs advertised nationally since late 2021 has hit unprecedented levels,” says David Connolly, recruitment ad … Continue reading 5 Library Jobs on the Rise


A cartoon image of a woman snips off a chain attaching her to a graduation cap, meant to symbolize student debt.

Recognition and Relief

June 1, 2022

Created to facilitate the forgiveness of remaining balances on federal Direct Loans (student loans made directly by the US Department of Education), PSLF made headlines as a way to free up financial futures for many people. To be eligible for forgiveness, individuals had to have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while … Continue reading Recognition and Relief


A Career Path for Youth

May 2, 2022

An October 2021 webinar convened by the Public Library Association (PLA) and members of LibsWork, a national networking group focused on workforce and small business development, explored the ways in which libraries can support young people as they enter the workforce amid these ongoing challenges. Librarians and workforce development professionals shared how such programs are … Continue reading A Career Path for Youth


Loan forgiveness

Recognition and Relief

March 15, 2022

Created to facilitate the forgiveness of remaining balances on federal Direct Loans (student loans made directly by the US Department of Education), PSLF made headlines as a way to free up financial futures for many people. To be eligible for forgiveness, individuals had to have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while … Continue reading Recognition and Relief


Northwestern library workers assemble on campus

Getting Organized

March 1, 2022

Library unionization efforts are blooming around the country, taking place in public, private, and academic institutions of all sizes. In Maryland, Baltimore County Public Library workers have joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and in Colorado, Denver Public Library (DPL) staffers formed Denver Public Library Workers United, a unit of the Communications … Continue reading Getting Organized


Why Your DEI Programs Are Not Working

January 23, 2022

In her 15-minute Shop Talk session, “3 Reasons Your DEI Programs Are Not Working,” Elaina Norlin presented research and anecdotes from consulting on DEI issues to attendees of ALA’s LibLearnX virtual conference on January 23. Norlin, author of The Six-Step Guide to Library Worker Engagement (ALA Editions, 2021) and professional development and DEI program coordinator … Continue reading Why Your DEI Programs Are Not Working


The Virtual Interview Lab at Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska

Acing the Interview

November 1, 2021

An estimated 19 million Americans—or 6% of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. And as more job interviews have moved online during the pandemic, those without access face a major roadblock to finding employment. That’s where Do Space has stepped in. In July 2020, the Omaha, Nebraska–based community technology library … Continue reading Acing the Interview


The library employment landscape

The Library Employment Landscape

May 3, 2021

Even before COVID-19 struck early last year, the LIS job market was a competitive one. Now, with the pandemic’s one-year anniversary behind us, the employment landscape for librarians has become even rockier and more unstable for entry-level candidates. At Syracuse (N.Y.) University School of Information Studies, for instance, the job placement rate for graduating LIS … Continue reading The Library Employment Landscape


Illustration: Man does virtual interview at home with laptop, wearing shirt and tie with pajama bottoms and slippers (Illustration: Shane Tolentino)

The Virtual Job Hunt

May 3, 2021

After a particularly tough rejection, she reached out to a librarian friend for moral support. “She said, ‘You have it, but, by the way, there’s this job that opened up at the last minute in my district,’ which I didn’t know about,” Vela says. “So she put my name in.” It was Vela’s 35th job … Continue reading The Virtual Job Hunt