Monday, February 11, 2008

Librarians' Weekend

I fought through the wintery conditions with determination this weekend to spend some time with two dear librarian friends from grad school. We spent lots of time talking about guys, movies, books, and librarianship.

One topic that came up was having multiple graduate degrees. In the case of the three of us, scholarships have allowed one to get a second degree, the other two could not afford to right now. I have been on two search committees since I came here. One in particular had many applicants who were severely over-qualified. Half of them had Ph.D.s when the position required a master's degree. I saw how members of the administration (who fortunately weren't actively involved in the selection) got stary-eyed about these applicants even if we had others who had more practical backgrounds with more relevant experience.

I sometimes worry about when it is time for our director to be replaced (which she assures me is no time soon), they will want someone with multiple masters degrees, or even a Ph.D. If the best person has an extra degree, I don't hold that against them. But a good librarian is a practitioner first, and scholar second. Experience and what is in a person's heart should be the first factor in any selection process in our field.

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