The same old canard, ten years later

Hiring Librarians posted this last week, and I missed it then:

Library Jobs Math

If you’re at all interested in the job market, the future of library jobs, or bullshit “projections” that get thrown around like facts, you should definitely click on through and read. But basically, they deconstruct an annoying article from the Wall Street Journal about how there’s going to be a big shortage in librarians soon. (And also sea captains. But anyway.)

This is, as you can imagine, HIGH-larious to me, even employed somewhat uncomfortably/unstably as I am right now. Because I have been reading/hearing this crap for over a decade. It was probably going on before that.  It’s as if journals and newspapers and “news” sites just rotate occupational types and rewrite the article every 3 months. Bottom line: when you base your bullshit theory on bullshit info, I’ll give you one guess what you’re going to get for results. It ain’t pie. And what’s that bullshit info? Well, for one: the idea that there’s a profession out there that all retires en masse exactly when they’re slated.

Anyway, the HL article can be best summed up as it is:

The future librarian shortage does not exist. Not unless we can stop pumping out grads and start creating new librarian jobs.

That’s something that isn’t considered priority in a lot of places. As a commenter notes, this article and the article it analyzes is only concerned with traditional library jobs and not the various professions librarians, archivists, and other info professionals are sliding into based on interest or need or flexibility or whatever. But since that’s why I and many others go or are going to library school — in my case, I wanted to work in a traditional library, specifically public at that point, ha HA HA — and since the WSJ article doesn’t acknowledge that these alternative paths exist for info professionals, I’m fine with focusing on the drop in positions and funding for traditional libraries and thus the drop in benefits to their users, whether appreciated or not. That seems to be the actual issue here, and not, as the WSJ article states, because:

Labor shortages also will hit shrinking and slow-growing professions such as plant operators, librarians and sea captains because there simply aren’t enough young workers to fill the remaining positions after current workers retire.

HAHAHAAHAHHAHA. I hope someone sends the WSJ article author a link to Hiring Librarians.



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