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Any Climbing Librarians Out There?


Original Post
Will Maness · · Raleigh, NC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 35

I'm applying to grad school, hoping to get a Master's in Library Science.  Any of you out there in academic libraries or archives (or even public libraries)?   Do you get to climb as often as you would like?  Are you able to take time off for climbing trips?  Anything else I should know before getting into the field, concerning its compatibility with a climbing lifestyle?

Thanks!


Scott Phil · · NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 245

I'm not a librarian, but know quite a few people who work in academic libraries, public libraries, and archives. Overall, they all really like their jobs--which is more than you can say for many professions.

While there are some positions in the private sector, most librarians work for schools and universities or local and state governments. Positions typically have okay benefits--including vacation time--to make up for low pay. 

Work schedule flexibility will often depend on your subfield. For example, people in cataloging often work a typical 8 hour day, Mondays-Fridays, while people working the reference desk or in circulation often work evenings or weekends if the library is open at those times. 

The main thing is to find a job in an area with good climbing 


Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laradise, Dornans, Bham, Cr… · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 115

See if the AAC is looking for people to work at their extensive library!

https://americanalpineclub.org/library/

Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 15

I have worked as a librarian (no MLS however) in 3 different public libraries, and know several climbing librarians. None are academic librarians however. I may be wrong, but I don't think many librarians get summers off. Even academic librarians.

Will Maness · · Raleigh, NC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 35

Thanks for the thoughtful responses, everyone! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer!

Kim Pham · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

I work in an academic library, and if you're thinking of doing the same it's definitely possible to take a good amount of climbing trips. You generally get more vacation time when you're just hired than in other professions, but there's also the added benefit of being able to travel to conferences so if you go to ones near to places you want to climb you're already saving on the travel time. You won't get 4 months of summer off but I find that I get more time off than my friends who I have to wait for to take time off anyway!

Plus, you also get research/study leaves which will be way easier to balance climbing wherever you want + working on your research proposal. 

Will Maness · · Raleigh, NC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 35

Thanks Kim!  I just got accepted to UNC-CH last month and I'll be starting in August!  Looking forward to being back in school and hopefully having a little more free time during those two years, and hoping to continue getting out regularly once I have my degree!  One of the most important things for me would seem to be getting a job in an area with plenty of climbing nearby for evening sessions, quick day trips, and weekend fixes.  Cheers!

Scott Phil · · NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 245

Congratulations, Will.  UNC has a strong library program and you should be competitive when looking for a job afterwards. The best part is you get to stay in NC so you should still be able to get in lots of climbing!

boo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 0

Will....ask J. Provoterro at TRC if he can get you in touch with Harrison Dekker.  He is both.

Rob T · · Rhinebeck, NY · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

My wife completed her MLS degree last year, and is now a librarian at a public middle school--kind of a second career for her after being a freelance writer/editor for many years. She really loves it--says it's the best thing she ever did. I know you're looking more toward the academic side, but I can vouch as the partner of a school librarian (and budding rock climber--we're both learning), that it can be a great life--rewarding work with plenty of time off to climb and do other things.

Either way, it's a great degree, and I wish you the best of luck. Cheers!

Will Maness · · Raleigh, NC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 35

Thanks for all the helpful input and support, everyone!

Eric · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 10

I would respectfully suggest that society and tech are moving at warp speed, and to be cautious getting a degree that may become increasingly less relevant.

I am certain many will disagree, but this is good advice, take it or leave it.

Rob T · · Rhinebeck, NY · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

Unfortunately it's not good advice, but a complete misunderstanding of what an MLS degree is in 2018. There's a significant technical component to the degree, SQL database design/queries, online research, how to actually validate digital information sources, etc. Librarians are now much more seen as working in technology--in fact acting as the gatekeepers of digital information as well as the analog information at their particular site.

Either way, this is certainly a good question to ask the providers of your program--how much tech-focus this particular MLS degree program has. They'll have far better answers than people on the Internet. 

Pepe Climbs Rocks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

Just some things to consider.  Congrats on your acceptance into UNC.  Enjoy the ride, and hopefully it works out for you.

Eric · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 10

It is hard to divine what OLH suggests but I'm pretty sure it is either (1) don't worry about making long-term strategic decisions when you are 23 y/o and embarking on the next phase of your life, because she didn't, and even though she is self-admittedly poor, she is OK so you will be too, or (2) that you should become a mother, which is the most important job, by far, that OLH ever had.



FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Eric wrote:

It is hard to divine what OLH suggests but I'm pretty sure it is either (1) don't worry about making long-term strategic decisions when you are 23 y/o and embarking on the next phase of your life, because she didn't, and even though she is self-admittedly poor, she is OK so you will be too, or (2) that you should become a mother, which is the most important job, by far, that OLH ever had.



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Eric · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 10

And OP, as you can see by OLH's deletion of her advice -- you must be very careful who you take advice from.  Her advice is foolish advice, she willing issued it to a 23 y/o earnestly seeking guidance, but she would not stand behind it.

Lesson in there.


Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 793

OP, I deleted my posts because you were not getting anything remotely helpful from Eric, in this thread, and I simply would rather not spend time with someone like that, not today, anyway.

I greatly enjoy working in a library, thank you for choosing to pursue a public service job, and I hope you also enjoy it.

Best, Helen

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Old lady H wrote:

OP, I deleted my posts because you were not getting anything remotely helpful from Eric, in this thread, and I simply would rather not spend time with someone like that, not today, anyway.

I greatly enjoy working in a library, thank you for choosing to pursue a public service job, and I hope you also enjoy it.

Best, Helen

I think Eric's advice for the OP to reconsider a degree in library science was helpful. It's an opposing point of view that you may not agree with, but that doesn't make it invalid. 

The OP asked if there was anything else to consider.

Libraries seem pretty obsolete to me, too. And becoming moreso by the day. Even though some people still use them.


Slartibartfast · · Magrathea · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 0
Will Maness wrote:

Any Climbing Librarians Out There?



More than you know...

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 793
FrankPS wrote:

I think Eric's advice for the OP to reconsider a degree in library science was helpful. It's an opposing point of view that you may not agree with, but that doesn't make it invalid. 

The OP asked if there was anything else to consider.

Libraries seem pretty obsolete to me, too. And becoming moreso by the day. Even though some people still use them.


Fair enough, Frank. Eric's first post, yes, his second, aimed at me? I dunno. But it hit at a bad time, okay?

The rambly one you both got after? My point to the OP, was meant to be that his jobs, interests and circumstances will change over the years. I chose to make less money, and work.part time, to keep my kid out of daycare. That was my priority.

Simple fact, is that you can work in a library without a degree. Also simple fact? You will make much less money. The degree makes a difference. But, the rewards I get from my job are about a lot more than the money.

As to the relevance of the degree? Again, you make more with a degree than without. Any degree. Enough to warrant the debt? Debatable.

The relevance of libraries? Frank, you're out of date. MP itself is very much a "library" of sorts. Libraries have been about much, much more than print books, for a very long time. Libraries are serving as portals for the exchange of information, and librarians are gatekeepers, caretakers and guides for that exchange.

What's the most important thing I take out to the people I serve? Me, Frank, simple as that.

Best, Helen

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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