All of the librarians in my district get together a few times a year for various meetings and we started to notice a trend. Many of them are close to retirement AND we have no one in our district that is currently pursing the Masters of Library Science. I was one of the two newest librarians hired in the district and this is my third year. We wanted to make sure that we would be able to work with passionate teachers that get into the field for the right reasons so we decided to start recruiting.
Some of you may have seen the infographic, Anatomy of a Librarian. This infographic mentions that over the next decade there are a large number of librarians expected to retire. I'm sure the economy slowed down some of those retirements in the last few years, but judging from personal observations I expect a large number of retirements are in the near future. There was an article in Library Journal in 2010 about this issue. Another article discusses a survey that asked "Would you recommend librarianship?". I love my job so I definitely recommend it for sincerely interested people. As of this morning, Media Specialist is still considered a critical needs area by our state department of education. This classification brings with it a loan forgiveness program. This is an enticing perk.
We decided to hold an interest meeting to share the day to day tasks of our jobs, dispel myths about our position and encourage teachers to consider the career. I will admit that during my years in the classroom I did not fully understand what the librarian did each day and to be perfectly honest, the position looked pretty cushy from my point of view. I feel that our position is what you make it. If you want to shut the library down for every little occasion, enact strict rules about student visitors, avoid collaboration, and do no active reading promotions then you can have an easy day. I feel like many teachers think our job is easy because they have worked with librarians like that. This is a big frustration for the rest of us that work tirelessly to make the library the best it can possibly be. I don't want these stereotypes to attract teachers that are just tired of the classroom and looking for an easy "semi-retirement". We work together often so we hope to encourage some of the best to join our ranks.
After sending an email invite to the district I received six responses expressing interest and we had around ten interested people attend. They had lots of good questions and I hope that some of them decide to pursue librarianship.
Do you or your district organize any type of recruiting efforts for librarians?