Official Librarianship!

I have been offered a permanent position as an Undergraduate Services Librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries. This is actually – essentially – the position I have been filling on a temporary contract since January. It’s still an Assistant Librarian level, and it’s for the most part the same work I have been doing with instructional design and educational technology. There are a few differences, though:

  • I am permanent, so I don’t have to worry about where I will be come December. Wahoo!! This also means I can work on more long-term projects. Things like grant projects, event planning, and cross-functional groups where members serve a term of a year or often more.
  • I am continuing-eligible, which means in 5 years I submit paperwork to become an “Associate Librarian.” This requires scholarship and service – things like publishing, committee work, etc. Shouldn’t be too hard. I’m already on the ACRL Committee on Ethics and have two potential papers in the beginning phases. I’m actually excited to get to do this sort of thing and be encouraged to do it. A few years later (although often many years later) I can go up for the “Full Librarian” title, which requires you be nationally recognized as contributing substantially to the field.
  • I get paid less! Silly, right? It’s all about timing. Supposedly, in January the median pay grade was $300 more per year than it is now. So I’m going to get a little less per paycheck. Bummer.

Overall, how do I feel?

  • Excited. There are a lot of things I really enjoy about working in this library and especially in Undergraduate Services. Developing online learning objects and classes. Reconfiguring reference services. Teaching undergraduates. Developing curriculum. Creating outreach opportunities. Working collaboratively. Working independently. Being creative.
  • Surprised. Last December I was convinced that I would be moving somewhere outside of Tucson. This isn’t because I didn’t like the location or the library, but staying didn’t seem realistic. For one thing, it’s unusual to move from a classified staff position to a librarian position. Most new hires have some outside library experience, almost always professional librarian experience. Plus I was in a position where I could move – there are many more opportunities outside of Tucson, so I figured that is what would happen.
  • Reflective. Who would have thought? I started as a student shelving books in 2003, to see if libraries is where I wanted to end up. I held a number of student positions, then in 2005 became a part-time Library Specialist the same time I entered library school. I then went to full-time Library Information Associate then Library Information Analyst in access services. I moved to the temporary Librarian position this year and now landed a permanent Librarian gig. Pretty cool…
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