This semester in LIS 6010 has been such an informative one. I have learned more about myself throughout this semester. The biggest thing I discovered was that I did not want to walk away from my undergraduate degree, but rather use it to benefit in my career path. I’ve decided that I want to pursue a career in professional music librarianship, either in a university or a professional music organization. I’m very excited about the idea of working in either type of position and whenever I’m viewing the job postings, I’m yearning (and yet kind of dreading) the day when I can apply for these positions.
In my current job at the Ann Arbor District Library, my love for music and film are benefiting me when I am asked a listener or viewer’s advisory question. I feel strongly that if I receive a reference question regarding music of any sort, I would be able to guide that patron in the right direction to answer the question. Music librarians do all the day-to-day jobs as a traditional librarianship, just with the specialization of materials on the topic of music. The Music Library Association also adds that to become a music librarian, one should adhere to the following:
“Training for music librarianship should include as broad an education as possible in both music and the liberal arts. Training in music must be the equivalent of at least substantial undergraduate work. Undergraduates need a wide background in the humanities, for music librarians need to be familiar with the relationship of music to other disciplines. Music and the literature about it are published in many countries and languages; basic cataloging and bibliographic research require a working knowledge of German and at least one Romance language. A master’s degree in library or information science is required by most employers. Because music librarians need a thorough knowledge of music history and repertory, a second master’s degree in music is required or highly desired for some positions. “
I have received an undergraduate degree in music that required me to take classes in other disciplines as well. I also have a minor in the French language (Romance language) and I can read German fairly well and I plan on getting more knowledge in this language. I will be acquiring an MLIS in the next few years and I will be considering going back to school to earn a second Master’s degree in Music (hopefully on my employer’s dime).
Luckily, there is a list of core competencies of Music Librarianship that I can read and study before I graduate to gage what I still need to learn before applying for jobs. I will be joining professional organizations, like the Music Library Association and the American Library Association, so I can begin networking throughout the library community. My understanding of the LIS profession is that there is a variety of careers in the LIS world. Each one of my classmates will most likely be going down very different roads than the next. As long as we are flexible in location of our future job and we are gaining experience while in school, we should be able to find jobs to start our professional careers right out of school. This isn’t always the case, of course, but the outlook for the LIS profession is looking bright in the future!
Music Librarianship: Is it for you?. Retrieved from http://musiclibraryassoc.org/employment.aspx?id=78.
Core Competencies and Music Librarians. (2002). Retrieved from http://musiclibraryassoc.org/uploadedFiles/Employment_and_Education/Music_Librarianship/Core_Competencies.pdf?n=7658.