After reading the article, “The Library Employment Landscape,” in the May 2021 issue of American Libraries (pg.34-37)
, I was struck once again by how quickly expectations have changed for the role of libraries in our communities. By extension, the skill sets needed by library employees have also changed. As libraries take on new roles, library tasks and the knowledge required to perform those tasks must adapt equally quickly. Developing new skills can be interesting, exciting, fulfilling and challenging. Doing so while pivoting constantly can be time-consuming, exhausting, difficult and discouraging. An on-going demand for new and different skills can make it more difficult for job seekers to find employment, and for libraries to find qualified employees. In the article, John Keister of the executive search firm, John Keister and Associates, talks about how the expectations for library directors in particular, has been steadily changing, to the extent that many no longer aspire to be a director. Thinking as we always have about the qualifications and expectations for library positions at all levels may no longer be viable or effective. If we are going to continue to fulfill the needs of our communities in the manner to which we aspire, we need to make certain that we are thinking critically about the skills needed when we write job descriptions, post jobs, recruit and develop our staff and ourselves. NEO-RLS promises that we will pay equal attention to the changes in order to ensure that our continuing education and services are current and relevant. Together we are maximizing library potential.
Have a wonderful week!