Non-Traditional Jobs for Librarians

In addition to work in traditional library settings, the expertise of librarians is increasingly employed in the private sector.

According to Occupational Outlook, jobs for librarians outside traditional settings are expected to grow the fastest, as the expanding amount of information available continues to require professionals who can find, sort and process it. As a result, librarians increasingly are working for private corporations, nonprofit organizations and consulting firms. Others are becoming independent information professionals, also called information brokers, and setting up businesses to research and manage information for clients.

Some examples of non-traditional jobs for librarians are:

Knowledge Management Specialists, who capture knowledge, including and especially that which resides in people’s heads, and organize it in a way that makes it readily usable and shareable. For more information, visit http://km.sla.org/.

Information Architects, who design the conceptual structure and logical organization of websites, intranets and online communities. For more information, visit http://www.iainstitute.org/.

Usability Engineers, who are concerned generally with human-computer interaction, and specifically with designing human-computer interfaces with high usability, or user friendliness. For more information, visit http://uxpa.org/.

Information Brokers, who provide a variety of research for clients. Specialists within the profession include market research and patent searches, but can include practically any type of information research. For more information, visit http://www.aiip.org/.

Competitive Intelligence Professionals, who gather actionable information on products, customers, competitors, and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in strategic decision making for an organization. For more information, visit http://www.scip.org/.

Taxonomists, who design, create, edit, and maintain taxonomies, which are structured terms in a hierarchy that are used for organizing, indexing and retrieving content. For more information, visit http://taxonomy.sla.org/.

Database Administrators, who use specialized software to store and organize data. The role might include capacity planning, installation, configuration, database design, migration, performance monitoring, security, and troubleshooting, as well as backup and data recovery.

Systems Analysts, who specialize in analyzing, designing and implementing information systems. Specialists access the suitability of information systems in terms of intended outcomes, and serve as a liaison with end users, software vendors, and programmers in order to achieve those outcomes.

Chief Information Officers, who are senior executives in charge of information technology strategy at an enterprise, as well as the computer systems that support an enterprise’s objectives and goals. For more information, visit https://www.nascio.org/.

And for a glimpse at some of the varied careers that SLIS alumni have had after graduating with their MA in Library and Information Science, check out the stories of twenty-five alumni in the 2016-2017 newsletter. Another option is viewing our alumni section https://www.slis.uiowa.edu/alumni.

For more information and other career resources, visit http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/careers/paths/jobtypes/privatesector.