Yale Holds Librarian Symposium to Attract Humanities Ph.D.'s
Responding to a critical national shortage of academic librarians, Yale University Library and Yale’s Office of Graduate Career Services are sponsoring a symposium on April 11 to inform graduate students in the humanities about professional opportunities in university and research library systems.
According to an article in the August 14, 2002 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, a decrease in the number of professionals seeking positions in academic libraries threatens to become a crisis. The Chronicle report cites a leveling off in the number of people graduating from library schools and relatively low starting salaries among the reasons that the demand for academic librarians far exceeds the supply of qualified candidates. The problem is compounded by the fact that the aging population of professional librarians will create further vacancies in the field as they retire in the not so distant future. In 2000, the American Library Asssociation (ALA) computed the average age of its roughly 65,000 members at 49. A survey in 2000 conducted by Library Journal showed that 40 percent of library directors expected to retire within nine years; 68 percent, within 14.
In announcing the symposium to the Yale community, sponsors mention the goal of “maintaining excellent service to students, faculty and other researchers.” At the same time, the event, titled “How to Do Things with Books: Academic Careers in University Libraries,” is meant to raise the awareness of graduate students in the humanities to other rewarding professional venues beyond teaching.
The availability of funds for internships and career opportunities within the Yale University Library system and beyond will feature in the discussion.
The speakers at the symposium can also inform by their own example: They are all professional librarians and library administrators who hold Ph.D.s in the humanities.
The roster includes University Librarian Alice Prochaska; Vincent Giroud, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, Beinecke Library; Katherine Haskins, Director of the Arts Library; Gordon Turnbull, General Editor of Yale Boswell Editions; Annabel Patterson, Sterling Professor of English; and Todd Gilman, Librarian for Literature in English, Sterling Memorial Library.
The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place from 2- 3:30 p.m. in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 130 Wall St. A reception will follow.
Registration is not required, but is encouraged. To register, visit www.yale.edu/mcdougal/careers.