What Pennsylvania Public Libraries Want: An Analysis of PAMAILALL Job Advertisements





Job advertisements appearing on the Internet discussion list PAMAILALL from October 2017 to September 2018 were analyzed to determine the nature of and requirements for professional and non-professional positions in Pennsylvania public libraries. The analysis concludes that professional positions tend to be permanent and full-time, require a master’s degree in library science, and be in the areas of administration, reference, and children’s and youth services. Non-professional positions tend to be permanent but part-time, have lower and more diverse educational requirements, and be in access services and children’s and youth services. Required years of experience vary widely for both professional and non-professional positions, with many advertisements not stating any. The results can inform job seekers on needed skills. MLS students interested in public librarianship should acquire skills in library public services and administration and that MLS curricula should provide a strong core in traditional library knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as elective courses in public services and administration. For those interested in non-professional positions, development of transferable skills, such as interpersonal and communication skills, should be documented.

Author Biographies

James Tilio Maccaferri, Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor
Department of Information and Library Science

Marilyn K. Harhai, Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Professor, Department of Information and Library Science