On break between classes this morning, I popped into the library and picked up a copy of the Library Journal magazine to pass the time. What I ended up reading was a bit distressing. When I first decided I wanted to be a librarian, I looked up some stats in the government's occupational handbook. It stated that because a lot of jobs were filled by babyboomers, and there was a general lack of interest in the field, jobs would start to grow for those looking toward becoming a librarian within the next 10 years.
It didn't anticipate the recession.
I'd been reading it in other blogs for awhile, but everyone complains about how little money their jobs are paying, how funds are low, so I wrote off all of the writings. But this magazine summed it up like a smack in the face. Because of the recession, or maybe its because the government doesn't see the importance of libraries, budget cuts have been harsh. According to the LJ, New Jersey received a vicious budget cut of 43%. New York City alone got a cut of $15 million dollars in funds. On top of it all, a lot of libraries everywhere had to layoff employees, or offer retirement incentives to give employees a graceful exit.
All of this meant two things to me: will libraries be there for me, like they were when I was a child, in even just a few years? And will I even have a career to look forward to after earning my master's? My husband assures me there will be a career, that there are no worries. I hope he's right. In the mean time, read the printed word! Visit your local libraries!
In case you're interested, check out www.losinglibraries.org, and see what I mean.