Job Title to Solve My Woes
March 14, 2012 3:33 PM Subscribe
Job Title Help: What would you call me? I'm a reference librarian who does teen programming and teach computer classes at a library. Director and I can't agree on what my official title is.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Of course, there is more to this story. I applied to be the "Youth Services Librarian", a new position, that replaced a Technology Librarian at a small rural library. Fresh out of my MLS and eager to please, I happily accepted an office attached to our Technology Lab that reads "TECHNOLOGY LIBRARIAN." I've been here for 9 months and run into a lot of issues. I am constantly told that "[Person in Tech Librarian position who left] used to do this for me" and I am not sure how to handle it. My director has signed a contract with a local IT consulting business and they come and fix our computers and take care of everything Tech related. Staff still come to me with computer issues so I contact our IT guys. Now I am basically a receptionist for all computer issues which I pass along to the IT people. Not an ideal set up.
I have approached my director about this both in a casual and formal sense. I have explained that I am happy to teach computer classes, but I don't think that using me to change everyone's printer ink is the best way to go about things. I've talked about the difference between an IT Technician and Technology Librarian but it still doesn't seem to click. Not to mention that I don't have the training necessary to be an IT technician (and I didn't apply for an IT position).
Anyway, this came to a head the other day when I mentioned that I still don't have business cards. My director suggested that my title be Youth Services and Mobile Technologies Librarian. I'd like a title that best reflects my responsibilities that I can use to help when explaining my role to other staff.
Here is a rundown of what I do:
General Reference Desk hours (day, night and weekend shifts)
Teen book collection development
Teen programming (crafts, video games, book clubs, SAT prep, etc.)
Computer classes for seniors
Website redesign and maintenance
Social media stuff - Facebook, Twitter, etc.
I'd like to come up with a title that describes what I do but I can't seem to find one that properly fits the bill. Normally I would say that Youth Services and Technology Librarian would be appropriate, but as I mentioned before, they seem to equate Technology Librarian with IT Technician. They fail to see how the Technology Librarian is the liaison between our patrons/community and technology, not the person that you go to when you have a virus on your computer.
I should note that this small rural library is staffed by, surprise, technophobes, who proudly describe themselves as dinosaurs when it comes to computers. To give you an example of the level of comfort the staff has with technology, we have had two laser printers die this month because the toner cartridges were replaces without removing the plastic strips. Two separate full time librarians (half of our professional staff) did this on two separate occasions! So the fact that I can attach files to an email, use Dreamweaver, etc. make me a Technology goddess here. But that's not a good thing. For example, this morning I was told by the director, "OUR SERVER IS DOWN, YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO RESTART THE SERVER?" No, sorry. I am great with personal computers but I am not a network administrator.
Any ideas? Have you been in a similar situation where a position was eliminated and you were hired in a new title but people still expected you to do the other job as well?
[P.S. I hope this post doesn't make it sound like I'm not willing to help people if they need help, but as most librarians, I have a full plate. We pay our IT consultants $800 a month (don't get me started) to take care of everything. While I could Google and read forums to fix most of our issues, I think it is best left to the people we hired to do it.]