Technical Services librarian wants a flex/telework job
November 24, 2021 10:04 AM   Subscribe

I know there are a bunch of MLS and information services people here! I'm hoping to find a new job I like that allows for geographically flexible/remote work, either in my current field (research libraries) or something adjacent like library vendors, corporate knowledge management/copywriting...other. Anyone have advice, leads, cautionary tales, or moral support?

I'm in the US and don't want to have to move in order to take a new job, and vice versa don't want to have to give up a job I like if I want to relocate for personal needs down the road with aging parents and so on. Post-Covid lockdown, I'm just so ready for a change if I can only find a good spot to take the leap. I'm in a pretty cushy situation but it's dead-end. I'm just afraid of trying something else and hating it too.
posted by eunique to Work & Money (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I am a data librarian who now is a technical product manager for data products in a federal science agency. I also work with another librarian who coordinates our user research that drives both UI and data product work. Another librarian is in the project management office. Lots of different things to do with your MLS!
posted by rockindata at 11:45 AM on November 24

I have an MLIS and have never worked in an actual library. I've been a taxonomist for a market research firm, a product owner at a software company where I worked directly with legal librarians, and currently I do knowledge management for a large healthcare organization. I really love it; it's been incredibly varied and whenever I get tired of one role, there's a thousand different things I could conceivably do with my skill set. They tend to pay well and all had remote options. Happy to answer more specific questions.
posted by anderjen at 12:01 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]

+1 for knowledge management/taxonomy. Taxonomy in particular might be a relatively easy transition given your tech services background; there's growing demand for taxonomists in tech to help set up the metadata signals used to power machine learning. I love knowledge management and have worked in the field for years; professional services firms are typically a good place to start looking for open positions, though in recent years there's been a shift to outsource/offshore entry level roles. Also happy to answer questions via MeMail.
posted by scyllary at 1:39 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who does remote cataloging/metadata/coding work for a library support organization in the Southeast. I work remotely as a data librarian for a regional library. I would look into library-adjacent organizations like that.
posted by missrachael at 3:58 PM on November 24

OH and if something is not advertised as being remote, ask them if they would be open to making it a remote position. That's what I did with mine. After Covid, people are more open to (and have the infrastructure) for that.
posted by missrachael at 3:59 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]

I have recently seen postings on ALA's job list for remote positions with EBSCO, although I believe they are regionally bound. I don't know how much those jobs are sales vs. technical services, but I think you will have better luck finding remote work with a vendor or private company than a research library. I would look up vendors' websites to see their job postings (like EBSCO, ProQuest, Kanopy, Follett, etc.). I don't see academic libraries embracing fully remote work any time soon, based on my experience in the field.
posted by DEiBnL13 at 8:55 PM on November 24

Seconding DEiBnL13's suggestion. I work for one of the places mentioned, and I can confirm that at the beginning of the year most teams went permanent remote. Also, because we do business in every state already, moving to another state is totally fine (one of my direct reports just did it) because we already have business nexus there. I work as a librarian, but there are tons of jobs for someone with a librarian background that don't necessarily have that in the job title.
posted by odd ghost at 4:17 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]

Also try vendors like Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Bowker. They hire librarians.
posted by lyssabee at 4:36 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]

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