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Re: Foreign MLS? Garry Church 06 Apr 2004 23:20 UTC

You are certainly able to do that, but you do put yourself in the vexing crossroads of
1) what is the purpose of ALA accreditation in the first place,
2) what is the meaning of the curriculums US library/information schools have in place,
3) the continuing problem of too-low salaries for librarians (despite the noise about not enough librarians to go around - there are a LOT of librarians, like there are a LOT of teachers, but most of the vast numbers of job are in more remote places and which don't want to pay a "living"(correspondent to the education undertaken) wage. Like teaching, there are or would be plenty of people to take the jobs if the pay corresponded to the work.
4) This idea of using foreign hires in place of US hires  ("Scab" labor from a union perspective).

The point of this discussion is not mere jingoism, rather it is to the point ethical, philosophical, and economic realism.  It is always the ones who have the job they want at the wage they want who can afford to look at managerial economics and say "let's bring in cheaper labor". It's regard for the profession that insists that we stick to ALA guidelines. The ALA is library -ism itself. If it only includes US and Canada, ask yourselves - why  is that? If as Dan suggests, that Can., Austral., UK, degrees are equivalent (which I would agree) then let the ALA include them. Let us work to change things appropriately, rather than risk jumping in for short term economics. As a librarian, you must think of other librarians who studied what you studied and went through what you went through, living here. If we don't look out for ourselves, the "bean counters" surely will not.

It is one matter  to hire a person living here who happens to have a foreign degree. IT is one matter to forego the degree and hire someone who has experiential competence. It is another matter for universities and colleges to pointedly hire foreign nationals instead of citizens as a matter of economic expediency. This goes part and parcel with the discussion of corporations exporting jobs overseas. If we don't hire the people we educate, then who WILL hire them, and in the end where will we all be. Do YOU want to work at a low-paying service job?

As for overseas, and I have worked overseas, Americans are hired in English language universities for set periods of time, and are often terminated when locals gain the experience and degree qualifications. We don't usually gain top managerial posts, which are usually and increasingly reserved for locals. We are often seen as well paid(even not so well paid) technical lackeys to be dispensed with when the time comes. Many Americans take such jobs on a short term(1-5 yrs) basis, as a kind of working vacation. There is no "job security", no social security, and we are not competing with locals. As soon as there is any sort of parity with locals, the local gets the job - end of story.

Let's not confuse American political correctness with the international job situation reality, or with our own level of professional expectation and position vis-à-vis administration.

To give examples of foreign degree hires as being very competent -there are plenty of paraprofessionals who are very competent, just as good as degreed librarians,  and in many cases, they aren't being given librarian jobs, are they?

It's a lot to think about.

-----Original Message-----
From: Holman Jenifer S [mailto:holman.jeni@UWLAX.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 3:49 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Foreign MLS?

I wanted to quickly thank everyone for their input on accepting
international applicants with non ALA-accredited library degrees.
Although a final decision has not been made yet, our library is moving
toward amending our search & screen procedures to include international

Jenifer Holman

Jenifer Holman
Acquisitions Librarian
Murphy Library
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1631 Pine St.
La Crosse, WI 54601

phone: 608-785-8395
fax: 608-785-8634