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dispersal of serials responsibilities Lisa Schulz 20 Feb 1998 12:32 UTC

I am a library science student who has been a public service parapro for
8 years. One of my motives for a library science degree is to escape the
$9/hour pay bracket. Another is to specialize in a niche (serials) with
professional development opportunities. Because of the rising cost of
serials, the shift to electronic formats, and the tendency for libraries
to reduce costs by shifting traditionally 'professional' responsibilities
for serials to parapros and to new hires who are catalogers-reference
librarians (or some other hybrid), I wonder how realistic my career goal
remains. I do watch the openings on this list for trends. Any off the
list advise would be most welcome! Also, I have specific questions: (I am
especially interested in academic libraries)

1. How many serials librarians does your library have, what are their
duties (ie: acquisitions-cataloging or other) and  what are their job
titles? Do they share in weekend and evening shifts typically?

2. To what extent do parapros absorb serials work at your library?
Students? What is the ratio of professional to parapro in the serials (or
tech services) department?

3. How big is your library? If academic, about how many students attend?
Are there serials librarians at any of the 'branches', or only the main

4. Since I presently work in the reserves area of circulation, I feel I
may be missing essential experience that would help me get my 1st
professional position as a serials librarian (hands on use of  OCLC, for
example). Do you have any advise for how I can refine my preparation?

Thank you in advance
Lisa Schulz, Maryville University Library (St Louis) (or reply to list as you deem appropriate)