Re: Multimedia/Film/Audiovisual Librarianship

Jean McCarron (
Sat, 23 Mar 1996 09:30:17 -0800 (PST)

Well, this is one posting I think I WILL answer. But I'll begin with a
question, because I'm curious. Which "library schools" out there have any
courses in media librarianship anymore? Or ever had any? Do they show any
interest at all in offering any in the future. Do they take the idea of
media librarianship seriously in any way?

BC - While there are certainly media librarians in educational
institutions here, one rarely sees them advertised. I would guess they
get filled from within by "general practitioners" and the new media
librarians learn on the job. I can certainly answer from the point of
view of public library systems in BC. I'm the only (public) librarian who
actually has a full time position dedicated to media that I know! (I would
dearly love to be challenged on this) In a large system, generally the
media is selected, acquired, maintained (??) by the same librarians who
take take care of the subject areas in print. i.e. the arts & humanities
librarian deals with film (and audio and multimedia) in that area as well
as print - the science and technology librarians do the same for their
area, whether or not they ever know anything about these media. And no,
this does not work very well in most cases. Anyone on this listserv will
know why....but that doesn't change the way things are. In smaller public
library systems, typically the most overworked, or the newest entry level
librarian is told early one Monday morning that she/he is now in charge of
the videos. (I'd dearly love to be challenged on that too)

I graduated in 1985 with my MLS. Tell me I'm out of date and things have
changed! Please!

Jean A. McCarron
Audiovisual Coordinator
North Vancouver District Public Library
TEL: (604)984-0286 FAX: (604)984-7600

On Fri, 22 Mar 1996, Kim Hale x5355 wrote:

> An MLS student from my Alma Mater is interested in becoming a Film or
> Multimedia Librarian. Because my title is neither, I wanted to post this
> to find out "the state of film/multimedia/audiovisual librarianship" from
> the experts out there. My guess is that like other specialzed fields, the
> numbers are few and the available positions are fewer. I am hoping that
> some of you would share your thoughts on the subject.
> Thank you for your help--it is greatly appreciated!
> Kimberly Hale, Acquisitions Librarian/Coordinator of Collection Development
> Columbia College Library
> 624 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60605
> (312) 663-1600, x5355 (voice) (312) 663-1707 (fax)