Re:Multimedia/film/video librarianship a reply

CEbert2@aol.com
Mon, 25 Mar 1996 20:57:48 -0500

< 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.

I am the head of the Audio-Visual Department for a medium sized county
library system in eastern Ohio. I buy all AV materials (except books on
cassettes which are bought by the head of reference. Don't ask me why.) for
the entire county. (5 branches.) In my department we check the items in and
out, inspect and repair them, and then we shelve them. We don't even have
pages.

I got my MLS in August 93 and had my present job just a few weeks later. I
think I was lucky though. I've been watching the ads for a few years now and
I haven't seen many for AV at all. For personal reasons I was desparate to
relocate to northeastern Ohio, so I interviewed for a few reference positions
up there. All of the libraries had AV materials but they had wholly or in
part combined the circulation functions of their AV departments into main
circulation and assigned one of their reference librarians to buy the
materials. I suspect that this is the trend in small to medium sized public
libraries, although I hope it isn't. Audio-visual is the only thing in
LibraryLand that I'm enthusiastic about doing. I have a BA in cinema and I
worked as a para-professional in an AV department for ten years before I got
my MLS.

PS No, my library school had no special classes or anything for AV. I took
some graduate level courses in media librarianship from the education
department at Ohio State and transferred the credits.

Chuck Ebert
Head, Audio-Visual Department
Muskingum County Library System