RE: AV/media librarianship in public libraries.

HIRSCH Bonnie C (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 13:45:19 -0700 (PDT)

I work in a public library, and am not a media librarian but an acquisitions
librarian. I am basically the purchasing agent; each of the reference
librarians selects materials for a portion of the library. Although one
adult services librarian selects for the video and talking book budget line
items, all the librarians occasionally select media for their areas. CD's
are selected by librarians who know a genre, i.e. classical, jazz, etc.
Our library serves a population of about 120,000, with a materials
budget of about $300,000. I don't know specifically of any public libraries
in Oregon who have an A/V librarian, unless possibly the Portland
metropolitan area has one.
We are looking for much different kinds of material than an
academic library would need, and the materials are used differently. They
are treated in much the same way books are - customers borrow them and take
them home and (we hope) bring them back. We don't have reserve rooms,
viewing/listening carrells, curricula to support, equipment to loan, or
obscure films that a professor wants us to find for use in a classroom. We
do not have enough budget to buy very much other than mainstream materials.
Perhaps these are some of the reasons that public libraries have fewer media
librarians than academic libraries do.

Bonnie Hirsch
Eugene (Oregon) Public Library
From: Michael Boedicker
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: AV/media librarianship in public libraries.
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 1999 11:30AM

Hello I'm a student in the MLS program at the Univ. of Buffalo. I'm
very interested in pursuing AV/media librarianship at the public library
level, but the journals, job postings, etc. I've seen have only dealt w/
it in academic settings.

I've been told that dedicated media librarian positions are difficult to
find in PL settings (except in large cities), and that often media
duties are given to other librarians (reference, etc) to perform.

Can anyone comment on this? I'd be especially interested in hearing
from those in public library positions, but all comments are welcome.

Mike Boedicker
School of Information & Library Studies
University of Buffalo