Re: AV/media librarianship in public libraries.

Sally S. Wellman (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 14:33:44 -0700 (PDT)

I am not in a public or an academic library but in a state library. We
serve as a resource for the public libraries in our state primarily, but we
also lend to state agenices, institutions, academic libraries, etc.

I just happened into this job -- I wanted to get on at the State Library
and was applying for any professional job that came open. I had no
intention of being a media librarian and wasn't too sure that this is what
I wanted to do. I just wanted to get out of a bad situation at a public
library. I feel very fortunate to have found something that I love to do.

I do all the selecting for videos, audiobooks, CDs, etc. My section does
all of its own cataloging, circulation, acquistions, reference, etc. These
are not handled by the user services or technical services sections of the
library. In other words, we are our own library within a library.

As far as media librarians in my state go, I am aware of only one large
library system that has a media librarian. It seems that most systems have
the media functions tied to other positions.

I had no media experience when I came here. I had 5 years of
paraprofessional experience in the reference section of a university
library and 5 years of general user service experience in public libraries.
I feel like I have the best of both worlds here because I get select for
a wide variety of interests, have a strong budget, a great staff, etc. I
also do not have to deal with the tenure games at universities. And, one
of the biggest perks, I don't work nights and weekends anymore.

I am not sure how other state libraries operate, but don't overlook them on
your job search.

Sally S. Wellman
Asst. Coordinator, Special Services
& Manager, Audiovisual Resource Center
State Library of Louisiana
701 North 4th St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: (225)-342-4939
Fax: (225)-342-4941