Friday, March 09, 2007


Alternative Careers Survey

I'm working on a book on alternative careers for librarians, and am looking for input from folks who have pursued nontraditional paths.

I'm interested in hearing from a broad variety of people, including: those who have embarked on a new career after working for some time in libraries, those who earned an MLS but never worked in a traditional library setting, those who pursue alternative opportunities as a supplement to a traditional library career, those who work in a traditional setting but do nontraditional work, and those who do library work in nontraditional settings. Basically, if you think you might have/had some sort of nontraditional career, I'd love to hear from you -- thanks!

A few survey questions follow. Please feel free to distribute widely.


Alternative Careers Survey

Thanks for taking the time to talk about your alternative career experiences. Your answers may be quoted and/or used as a sidebar interview in a forthcoming book from Information Today, Inc. If you formerly had a nontraditional career, but now have moved back into library work, please answer the questions as they pertain to your previous career.

Please e-mail your answers to

E-mail address
Job Title
City, State (or equivalent)
Do you have an MLS? If yes, when and where did you earn it?
Would you like to remain anonymous if quoted in the book? Y/N

Had you worked in libraries before pursuing an alternative career? If so, for how long, and in what type/s of institutions?

Can you talk a little bit about the path you took to your alternative career? Why did you choose this particular type of work?

Can you give me an overview of what you do in your nontraditional career? What are some typical daily tasks and responsibilities?

What do you like best about your alternative career? What do you like least?

In what ways do you see this career as being related to librarianship?

In what ways have your library skills/knowledge and/or LIS education transferred?

What new skills/knowledge did you need to acquire in order to be successful? Were there ways in which your previous non-library background came in handy?

What advice would you have for someone interested in pursuing a similar path? Is there anything you wish you had known prior to making the leap?

In what ways do you keep up with the library field while pursuing a nontraditional career path?

What do you miss most about libraries/library work? What do you miss least?

If there is anything else I should have asked, please ask and answer it.

May I contact you via e-mail for clarification or additions?

May I use your answers in a forthcoming book from Information Today, Inc., tentatively titled: What's The Alternative: Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros?

Would you like to be notified via e-mail when the book comes out?


If you have moved back to librarianship from a nontraditional career, please also answer the following two questions:

Why did you decide to move back to a more traditional library career?

What do you bring back to the field from your experiences in your alternative career?

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