Job Analysis Part 1: The Dream Job

When I started this blog I noted that my concentration is Records and Information Management. I foresee in my future a University Archivist position at an academic library. Actually, I think it is very likely that my position could be University Archivist/ Records Manager. I have seen many positions of this nature posted on job boards. I currently have an M.A. in History with a concentration in Public History from Wright State University. While attending Wright State I took mainly archives administration and American History courses. As far as experience I had several internships working with archival institutions before I graduated from Wright State and have been working in the field professionally for nearly three years. What I lack is training and experience in records and information management. I have made records and information management my concentration at Wayne State University. To become a more qualified candidate for a records management related position I am also planning on taking the Certified Records Manager Exam once I meet the qualifications to sit for it.

This job announcement for a Records Manager/Assistant University Archivist at Bowling Green State University was posted on the Higher Education Jobs website. The person in this position would manage the records retention schedules for print and electronic records. She would work with the university archivist to transfer records of historic significance to long term storage in the university archives. The Records Manager/ Assistant University Archivist would also monitor the university’s compliance of records management laws and university records policy. The educational requirements for the position are a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science (records and information management track), archives and records management or a related field. It also requires the successful candidate to be a Certified Records Manager. The successful candidate would also have at least three years managing a records and information management program and one year working in an archival institution (Higher Education Jobs, 2012.)

This job announcement for Archivist in Perris, California for the National Archives and Records Administration from USA Jobs is an example of another route that I might want to take in my career. Many of the position descriptions that I have seen to be an archivist for NARA require the ideal candidate to have experience in records management as well as experience as an archivist. This position requires candidates to hold only a Bachelor’s Degree in archives administration, history, political science, or another related field. It requires at least one year of experience as an archivist or in a history related field. Some specific skills listed incudes:

·         Manage Projects

·         Utilizes Computer Technology

·         Conducts Archival Processing

·         Manages Record Lifecycle

·         Applied Knowledge of Federal Agencies & Professional Research Methodologies

 ·        Describes Archival Holdings for Access 

·         Performs Reference Services (USAJOBS, 2012.)

Both of these positions are within the range of progression that I hope my career will be in within the next year. Either of these positions could lead me into a position some day of leading a university or government archives program.

References

Higher Education Jobs. Records Manager/Assistant University Archivist. Retrieved from http://www.higheredjobs.com/search/details.cfm?JobCode=175682821

USAJOBS. Archivist, Perris, California Job Description. Retrieved from https://my.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/332013300#qualifications

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Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections

As the first half of my first semester in the LIS program at Wayne State ends I begin to reflect about my writing in the first six weeks. If I were to identify a trend in my writing I would have to confess that I have not truly delved out of my comfort zone. My discussion threads and comments tend to be reflections of my own experience as an archivist. Writing from one’s own experiences is good, however, it would be more beneficial for me at this point of my education to explore new concepts and engage my classmates more in areas in the LIS world that excite them.

The blog activities for this class have, at least so far, been a wonderful outlet for expressing my desires in the workplace and as a student. Although we are expected to treat each blog as a professional essay I hope that my professor forgives the frankness that I enjoy about writing blogs.  Looking back at my first blog post I seem a bit unsure about starting an LIS program. The will to learn and grow professionally is there, but the post comes across as slightly jaded. I am sure that this point of view will not change by the end of the semester. Working in the field, having already lost hours of sleep in another master’s program, and trying to navigate a terrible job market has given me a different perspective than many of the students entering the program directly out of their undergraduate programs.

Moving forward into the final half of the semester I want to focus on engaging my classmates and exploring topics that I have side stepped in the past. For this reason I am going to spend my library visits at institutions unlike the one where I am employed and speak to people employed in LIS professions different from my own.  I hope that by learning about other LIS professions and institutions that my writing will be less focused on the point of view of an archivist and more open to writing from the perspective of an LIS student.

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Professional Goals

After completing a M.A. in history less than three years ago the thought of going back to school made me feel tired just thinking about it. But after spending some time in the job market and landing my second project archivist position I knew that I had to do whatever it takes to make myself more competitive in the very narrow job market for archivists. In the few years it has been since I graduated I had also began developing an interest in records management and digitally born records. It seemed to me that if I were to go back to school the thing to do would be to spend my time (and money) becoming an expert in records management and electronic records.

I realize that it sounds incredibly cliché, but I do have a five-year plan. In the next two to three years I will complete my MLIS concentrating in records and information management as it applies to electronic records. During this time I will also pursue the Records and Information certificate. In addition to my education at Wayne State I plan on taking the summer semester off in order to study for the Academy of Certified Archivists Exam in August. In the next five years I will take the Certified Records Manager Exam, but I will first need to gain more experience in the field to qualify.

After my position ends in March 2014 at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections I hope to find a permanent position where I can grow professionally, ideally, working as an archivist or records manager in an academic or government setting. As a project archivist my tasks and goals in the workplace have already been decided for a two-year period. To be able to explore my own interests and make my own goals would be challenging and worthwhile.

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Introduction

My name is Rachael Bussert and this is my first semester in the School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University. I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with my husband and one year old daughter. I have a BA in History from Ohio State University and an MA in History with a concentration in Public History from Wright State University. I’m an archivist by profession and I consider myself lucky to have landed a project archivist position at Michigan Technological University when so many new to the archival profession are seeking work. So why am I back in school? Institutional repositories. I truly believe that to remain in my profession I need to become an expert in preserving digitally born records. I feel like I have a lot less romanticized view of the library profession than maybe some other students might have entering the program. Maybe it is because I identify myself professionally as an archivist and public historian. Maybe I’m just too humble to call myself a master of the information universe or a pillar of social justice. That being said, I still believe that being an archivist is my calling and I enjoy my work immensely.  I feel a great deal of satisfaction every time I finish processing a collection or writing metadata for a digital object because I know that someone now has greater access to these unique documents. I hope to some day have the same satisfaction from preserving digitally born records.

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