Review Your MLIS Skills at Work

Career Blog
Reviewing Book at Desk

Published: June 18, 2024 by Aryn Prestia 

For several years, the research-heavy MLIS Skills at Work report has been compiled by the Career Services department at the iSchool. The 2024 edition of this highly respected annual report for library job seekers nationwide is now available to help you get a jump on your career exploration!

In this report you will find… 

  • examples of job titles other than “Librarians”; 
  • highlights of current trends in the hiring space: AI, hybrid-work, and data analysis skills; and
  • detailed comparisons of 2024 job postings against postings from previous years that will enable you to track areas of growth and contraction in the LIS job market.

Why Read this Report?

This is an excellent resource for current and future MLIS students who want a better understanding of what employers are seeking in successful job candidates. It also provides a guide for students who want to best prepare themselves for the job market by learning which skills are in-demand and choosing courses and extracurriculars that support those skills.

How is the data collected?

Per the report’s introductory information, “The most recent jobs report analyzes and discusses a random sample of 400 job postings for library and information science (LIS) professionals posted on 24 LIS-specific and general job search websites between February 1 and April 15, 2024. The data cover employer types, job titles, in-demand skills, job-specific experience, and job duties.” (MLIS Skills at Work, 2024) So yep, the good news is you didn’t have to do all that research yourself….

How is the Report Organized?

The 58-page report begins by highlighting trends before moving into a breakdown of types of employers, skills, job duties, and representative job titles.

A few highlights to note: 

  • 75% of jobs require or strongly recommend an MLIS degree 
  • Among all library categories, positions in Archives, Preservation, and Special Collections have grown the most year over year
  • Research, Reference, and Readers Advisory are the most commonly listed skills in job posts

What’s the Most Effective Way to Use This Information?

While it’s helpful to have a general understanding of the hiring landscape, there are a couple of action items that students can take after reviewing this report. 

Make note of the sample job titles within your realm of interest in order to have the right keywords while looking for a job. For example, instead of only looking for “Archive” positions, you can try “Conservator” or “Curator.”

View the LIS skills in Demand on slide 15 to see what areas you may need more experience in. After finding your areas for improvement, you can find courses or resources like blog posts that can help you strengthen these areas.

As a student, you may think you don’t need to consider career options just yet, but it’s never too early to get started! Take some time in the quieter months of summer to review this report.

Find Out More

Selected Career Opportunities

  • Library Assistant, Circulation at Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C.
  • Teaching & Learning Librarian at University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.  


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