Hiring Non-MLS Librarians: Trends and Training Implications

Betsy Simpson


Non-MLS librarian hires may be anathema to some, but survey data indicate significant level of acceptance among academic and public library directors. Primary reasons for not requiring the degree include the need to expand applicant pools and the nature of the work for academic libraries and budget constraints for public libraries. The types of positions least likely to forgo the degree requirement for both types of libraries include Administration/Management, Cataloging/Bibliographic Control, Collection Development/Management, and Reference. Distinctions made between librarians and library professionals are tenuous and not consistent across libraries.


Non-MLS librarians; Recruitment; Hiring; MLS degree

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