Please see the query below from Cynthia Welsh, Substitute Outreach Librarian at High Plains Library District, about job descriptions for writing the history of a public library. What sort of qualifications should be listed for a library history writer? I hope her question will spark a fruitful discussion about how public libraries can allocate staffing to compile their histories.
Job descriptions or suggestions can be sent to Cynthia at CWelsh@highplains.us However, please consider also copying your response to the LHRT list, or adding a comment on the blog, and many other libraries planning similar positions may also benefit. I believe Cynthia has hit on a crucial issue in the production of library historiography and would love to compile suggestions on the blog.
In our search, we have so far not found an actual job description, but we have identified the excellent Guidelines for Writing Local Library Histories on the LHRT web site, and some of the Celebrations posted by various libraries on the blog.–Best, Brett, LHRT News & Notes
My public library system, High Plains Library District (Colorado), has decided to commit staff time and resources to collecting, researching and writing our history. We are just beginning to frame the position and its duties and I am hoping someone in LHRT-world has a job description (and title) they would be willing to share?This position, as we’re now conceiving of it, is part archival/archivist, perhaps some records management, part oral history project, and ultimately (once existing records are properly sorted, digitized, and cataloged), will require the analytical, interpretive and writing skills of an historian. Given that range of duties, none of which appear in any of our current job descriptions for branch or outreach librarians, I’d be delighted to know how other institutions define, allocate and prioritize those tasks in a public library setting.
Substitute Outreach Librarian
High Plains Library District
2650 W. 29th St.
Greeley, CO 80631