ACRL OnPoint Chat Archive September 23, 2009: Ph.D.s in Academic Libraries: The Role of the Scholar-Librarian

( 10:00 a.m Pacific | 11:00 a.m. Mountain | 12:00 p.m. Central | 1:00 p.m. Eastern)
This discussion will address the hybrid figure of the 'scholar-librarian,' focusing on the role of Ph.D. recipients in academic libraries. Questions to be asked will include: How does the very specific knowledge gained during Ph.D. research apply in an academic library setting? What roles do Ph.D.-holders play in the future of librarianship? How are Ph.D-holders particularly poised to mentor student research? This month's chat is convened by: Heather Waldroup, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow, The Libraries of the Claremont Colleges; Gabrielle Dean, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University; Amanda Watson, Research and Instruction Librarian, Connecticut College; Christa Williford, Project Coordinator, Cataloging Hidden Collections, Council on Library and Information Resources; and Patricia Hswe, Project Manager, NDIIPP Partner Projects, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Chat log archive

10:00 Heather.Waldroup Hi all - thanks for joining us! Since it's now our start time, I thought each of the conveners might introduce themselves.

10:01 Heather.Waldroup I’m currently a CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, CA. I also hold a faculty position in art history at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

10:01 Aaron Dobbs How many librarians does it take for a chat room to dissolve into a program? :)

10:01 guest393133 Hello

10:02 Ann Hi

10:02 Josh Lupkin hi

10:02 Patricia Hswe I was a CLIR postdoctoral fellow at University of Ilinois, 2--------. I now work as a project manager for a set of digital preservation projects at the library school here.

10:02 Ann Is there suppose to be sound?

10:02 Patricia Hswe My PhD is in Slavic Languages and Literatures. I have a Masters in LIS, too.

10:02 Aaron Dobbs No Sound

10:03 Christa Williford Hi all, I am a former postdoctoral fellow (2--------) with a degree in theater history and an MLIS, now working for CLIR as a Program Associate. I'm here to help Heather, Patricia, and Amanda Watson with the discussion.

10:04 Christa Williford It's just chat everyone, sorry :-)

10:04 megherman Hi, I'm Mara, graduating with my MLIS in December. Have an MA and "almost ABD'

10:05 Patricia Hswe What is your MA and ABD field of concentration, Mara?

10:05 Josh Lupkin Hi all, I'm Josh -- have a PhD in history and recent MLIS, and am working as a humanities librarian at SMU

10:06 Bob Holley I may the the old timer here. PhD Yale 1971 in French; MLIS Columbia 1973 I've been back and forth between academic librarianship and library education several times but I'm now permanently a professor until I retire, I think.

10:06 Jill Anderson I'm Jill. I'm finishing my MSIS at UT Austin this semester and have a PhD in US history from Rutgers.

10:06 ChristinaB Hi, everyone! I have an MLIS, working at ODU Library, and have a PhD in Germanic Languages & Literatures.

10:06 Heather.Waldroup Bob, did you join us at ACRL last March?

10:06 tyneely is everyone supposed to introduce themselves or just teh conveners?

10:07 ysaito79 Yumiko, catalog librarian at Syracuse University. I have my MLIS and am considering continuing on to a PhD in library management/administration

10:07 Bob Holley No. I don't think I knew about whatever you're talking about.

10:07 Heather.Waldroup All the conveners are humanities PhDs, but I'm curious about what other disciplines are represented today.

10:07 Aaron Dobbs @tyneely My impression was just the "speakers" would introduce themselves?

10:07 RachelLM hi I am Rachel. I have a Masters in translation studies and MLIS fron Arizona University; I work as librarian at Arizona State University

10:08 tyneely Ph.D. adn MLIS in LIS, public services, administration, U of New Mexico

10:08 guest393133 I have a Ph.D. in Information Studies

10:08 tyneely thanks Aaron, heather clarified

10:09 Mark Hi ChristinaB - nice to see an ODU person here...I'm from Virginia originally (Newport News).

10:09 pbeile Hi, my MLIS is from 1991 and I got a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in 2005. Practicing librarian at U of Central FL.

10:09 sloubowers I have a J.D., MLIS and am ABD in a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction

10:10 scandochick It would be interesting to know if we have anyone here with advanced degrees outside of professional degrees and the humanities. I believe those tend to be most heavily represented (by me as well).

10:10 leoslo I have a MFA (Screenwriting) and MLIS, currently in a M.S. (Instructional Design) program.

10:10 mhbennett MA & Ph.D. in religious studies (European and American religious history) from UVa; MLS; head of collection development at University of Houston.

10:10 Mark Heather I'm glad you asked that question because it always seems humanities fields are the most easily encounters doctorates in the library field. I wish academic libraries got more librarians with doctorates in the social sciences and natural sciences.

10:11 JS I'm an MLIS student graduating in 2010. I'm interested in a PhD sometime afterwards and getting a feel for the field right now.

10:11 guest393133 M.S. chemistry also

10:12 Jenny E I'm sloughing through my dissertation proposal for an EdD in Educational Leadership.

10:12 guest393133 b.s also chem

10:12 Heather.Waldroup @ Mark: I agree with you. I'm not sure why that is... I tend to think that it's because non-humanities PhDs have a better job market, but I DON'T feel that the comparatively thin job market in the humanities is what drives humanities PhDs to library work.

10:12 Bob Holley If the question earlier was whether I was at the same discussion at the ACRL National Conference, I was there.

10:12 scandochick @ Mark, I think this has something to do with the people who choose to become librarians.

10:13 Heather.Waldroup I was just talking with a friend who has an engineering MS from Berkeley - he said he never went to the library during his entire time in grad school!

10:13 Patricia Hswe I wasn't driven to library work by the thinning job market for humanities PhDs.

10:13 Mark Nor was I.

10:13 scandochick Nor I.

10:13 Mark But it's interesting that y'all raise that.

10:13 Josh Lupkin Nor was I, though I can't say it was irrelevant

10:13 Todd I was--Todd Gilman

10:13 Amanda Watson Nor was I, though it was one of a great many factors that led me away from the faculty track.

10:14 scandochick There might be a more natural "match" for humanities people. Also they tend to have more contact with the library during their programs.

10:14 pbeile Instead of a humanities/non-humanities dichotomy, I see the difference more as librarian, then doctorate or doctorate, then librarian...

10:14 ChristinaB Pbeile, could you clarify?

10:14 Heather.Waldroup pbeile: what do you mean?

10:14 Patricia Hswe My CLIR postdoc experience in a humanities library is what compelled me toward library school - that, and the fact that my school offered a curriculum/track in digital libraries.

10:15 Josh Lupkin Well, I think that there are a lot of changes in science librarianship going on right now, such that people might want to get involved in data curatorship but not call themselves a librarian

10:15 guest393133 I'm interested in knowing what has been the reaction toward you by your non-PhD librarian colleagues in the workplace?

10:15 Amanda Watson @scandochick: I agree on the library contact factor leading more humanities types into librarianship. That saying about the library being the humanist's lab is still true.

10:15 Josh Lupkin also, in the sciences it seems there are more other options for those not looking for a traditional faculty-teaching track, many of which actually pay well

10:16 pbeile well, what is the motivation to get a doctorate as a practicing librarian as opposed to seeking an MLIS after holding a doctorate?

10:16 Heather.Waldroup Josh, I think you're right.

10:16 Mark Yes, Josh is right on target in that.

10:16 Patricia Hswe Reaction in my library was more about being a CLIR postdoc - "what is it you do??" - than about having a Phd, in some ways.

10:16 Josh Lupkin If one is already a practicing librarian, having a PhD could help you move into administration

10:16 Josh Lupkin i suppose

10:16 bpencek I benefited more as a librarian from my PhD and some years of full-time work as a political scientist than I did from a spending tow years in library school. I recommend subject-area degree first.

10:16 Bob Holley Some positions as Dean require the doctorate as does my own university--Wayne State.

10:16 Amanda Watson Reactions from non-Ph.D librarian colleagues: I've always been paranoid about encountering people with negative stereotypes about Ph.Ds, but it hasn't turned out to be the case so far.

10:16 Heather.Waldroup @pbeile: I think it depends greatly on the person and their situation... also, are we talking an information sciences doctorate or a subject doctorate, such as literature?

10:17 scandochick @ pbeile, many would say personal fulfillment.

10:17 tyneely will the conveners be making statements?

10:18 Josh Lupkin In some ways, having a PhD can make you less employable as a librarian

10:18 Jill Anderson I have had several encounters with people with negative stereotypes re PhDs, and I wonder how common that is.

10:18 Amanda Watson @tyneely: what kind of statement do you mean?

10:18 scandochick That's a good point, reasons for getting a doctorate in LIS vs a subject doctorate are worth exploring.

10:18 Heather.Waldroup @ tyneely: I mentioned our motivation for holding this roundtable above. I thought I might now pose our discussion questions.

10:18 tyneely ok

10:18 Josh Lupkin ok

10:18 ysaito79 @pbeile, that is the question I am asking myself currently having not started a phd track yet. I do ultimately see myself in administration and I wonder if a phd in information administration is the path to take.

10:18 Heather.Waldroup Here they are:

10:18 Todd Josh, I wonder about admin--it seems the PhD marks you as an egghead not qualified for practical work.

10:18 Heather.Waldroup How does the very specific knowledge gained during Ph.D. research apply in an academic library setting?
What roles do Ph.D.-holders play in the future of academic librarianship?
How are Ph.D-holders particularly poised to mentor student research?

10:18 Patricia Hswe @Josh - really? I had not encountered that, yet. I should hear about your experience with that, if you have any.

10:18 tyneely it just seemed like a free for all and i thought it waould be a little bit more structured

10:19 tyneely my frirst chat and all

10:19 Heather.Waldroup I'd be glad for anyone to take off with this, and my co-conveners and myself can respond.

10:19 Heather.Waldroup I'd also like to know if others have questions or issues they'd like to address - some of these have come up already.

10:19 guest393133 I don't think it matters, especially when you're the only one

10:19 juliepia I have a question for those of you who serve as departmental liaisons: do you find that your PhD allows you more opportunities as a liaison that your librarian colleagues without PhDs have?

10:19 Mark Amanda, I encountered negative stereotypes from some people at one job, but then left it and found another great job without people holding those stereotypes.

10:19 tyneely I've found my doctorate to be quite helpful at the ref desk when doctoral students need to speak with someone who understands what they're going through

10:19 Josh Lupkin @Patricia: I was told in one of the places I recently applied, that there were several librarians on staff who lobbied against my candidacy because they thought I would be difficult to work with and a prima donna

10:19 tyneely we've even had folks ask for a librarian with a ph.d. here

10:19 juliepia If so, what are those opportunities?

10:20 Heather.Waldroup @ Josh: wow, was this before or after meeting you?

10:20 scandochick I find that it's helped with credibility with the faculty.

10:20 Josh Lupkin @heather this was before meeting me

10:20 ChristinaB Tyneely, I have had similar experiences, espeically with graduate students.

10:20 tyneely i totally didn't knwo how to ask him that qquestions

10:21 Josh Lupkin I do find that it helps with faculty, in raising the profile of the library

10:21 Patricia Hswe @Josh - interesting . . . but that's probably good for you know, so that you're aware of sensitivities.

10:21 tyneely ChristinaB, they seem to be more comfortable if they think they're talking to a 'peer' i think

10:21 guest393133 Years ago, I bellieve most library PhDs focused on administration. Now they seem to focus on research.

10:21 guest can be a double-edged sword...

10:21 Josh Lupkin the question is, who is going to pay for all of this rarified research

10:22 Heather.Waldroup @ Josh, what do you mean?

10:22 Patricia Hswe @guest - absolutely: as Phd working lib, you know about research but at same time your colleagues might resent you.

10:22 guest how does one counter that?

10:22 tyneely i haven't found that to be true here or in my previous position

10:22 Josh Lupkin @heather -- well you don't want to seem "expensive" and a sort of boutique item

10:23 Josh Lupkin or that you are too smart to do the frontline work that others are doing

10:23 guest @ Josh, or that people think you think that!

10:23 Bob Holley I have met PhD who require additional respect and want to be called "Doctor." This desire is usually inversely proportional to the quality of their degree.

10:23 guest393133 Interesting that you should mention student research. I was asked to serve on a masters student committee just today. I told her I didn't know her subject area though

10:23 Mark good point Bob

10:23 Christa Williford Josh: sounds like you dodged a bullet! As for the rest of us, these attitudes will always be around, but I've found generally once people know you they are less and less of an issue.

10:24 Heather.Waldroup @ Josh - I see. Thanks for clarifying.

10:24 Amanda Watson @Josh Yes. I've always tried to avoid seeming like I wanted less frontline work because of my degree.

10:24 Josh Lupkin exactly, the point is to show in the way you approach the job that you have some competencies you can bring to the table but that you don't feel entitled

10:24 Heather.Waldroup @Bob - yes, that's true in the faculty world too!

10:24 tyneely I think a lot rides on the behavior and attitude of the Ph.D. holder

10:24 bpencek Demeanor and competence on the job make one resented or loved by colleagues, more than degrees. I hate the "Dr." thing and mention my degree only strategically, as when dealing with potentially patronizing faculty and, esp., grad students

10:24 Heather.Waldroup I totally resent it when OTHER FACULTY introduce themselves to me as "Dr. so-and-so"!!

10:25 tyneely they set the tone for how they will be received on the front lines or elsewhere int eh organization

10:25 Todd Your app can be a turn-off, too. Don't include title of your diss, for example, if you want to be seen as a colleague, depending on where you are applying, of course.

10:25 guest393133 Another question I have is: How do the non-teaching faculty perceived the PhD in the library. My faculty seem to be confused because they've always heard that the MLS is the terminal degree for librarians.

10:25 Amanda Watson I've never asked anyone to call me "Doctor." Or put "Ph.D" after my name, for that matter.

10:25 guest393133 They want to know what's the purpose of the PhD?

10:25 tyneely I disagree Todd. i don't thik you need to hide the fact that you've done the work and acquired the degree. You jsut don't need to rub it in everyone's face

10:25 tyneely that's the problem

10:25 Heather.Waldroup Me neither, except when students call me "Miss Waldroup"

10:25 ChristinaB I agree w/ Tyneely.

10:25 Christa Williford Guest393113: the good thing about being a librarian is that you've got the skills to navigate unfamiliar territory :-) Todd: Excellent point about thinking about how you present yourself.

10:26 Patricia Hswe I second Amanda Watson's comment - I don't abide by the Dr. title.

10:26 Mark It really does depend on where you apply Todd...some place are actually interested in what you did for your dissertation.

10:26 Todd I know.

10:26 Todd But better safe than sorry when in doubt

10:26 RachelLM I've noticed that some non-administrative but curatoral library senior positions now require PhD, but not necessarily MLS - I wonder how common that is.

10:26 mhbennett Any thoughts on how to mention your degree "strategically," as bpencek put it?

10:26 Josh Lupkin @mark: I agree, if you're saying you have subject expertise then prove it -- but in a diff way than you would if looking for a fac pos

10:26 guest I think the key is not to assume they're interested.

10:27 Patricia Hswe @RachelM - can you give an example - job posting?

10:27 Bob Holley I would add that the tone may be set by the director. Once in my work history, I had an anti-intellectual direcor who was a holdover from the 1960's

10:27 tyneely I never mention mine at all, but if someone asks for a librarian with one at the desk, they come and get me and i deal with that person individually

10:27 Josh Lupkin one important point is to show that you don't mind doing other subjects related to your field

10:27 Heather.Waldroup @RachelLM: Curator positions are interesting. In visual fields, the PhD (in art history or visual anthropology, depending on the material) is the more typical degree. Some people also have an MLS.

10:27 Patricia Hswe @Josh - I agree

10:28 tyneely All of this depends on the job you were hired to do

10:28 Josh Lupkin @rachel yes, special collections are their own animal

10:28 Mark well, the whole curator thing is almost a different ballgame.

10:28 Mark ...for the reasons you mention.

10:28 Patricia Hswe @RachelM, @Heather - sounds like curator positions depend more on subject expertise rather than LIS practioner kind of experience.

10:28 Amanda Watson (By the way, I keep getting popups that say my last message wasn't delivered. Are you guys seeing any of my comments?)

10:28 Josh Lupkin @mark -- yet, a lot of libraries are asking for the MLS from EVERYONE

10:28 Patricia Hswe @Amanda - yes, I'm seeing them

10:28 ChristinaB MhBennett: I actually do have the PhD at the end of my signature line in Outlook, just like many faculty do. But I sign my emails by first name. I believe I come across as very personal; they just happen to be aware of the degree.

10:28 Bob Holley @Todd. Are the curators at Yale still "special"?

10:28 guest393133 I'm rather slow keeping up. But am responding to Juliepia. I don't see where the PhD's help any more than my subject specialty in chem as a liaison

10:29 tyneely it is still considered teh terminal degree for the profession

10:29 Patricia Hswe There is a limit to how much text you can type - I typed a LONG one a few minutes ago. Probably was truncated.

10:29 Kara_Malenfant @ Amanda, yes we're seeing them

10:29 Amanda Watson Thanks!

10:29 RachelLM Clumbia U, Middle Eastern librarian

10:29 Kara_Malenfant @ Amanda Do note the truncation issue Patricia mentions though

10:29 tyneely i agree guest393133

10:29 Todd The curators do consider themselves a league apart from the bibliographers, but not all of them.

10:29 juliepia Thanks

10:29 Patricia Hswe @RachelM - that makes sense to me, because of the language need/expertise

10:29 guest393133 Yes, I agree with tyneely concerning empathy toward doc students

10:29 tyneely Bob could you elaborate on the director setting the tone?

10:30 Heather.Waldroup I might stress here that my co-conveners and myself are, or have been, part of the CLIR postdoc program which is set up to address some of the issues we've been addressing.

10:30 Amanda Watson Sorry, folks. For those who missed my intro: CLIR fellow 2004-05 at UVA, now at Connecticut College as a research/instruction librarian.

10:30 Todd You should come down to Yale sometime, Amanda.

10:30 Bob Holley The director would have liked to have been a home builder, but couldn't afford to. He once boasted to the Provost that he never did any research. I think that this type of director is less common, but there might still be some out there.

10:30 Josh Lupkin Yeah, I've thought about this for a while, since getting the PhD in 2001 -- applied for CLIR fellowship back then, but no dice

10:31 Heather.Waldroup Amanda, since you're the only one of the four of us who holds an official 'librarian' title, you're uniquely poised to address some of these questions.

10:31 tyneely Amanda, any plans for CLIR to do any research relating to Ph.d's in academic libraries?

10:31 Amanda Watson @Todd: I was there for a NELIG event last year! And will no doubt return.

10:31 tyneely Not quite sure what it would look like though

10:31 guest I wonder how interested most libraries really are in those with doctorates anymore, outside of a handful of schools...

10:31 Mark I remember there were some people in the library field really upset with the idea of some credential for humanities Ph.D.'s that was less than a full MLS but was still supposed to qualify them to be librarians.

10:31 Todd Amanda--good!

10:31 guest393133 PhDs in admin positions probably encounter less resentment, at least overt

10:31 tyneely Thanks Bob

10:32 Amanda Watson @tyneely I think CLIR has done some preliminary studies -- my CLIR fellow cohort Daphnee Rentfrow worked on some of them.

10:32 Josh Lupkin @Mark yes.

10:32 tyneely k, anything published you could point us to?

10:32 Christa Williford I use the "PhD" in my title now at CLIR but didn't when I worked as a librarian. I think that the way you present yourself is entirely dependent on the situation. I sometimes have felt like I was "navigating 2 worlds," but I like it that way!

10:32 tyneely I think another issue is are you in a position that requires a ph.d.?

10:33 Amanda Watson @Mark I remember that too. There was a spate of articles about Ph.Ds destroying the profession.

10:33 guest393133 We also get these types of comments Yes, we know you have a PhD

10:33 tyneely after i interviewed at a prev. place of work adn got the job, i was told there was concern that i was being considered with a ph.d.a dn it wasn't a requirement

10:33 Todd Yes, tyneely, that does affect how you're seen, both inside and outside the library.

10:33 Amanda Watson @Mark cont'd But really, in my experience, the number of libraries open to Ph.Ds without MLSs is *tiny*.

10:33 Christa Williford Ty: yes we at CLIR were exploring this at a recent meeting. I think I need to talk to Todd, though (Hi Todd!) before we get a feel for what exactly would be a useful way to follow up on his recent work.

10:33 Patricia Hswe @Christa - good point. When I start at Penn State in January, I will drop the Phd.

10:33 Heather.Waldroup The CLIR publication "No Brief Candle" has Daphnee Rentfrow's article:

10:34 Amanda Watson @tyneely My position doesn't require a Ph.D, but it was a "plus" when they hired me.

10:34 Heather.Waldroup Todd has also published on this topic - in fact, we read his work @ our CLIR summer seminar.

10:34 tyneely thanks Heather

10:34 mhbennett FWIW: I think PhDs in library admin are preferred by some accreditation standards (e.g., Association of Theological Schools).

10:34 tyneely @Amanda, mine too, gave me more credibility I think in a director level position

10:34 Todd Thea Lindquist and I have published the results of a survey of 664 librarians and a followup piece is coming soon.

10:35 Todd Doctorate-holders, I mean

10:35 Patricia Hswe @Todd - very interesting piece!

10:35 Christa Williford Todd: great news! We would love to hear more about this.

10:35 Heather.Waldroup Todd, that's exciting - where will this be published?

10:35 tyneely Def. Todd, got a citation for they survey?

10:35 Amanda Watson I was once asked, during a job interview, if my having a PhD meant that I wanted to be in library administration someday. I went "gulp." (It really doesn't.)

10:35 Todd We don't know yet because we have had to rethink what was almost a done piece.

10:35 guest393133 Some of us receive this type of response even though we happily do the same low/high level tasks as our other colleagues.

10:35 Amanda Watson @Todd: congrats!

10:36 Mark Does anyone know people with doctoral degrees in the performing arts who work in academic libraries?

10:36 Josh Lupkin it is interesting, because people assume that I want to go to administration, even though I (regrettably?) have no experience in that area

10:36 Todd The problem was that in my opinion there is less interest in subject specialty now than there was before so we can't trumpet the PhD etc as an obvious good across the board. Need to reframe the article.

10:36 Josh Lupkin @Todd I agree

10:37 Todd If you want some context for that, see "Subject Experts Need Not Apply" in the Chronicle 2008

10:37 Christa Williford What's funny about the PhD/admin connection is that getting a PhD really doesn't teach any administrative/managerial skills (at least in my experience!). It seems to just be a useful tag to help someone navigate the university bureaucracy.

10:37 Heather.Waldroup @ Mark: A past CLIR fellow has a doctorate in dance studies.

10:37 guest It's important that libraries are aware of the positives that a advanced degree holder can bring beyond those three letters.

10:37 Josh Lupkin The head of my library got her MPA rather than a PhD

10:37 Heather.Waldroup And there are several (Crista included) with a theatre history background.

10:38 guest393133 It depends on where you are. You can be on first name basis with everyone and some colleague still call you Dr. and still hate you.

10:38 tyneely I think there are a lot of assumptions attached to the Ph.D. and people forget that these positions have other more relevant requirements

10:38 Christa Williford Mark: and I'm a theatre historian, although now I work at CLIR rather than in a library.

10:38 Patricia Hswe @Christa - exactly. I've heard/read that it's recommended that librarians go to business school for this!

10:38 Bob Holley I have a question. What is the relative value professionally to do research on library topics or in the subject field? Which counts more? This debate has come up in library evaluation committees.

10:38 Mark thanks Heather...I know that was a little off-topic but it's good to think about the non-humanities issue in the context of the present discussion.

10:38 Aaron Dobbs So far, the impression I get is get a PhD if you're interested in something and don't lord the degree over others.

10:38 Heather.Waldroup @ Mark - I agree.

10:38 Mark well said Aaron.

10:38 BradC Has anyone in the room gotten a second masters or phd to qualify for promotion (as practicing librarians)??

10:38 Todd We value both at yale--guidelines just rewritten, Bob

10:39 Amanda Watson @Bob: On the whole, library topic research probably counts more. But there are some places where subject research is encouraged.

10:39 mhbennett @Christa--I think it's a credibility/common ground w/faculty issue for library administrators.

10:39 Aaron Dobbs the PhD also tends to confer better cred to the holder within faculty of the discipline

10:39 tyneely @Aaron, i always recommend that folks do the Ph.D. instead of a 2nd masters unless they're changing disciplines

10:39 tyneely cause once they're done, they're done,

10:39 Heather.Waldroup Ty, is that a LIS PhD or other?

10:39 Aaron Dobbs and (don't tell Higher Ed admins this) PhD != management skills

10:39 guest393133 Yes, I tend to play down my degree among colleagues but it doesn't help.

10:39 Mark BradC, at my library one has to have at least a second Master's to get tenure.

10:39 tyneely mine is LIS

10:39 Kara_Malenfant @ tyneely I stopped working on a second Masters 2 semesters in and started a PhD instead. Much more rewarding/engaging

10:39 Patricia Hswe @tyneely - really? getting a PhD requires more commitment than second MA, though. takes lots of time

10:39 Jill Anderson Are there ways to positively spin aspects of the PhD without seeming to lord it over people?

10:40 tyneely but i recommend folks consider the PhD in their disciplines instead of a 2nd masters

10:40 tyneely Well said Kara!

10:40 Amanda Watson @Aaron Yes. Though I'd also add "if you don't mind taking a much longer time to degree and encountering a lot of bafflement about not intending to be a faculty member."

10:40 tyneely Yes, Jill, just be yourself

10:40 guest393133 I believe some are resentful also because I'm also paid more.

10:40 tyneely the degree doens't change teh person you are

10:40 guest I wish I had just done the masters, a lot cheaper with much of the same positives for library work...

10:40 ysaito79 thank you tyneely, i wasn't sure if this was going to be the right approach

10:40 tyneely at least it shouldn't

10:40 Kara_Malenfant Jill: I think it gives you a new appreciation for what it takes to be a researcher. At least it has me

10:40 tyneely you're welcome

10:40 bpencek Contra Todd, my library is emphasizing subject expertise and gives disciplinary involvement and publication an equal place in our P&T rules (Disclaimed, I was deeply involved in drafting those rules).

10:41 Todd bpencek--glad to hear it:)

10:41 Bob Holley You also learn the difference between finding all relevant documents versus only a sample of relevant documents.

10:41 Heather.Waldroup @bpenck: how is "subject expertise" defined at your institution?

10:41 tyneely lis vs subject is not an issue here at UNM. The emphasis is teh quality and peer reviewed, etc.

10:41 guest I think overall there are fewer hires as subject specialists and fewer people are covering more subjects...

10:41 Todd Bob--yes!

10:41 guest393133 Whether someone calls you Dr. or not, it doesn't take anything that you've earned away.

10:42 Aaron Dobbs fwiw, I've a 2nd masters (MSLS & MS Management) and am interested in doing the work for a PhD in a number of disparate fields

10:42 tyneely agreed guest393133

10:42 Amanda Watson @guest: Our liaisons tend to cover lots of different departments.

10:42 ChristinaB We don't have subject experts here at ODU either.

10:43 Todd We do value PhDs at Yale, but I feel we are among that last holdouts on this front

10:43 Mark tyneely, I really agree with what you said about the degree not changing the person. In my field in history some of the biggest names in the field are just plain nice people, unpretentious to all, and yet caring about knowledge.

10:43 guest Of course there will be those handful of institutions that resist this trend.

10:43 Aaron Dobbs personally, publication != a reason to tenure someone (don't hurt me!)

10:43 tyneely does anyone know what arcad is saying?

10:43 ChristinaB Mark, I agree!

10:43 Mark so part of my graduate school experience was not only learning the field and how to be a scholar, but how to act like a decent person ( which we should all know anyway!)

10:44 Amanda Watson @Mark: I wish this were a part of every graduate student's training. :)

10:44 Christa Williford Well said, Amanda!

10:44 Josh Lupkin @Amanda indeed

10:44 juliepia @mark, that's great to hear! Where was it you went?

10:44 Patricia Hswe @Todd - besides Yale & maybe UCLA, what other libraries encourage Phd (w/out MLS) hires, if you can say?

10:44 Todd Columbia for sure

10:44 tyneely We're all supposed to be Mark, but all we have to do is turn on the news and we see lots of well educated people behaving badly in front of cameras

10:44 Todd Jim Neal said as much in an ARL survey

10:44 Patricia Hswe Ah, yes - makes sense

10:44 Amanda Watson And I'd agree: I've met faculty (not at my current workplace!) who think the world owes them everything b/c they're brilliant, and faculty who are lovely human beings.

10:45 guest I think that this has to do with personality and not level of degree.

10:45 Todd Also Michigan

10:45 tyneely Remember, having a Ph.D. only makes you an expert in ONE subject, not the universe

10:45 Heather.Waldroup I think you meet people like that in every field, tho.

10:45 ysaito79 haha

10:45 Kara_Malenfant @ Mark: I think learning how to be a scholar is crucial for academic librarians seeking to reform the scholalry communication system. It helps one better advocate w/ faculty for change by more deeply understanding their world.

10:45 Josh Lupkin I think U of Chicago still encourages subject biblioographers, but i'm not sure if they waive the MLS

10:45 Patricia Hswe @tyneely - absolutely!

10:45 Mark thank you Amanda...I'm proud of my Kansas State degree, and have my advisers to thank for learning how to join rigorous scholarship with a concern for basic decency. (Sorry for the KSU commercial there!)

10:45 ChristinaB Kara, well said!

10:46 Todd The problem for PhDs is the hiring institution wants cheap cheap cheap and they are afraid to lowball you so they choose someone else instead

10:46 Amanda Watson Re having expertise in one subject: one of the things I've had to learn is how to be a generalist as well as a specialist. But I really like being a generalist.

10:46 Bob Holley @tyneely Knowing only one subject is also why a doctorate in chemistry might not help a librarian be a liaison to physics. I have a doctorate in French and still struggle a bit with Spanish selection.

10:46 Christa Williford Kara-yes! The future of publication depends on those who understand information AND scholarship.

10:46 tyneely @Aaron, i wonder, if you had to do it again, would you do the MS or a Ph.D.?

10:46 tyneely I agree Bob!

10:46 guest393133 Tneely, there've been such studies in the past - as you say, maybe it's time for another.

10:47 Patricia Hswe @Amanda - me, too - and I didn't think that would be the case (the propensity for being a generalist at times)

10:47 Heather.Waldroup My dream is to integrate the studies somewhat - ie, offer PhD degrees with LIS coursework at institutions that can do this.

10:47 tyneely in public services, with the interdisciplinary nature of published research and literature these days, being a generalist is not a bad thing

10:47 guest @Christa, this is the way we need to market ourselves.

10:47 Amanda Watson @Heather That's my dream too! We should coauthor something.

10:48 Todd Also ageism can play a role for PhDs, because they tend to be older, esp. if they've had an academic career before. They aren't as malleable

10:48 tyneely um, librarians tend to be older for the same reason

10:48 Todd not seeking their first library job, tyneely

10:48 Mark Todd, you're right about the salary issue. University of Memphis would probably hire more librarians with doctorates but we can't afford the salary they'd demand.

10:48 Bob Holley @Todd. But so many of my students are seeking a second career. Some in their 50's.

10:48 Amanda Watson True. When I was in library school, one of the first things the profs said was that librarians are often on their 2nd or 3rd or Nth career.

10:48 Patricia Hswe @Heather - interesting. especially since so much of what PhD students learn and do could be enriched by some knowledge of library practice

10:49 guest In my experience, few institutions pay for the advanced degree.

10:49 guest393133 From where I sit, I believe that a number of librarian find the few PhDs threatening if they've shooting for top admin positions. Having Phd doesn't automatically give you the top position.

10:49 Patricia Hswe @Bob - like me!

10:49 Heather.Waldroup This prospect was never presented to me though.. and I'm sure my professors would have fainted if I'd even mentioned librarianship.

10:49 Josh Lupkin Yeah, I don't think I'm getting a terribly high premium in salary for the PhD

10:49 Patricia Hswe @guest393133 - so true

10:49 tyneely Me either, it's for the position i hold

10:50 guest @ Heather, the first 5 years after my PhD, my advisor was dogging me to go on the academic job market...

10:50 tyneely conveners, any way we could get a bibliography of the stuff that's tbeen published already?

10:50 Todd It depends on the clout of who hires you. Some have succeeded in pushing PhDs into very high ranks straight out of library school or even without the MLS

10:50 guest ...and now he sends his grad students to talk to me about libship as an alternate career.

10:50 Jill Anderson But then assistant professors don't get a terribly high premium in salary for the PhD, either.

10:51 Todd But they don't have an extra degree, Jill

10:51 tyneely @Jill, i believe it depends entirely on the discipline and the geographic location of the job!

10:51 guest @ Jill, where I am at least $16K more in humanities fields.

10:51 Heather.Waldroup Ty: I'd be glad to send you the syllabus for our CLIR summer session last summer (2008).

10:51 tyneely thanks!

10:51 Todd I'd like to see it too, Heather!

10:51 Christa Williford Re: salary I took a cut to move into libraries from an earlier research job, BUT people in adjunct positions now can only dream of the beginning librarian's salary. So it's all relative.

10:51 Bob Holley I know that I earn much more than if I had successfully found a position teaching French.

10:52 Patricia Hswe I agree with Christa

10:52 Jill Anderson I guess my point was more that people don't necessarily get a PhD thinking they're going to make big bucks.

10:52 guest393133 I remember reading some questioning the need for PhDs and/or subject specialists in the profession

10:52 Heather.Waldroup Anyone who'd like to see it please email me @ ----------------------------------------

10:52 bpencek Please post bib centrally for all of us.

10:52 Patricia Hswe @Jill - nope, big bucks aren't the lure for students pursuing PhDs

10:52 Heather.Waldroup @ Jill: absolutely, esp in the humanities!

10:52 guest @ guest393133, if you remember that sounds interesting

10:53 tyneely yes it does

10:53 Todd CLIR might not appreciate a central posting, I'm guessing.

10:53 Josh Lupkin Oh, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining at all about salary, simply saying that I don't think in my current role I am significantly more expensive than any other hire

10:53 bpencek Other options for posting exist.

10:53 tyneely also, in acad libraries, we have a habit of writing job descriptions asking for stuff we don't really need, like Ph.D's and 2nd masters

10:53 Christa Williford guest393133, yes I believe you remember correctly but I think the mistake people are making is the either/or dichotomy. Library jobs are not one-size-fits-all.

10:54 Todd But we also post for LESS than we need, like not even a bachelor's in the humanities to be a humanities librarian, tyneely

10:54 Kara_Malenfant We'll post an archive of the text from this chat at in a day or two.

10:54 Kara_Malenfant I see a few folks starting to leave the room; we are coming close to the hour mark. Please feel free to continue, but don't feel bad if you have to leave!

10:54 Christa Williford Todd and Heather: I don't think there would be a problem at all with sharing the syllabus. We should ask Lauren Coats and Elliott Shore first, but I'm sure they will say yes.

10:54 BradC Subject specialization seems to be especially appropriate in collection development if the librarians are the primary selectors. Currently I am liaison to a third of our school's departments so...

10:54 tyneely And i think those of us taking positions, sometimes take them with the HOPES that we will be compensated for those degrees even though they are not required

10:54 guest393133 I believe the PhD as other terminal degrees were required some years back when some accrediting agencies required department heads to have PhDs

10:55 Patricia Hswe One course my library school started offering explores the topic of the higher ed context for librarians - how librarians can learn to negotiate relationships with university admin, faculty, students, etc. Really useful course.

10:55 Christa Williford Before everyone leaves, I should mention that the application cycle for the 2010 postdoctoral fellowship is now open.

10:55 Christa Williford Please let potentially interested colleagues know to check our website:

10:55 tyneely BradC., subject specialization is stil pretty appropriate in reference work, instruction and outreach too'

10:55 Mark For me the salary issue had nothing to do with wanting to be compensated for the extra qualification, etc., thinking I deserved more, or something like that. It had to do with not wanting to go bankrupt and default on my student loans.

10:56 Christa Williford

10:56 tyneely And there is that Mark, wanting to eat and all, totally understand

10:57 Bob Holley The demographers are predicting a decrease in family size for educated couples on account of student loans--paying your debts or having children, take your pick.

10:57 hackettson Hi everyone-- is this session about to end? The announcement I saw said it began at 1 central.

10:57 Amanda Watson @Bob I completely believe that.

10:57 Heather.Waldroup I'll need to leave in about 5 minutes. Does anyone have any final questions they'd like to present for discussion?

10:57 Kara_Malenfant @hackettson: It started at noon Central, 1pm Eastern. We'll post an archive of the text from this chat at in a day or two.

10:58 guest393133 I agree with Christa. However, the research skill learned by PhDs could be extremely helpful to the academic profession.

10:58 tyneely Thanks conveners!

10:58 Bob Holley This is my first chat. Is this the usual number of people who participate?

10:58 Patricia Hswe Thanks, participants!

10:58 BradC @tyneely: Its true, its true.

10:58 Heather.Waldroup Ty, thanks for coming and for your input/insights.

10:58 hackettson thanks KM

10:58 Kara_Malenfant @ Bob could be 30 40 ot even 70

10:58 Amanda Watson You're welcome! Thanks for all the great questions!

10:58 tyneely you're very welcome!

10:58 Kara_Malenfant Please join us for our next ACRL OnPoint chat October 20, 2009: H1N1 and the Library Response

10:58 Christa Williford It's our first chat, too, Bob! :-) So who knows?

10:58 Todd One final thought: you earn respect by being a good colleague and competent librarian. The PhD on its own doesn't mean anything to anyone without the rest.

10:58 RachelLM Thanks, everyone.

10:58 Heather.Waldroup @ Todd: well put.

10:58 tyneely Amen Todd

10:58 Patricia Hswe @Todd - my experience entirely, so true.

10:59 Christa Williford But this has been a wonderful turnout. I look forward to reading back through.

10:59 Amanda Watson @Todd: right on.

10:59 tyneely ditto

10:59 Kara_Malenfant Do you have ideas for topics you'd like to see in future chats? Please let me or any ACRL staff member know.

10:59 Mark yeah, thanks conveners and participants!

10:59 Heather.Waldroup Kara, thanks for inviting us to do this!

10:59 tyneely COnveners, if u ever need researchers, lots of them were here today!

10:59 Kara_Malenfant @Heather. I'm so glad you all agreed! Your roundtable in Seattle was so popular that I knew this topic would be a big draw. THanks!

11:00 Amanda Watson Thanks, Kara, for organizing this!

11:00 guest393133 Although no promotion. The degree did bring a substantial raise.

11:00 Mark and I'll add my "Amen" to Todd's last comment.

11:00 guest393133 That, is positionwise promotion

11:00 Heather.Waldroup I have another online meeting to go to, so I must say good-bye. Thanks to all who visited today!

11:00 tyneely Bye!

11:01 Christa Williford I'd like to say thanks as well. Bye to all!

11:01 Todd My thanks, too!

11:01 Amanda Watson Bye, everyone, and thanks!

11:01 guest393133 I recommend the PhD rather than the specialist. Some come to the profession with 2nd masters prior to the PhD

11:03 Mark Bye everyone!

11:03 guest393133 Although I believe my masters work was very rigorous. The PhD was much much more

11:06 Kara_Malenfant I need to sign off now, too. See you all next time .Please join us for our next ACRL OnPoint chat October 20, 2009: H1N1 and the Library Response.

11:06 Kara_Malenfant Do you have ideas for topics you'd like to see in future chats? Please et me or any ACRL staff member know.

11:07 guest393133 I must say that working on my doctorate was the most humbling experience.

11:08 guest393133 Yes, Amanda. There are nice persons with and without PhDs.

11:08 guest393133 Actually, I mean not so nice people.

11:08 guest393133 Guest. What type personalities are you referring to?

11:09 guest393133 Thank you tyneely. That's another thing. Many non-PhDs think that you know everything because of the PhD

11:11 guest393133 Yes, I agree Bob. I not only am liaison in my speacialty area but other science areas.

11:16 guest393133 Jill remember as oppose to teaching faculty librarian faculty are 12 months, which might increase their salaries.

11:16 guest393133 I'd like a copy too Heather.

11:17 NaSa Can I download a copy of this chat?

11:19 NaSa I was unable to read along while this was live, but I want to have a copy I can paste into Word. Is it possible? Anyone?

11:19 guest393133 It's been a couple years since I read this material. But I believe, a search on "doctorates" or "PhDs" and librarianship will retrieve it.

11:21 guest393133 Agree tyneely. Even as a M.S. specialist, I didn't believe I used much of my subject skills in the library. Well, to me it wasn't much needed.

11:24 guest393133 Agree, Mark. The investment must be paid.

11:25 guest393133 Agree, Todd.