SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources · 51
Finding librarians with the necessary language skills is the biggest challenge. In recent years, we have been fortunate in
having staff with the necessary language skills to cover the most important languages.
Finding people with adequate subject expertise who are also committed/experienced librarians—familiar with latest
practices in instruction. Want people with experience but pool is very small. To overcome: Financial—good packages for
travel, salary, etc., have been negotiated either at time of hiring or in response to a counter offer. Administrative leave—
for travel to country or to participate in a seminar, or ability to telecommute in summer with a redefined job description.
Hiring people with subject expertise—but training them on the job in either librarianship (if a recent PhD) or in specific
aspects of their jobs.
Finding sufficient personnel with language skills has been a challenge, particularly in recruiting MLS-bearing librarians.
We continue to believe that the MLS is a significant credential for our professionals, regardless of other qualifications.
Language competency among support staff, for functions such as cataloging, is a related challenge. Obviously, budget
support is another challenge. We have had to prioritize our expenditures to focus on areas of demonstrated campus
need, while scaling back acquisitions in some areas that are no longer in high demand.
Finding the right combination of language expertise, subject knowledge, and professional experience. Writing job
postings to match salary requirements for international hires. Obtaining funding to hire for librarians in a new area of
global studies.
Foreign language expertise (release time given to take classes).
Have been fortunate in finding librarians with background in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Ukrainian/Russian,
Icelandic, and Japanese languages. The Asian language/literature/culture program at U of Manitoba is still relatively
In several areas, such as Japanese Studies, the national pool of available librarians is small. The library has recruited non-
librarians with subject and language expertise.
In the past five years, university programs have expanded into world areas that the library has not previously been
called upon to support. In the same period, there has been no additional support for library staff or ongoing acquisitions
funding. We have met this challenge so far by relying on close relations with faculty and drafted staff with relevant
language expertise to fill the void. The question of ongoing acquisitions support is still a chronic problem, and we have
to reduce collecting in other active programs in order to support the development of the new fields.
It has been difficult to find librarians with strong enough educational background and language ability to meet our
needs, particularly for the East Asian and Southeast Asian studies programs. We have dealt with this by sometimes
hiring scholars who have the language skills and subject expertise, but not the MLS. Ideally these hires would then
pursue the MLS while working for us, but that doesn’t always happen.
Lack of language skills: so we outsource non-Roman language cataloging to OCLC or Backstage and outsource
collecting to LC programs. No funding (or interest) in travel to these locations: so we asked research faculty for help but
rarely get their attention.
Lack of librarians who have subject AND library expertise. Budgetary constraints.
Lack of qualified candidate pools.
Language skills. Identifying forward-thinking literature with an interest in digital content. Subject specialists with the
One challenge is finding librarians with language expertise in a particular subject area.
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