"As a librarian or archivist, what is your employment status?”
In total, 66 readers of The DIGITAL Archive responded to the survey. I want to thank them for participating and for writing comments (thanks to Heidi and the Lone Arranger for their unique comments), and to thank those who promoted this survey on their blogs.
By the numbers, the votes revealed the following:
- 44 people (66% of the vote) indicated they had a permanent position with a full benefits package;
9 people (13% of the vote) indicated they were unemployed;
7 people (10% of the vote) indicated they had a contractual position with a full benefits package;
6 people (9% of the vote) indicated they had a contractual position but with no benefits package
While Blogger surveys are not formal, nor the most scientific vehicle to gather such complex information, and while my survey question had a few holes in it—I should have asked how long the respondents took to find or land a permanent position, for instance; or what career path they had chosen, librarianship or archives; or whether they were recent grads or those who had been in the profession for many, many years—I was still able to conclude that:
1. There are a large number of people with permanent positions;
2. There are still a sizeable amount of people with no jobs or with contractual jobs
I was surprised such a large number of people had permanent positions. I was really surprised. I was also surprised there were more unemployed librarians and archivists than those with contractual positions.
In reading the poll results, I also concluded, on a personal note, that I need to revise my career strategy, or more specifically, my job search strategy and then my career planning.
After 8 years in this field, after working at various locations in mainly contractual positions, each with its own share of opportunities and challenges, I still find myself no closer to a permanent position. The survey numbers reveal that there are permanent positions, but thus far these positions have remained elusive to me and the 22 other respondents.
Surveys, opinion polls, and statistics can draw different conclusions, depending on the perspective, biases of the individual analyzing the data.
What conclusions can you draw from these numbers? Were you surprised or shocked or indifferent by the numbers?