As is the case with most graduates nowadays, recent archival and library science graduates are worried, rather rightfully, over a distinct lack of jobs. However, many of these graduates are finding measures of success. I decided to speak with one of these recent graduates, Don, who works in my college’s archive.
Don was surprising in his collected demeanor regarding the struggles he has and is facing in his job search. I thought that he would be concerned about the lack of available positions, but his calm attitude was quite refreshing. Very much a realist, Don sees the opportunities and challenges that lie in wait for recent graduates, including changes in current technologies and budget cuts.
Don’s insight about the process of choosing a graduate school was quite enlightening, a result of his wealth of previous experience in the field. His suggestions included searching for a school with committed instructors and focusing on something that you enjoy doing. Don’s work with a variety of digital humanities and digitization projects has set the tracks for a future in digital archival work, a field which Don seems to enjoy tremendously.
My conversations with Don have definitely helped me gain a better sense of the world of archival theory and practice. His stories about his experiences showed me some of the many sides of the job of an archivist, especially regarding technological issues with preservation and organization. More than that, however, his confidence was truly comforting, and helped alleviate some of my concerns and anxieties about the archival profession.
As Jennifer Dary, founder of Plucky, made a point of explaining in a talk with one of my undergraduate classes, life is about finding your passion. The archivists and archives workers that I have had the pleasure of meeting are assuredly happy in their line of work, and it shows in the work they all do to improve the sharing of information from the past. Don is just one of these many individuals, whose passion for archives and information has given me confidence about my own abilities and the future of the archives profession.