Monday, July 21, 2008

Fun with employment ads

I sometimes wonder who writes the amusing ads that Jay Leno has on his Tonight Show. However, even in the library field ads are written without paying attention to the ambiguity of the English language. Recently I discussed some of the amusing features of the following ads. I have removed the identifiable features of these ads to protect the guilty and edited them to better amuse you.

I should start with a well worded ad --
Librarian for Young Adult (YA) Services
AR Memorial Library

We are looking for a dynamic person to be the advocate for teens in our library. Provides reference, outreach, and readers’ advisory services to teens.

The poorly written ad.
Teen Librarian
ST District Library
The Teen Librarian is responsible for providing reference assistance to patrons in the library's fiction collection and is responsible for answering staff and patron teen questions. The ability to read write, speak, and comprehend English. Ability to read computer screens, type, and move about the public service area.

Both positions require an MLS, but tell me where are you going to find a teenager with a masters degree? Are there patrons lost in the fiction shelves? Do they want someone who can both type and move about at the same time? Do they provide special keyboards to do that? My daughter does have English language ability that exceed the norm for her age, but is that enough for the job? I've seen college graduates (some with advanced degrees) who can't write a coherent sentence.

My all time favorite computer related ad was from a company that wanted five years experience running an IBM AS 400 computer system that IBM only started selling a month earlier.

=== Note from Aug. 11--
I did find some teenagers with masters degrees. One of my neighbors reported that some girls in Brooklyn earned college credit as high school students and were able to earn a masters degree before their 20th birthday. However, I don't think any of them attended an ALA accredited library school.

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