Career Transitions Theological Librarians and Moves to Academic Libraries in Public Tertiary Schools

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Beth Sheppard


The issue of transitioning from work in theological libraries to public university libraries is explored using the method of autoethnography. Key differences between public, private, and for-profit schools are highlighted and linked to how each type is driven variously by a mission, mandate, or method. Since the ease by which job seekers may adjust when moving between each type may be affected by factors beyond personal preferences for benefits, this paper surveys literature related to fit and retention in the academy; religious privilege; religion and legal doctrine; and faith in the context of secular employment. Finally, the terms theological librarian, religious librarian, and religion librarian are defined relative to the different roles librarians undertake in private versus public institutions. A rubric for evaluating a move to a new employment setting is included as an appendix.

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