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For what it's worth, I took an indexing and abstracting course as an elective for my MLS. I highly recommend the text and the instructor for those who are interested. It's a fascinating process. For anyone who might be interested, the course instructor Dr. Donald Cleveland's book "Introduction to Indexing and Abstracting", 3rd edition is highly informative. Although I do not do this for a living, I find that it helps me in the research process with students and also in the cataloging process. If you understand how indexing and abstracting gets done, you have some great insights into other activities that librarians are involved in. In today's world it equates to metadata.

Jean Hillyer, MAE, MLS
Baylor University, School of Nursing


-----Original Message-----
>From: Julie Stielstra <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Aug 29, 2011 9:51 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: MEDLIB-L Digest - 27 Aug 2011 to 28 Aug 2011 (#2011-221)
>
>I too am very curious... with the advent of automated indexing (and god, it
>is awful!) I am pleasantly astounded that someone still values a human mind
>in indexing!  Wow.
>
>
>
>On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM, Truex, Eleanor <
>[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>>
>> Cindy,
>>
>> Having just read your post, I find I have a million questions about book
>> indexers! Do you work for a publishing house? How does one go about finding
>> a job as a book indexer?  I heard them mentioned (very briefly) in Library
>> school, but that was it. I'd love to hear more about it. And I also
>> sympathize with Julie. Librarian jobs are few and far between--it seems to
>> be a profession in which people can delay retirement (due to economic need).
>> I am new to the profession myself, and wanted very much to go into Public
>> Librarianship, but 20+ years as an RN made this a very natural fit.
>>
>>
>> Eleanor Truex BSN, MLIS
>> Medical Librarian
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> Date:    Sun, 28 Aug 2011 10:33:54 -0700
>> From:    Cindy Coan <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: Medical Transcription and Library Experience
>>
>> I sympathize with any librarian -- especially a new MLS recipient --
>> who's struggling to find work in these tough economic
>> times.  Considering that the health care sector has proven more
>> resilient than lots of others, aiming for medical librarianship
>> sounds like a smart move.  However, it's also good to have a backup plan.
>>
>> Nearly a decade ago, I faced a situation similar to yours, except
>> that in my case I was faced with unemployment not right after getting
>> my MLS but after close to a decade and a half in a steady position at
>> a one-person museum library.  I too looked into medical
>> librarianship, even going so far as to volunteer in a couple of
>> hospital libraries.  However, the hoped-for medical library job
>> didn't materialize, likely due at least in part to the fact that I
>> faced competition from recent library school grads in my area as well
>> as more experienced medical librarians.  I recall at least one job
>> interview for which I felt I was a reasonably strong
>> candidate.  However, I got a post-interview phone call from the lady
>> doing the hiring and was told, "We have decided to hire X."  It so
>> happened that X had worked a number of years as a full-time medical
>> librarian and had a long-time professional connection with those
>> doing the hiring -- thus virtually guaranteeing that X would have an
>> easy time getting the job.  Enter plan B.
>>
>> Like you, I had toyed with the idea of medical transcription work and
>> had even researched the field.  What I actually ended up going into,
>> however, was book indexing.  Nearly a decade later, I have no regrets
>> about going into that field as an alternative to library
>> work.  Although not all the fellow indexers I know have a library
>> background, quite a few of them do.  As during my librarian days, I
>> continue to help people find information.  The main difference is
>> that now I'm doing it one book at a time.  And yes, I have had the
>> opportunity to use the medical knowledge I gained when looking into
>> medical librarianship.  My indexed titles to date include a number of
>> medical publications -- including two I definitely need to work on today!
>>
>>


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