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Grateful Dead Archivist Position

November 12, 2009

Yesterday the Library and Information Science world was abuzz when the University of California at Santa Cruz announced that it is seeking applicants for a Grateful Dead Archivist positionAccording to the job posting, the ideal candidate would have an ALA-accredited MLS (and all of the relevant professional knowledge and experience that such training entails) and an “expert knowledge in the history and scholarship of contemporary popular music and American vernacular culture, preferably the history and influence of the Grateful Dead.”

What a great job, right? John Stewart jumped on this one last night in his opening sequence to The Daily Show. A job that requires expert knowledge of the Grateful Dead and top-flight organizational skills?  Stewart’s monologue is nothing more than a string of pejorative conceptions about what it means to be an information professional.  Clips like this are why there’s so much professional insecurity and meaningless backpedaling in LIS graduate courses.

Still, I’m seriously thinking about applying for this job, and I hired an interview coach to grill me on possible job interview questions.  I’ve got the educational credentials (and more) plus some experience.  Here’s a top three list of potential questions I could hear.

1.  So, Mr. Battista, do you feel that Jerry became a little too attached to the mixolydian riffs in the “Scarlet Begonias/Fire on the Mountain” medley during the Summer ’72 tour?

2.  What’s your favorite “Dark Star?”

3. How do you account for Donna’s inconsistent vocals in the Summer ’77 tour?

Should I apply?


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