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Spring 2006 Vol. 50, Number 1

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Temporary work: Short-term jobs with long-term potential

Are you looking to pick up a little extra cash during the school year? Do you need to enhance your resume and pay the bills while searching for a full-time job? Is flexibility a priority? A stint with a temporary services firm might just be up your employment alley.

By definition, temporary jobs are of limited duration. But they can be useful tools in building a career. For example, temporary jobs might provide you with much-needed experience in your chosen field. And temporary positions sometimes lead to permanent ones.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), temporary help services firms provided about 2.5 million wage-and-salary jobs in 2005. And the industry is projected to grow quickly over the next decade.

Businesses are not only using more temporary help, they are also relying on temp workers to fill a wider variety of positions. Traditionally, temporary jobs have been in office and administrative support, production, and transportation and material moving occupations—and there are still many jobs in these fields. But today, an increasing number of jobs are in occupations, such as computer programmers, lawyers, or registered nurses, that require higher education and command greater pay.

To learn more about the employment services industry, see its profile in the Career Guide to Industries online at; write the BLS Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Room 2135, Washington, D.C. 20212-0001; or call (202) 691-5700.

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Opportunities for law librarians

Information is crucial to winning legal cases. But finding that information isn’t always easy. Luckily, for lawyers and others, law librarians can help.

Law librarians assist lawyers, judges, scholars, and citizens with legal research. Working in law schools, government libraries, law firms, and corporations, law librarians help to make copious amounts of law-related information manageable. Their job duties include researching, analyzing, and evaluating the quality, accuracy, and validity of sources; cataloging and classifying materials; and providing marketing services to law firms. Some law librarians specialize in particular areas, such as patent research, or help firms search for new clients.

Academic preparation usually includes a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a master’s degree in library science from a program accredited by the American Library Association. Some law librarians also have a law degree, but most law librarian jobs do not require it.

To learn more about training and careers for law librarians, contact the American Association of Law
Libraries, 53 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 940,
Chicago, Illinois 60604-3847; (312) 939-4764; The association, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, provides information and a list of resources on educational programs, scholarships and grants, and job placement. Write or call for its free brochure, "Finding Your Way In The Information Age: The Many Roles of Law Librarians," which is also online at

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Internships in aging: Prepare for a trend

As baby boomers get older, their concerns are creating jobs—and internships.

Paid and unpaid internships are available for students who are interested in working on issues related to the aging population. Some of these opportunities are targeted to a specific occupation, such as geriatric nurse, and may be offered through training programs or related professional associations. Other internships, including the following examples, are affiliated with advocacy organizations or public service.

• AARP, a nonprofit membership organization serving and advocating for people aged 50 and over, offers paid internships year-round for undergraduate and graduate students. These internships are located at AARP State offices and at the AARP national office in Washington, D.C. For more information, write AARP at 601 E Street NW., Washington, D.C. 20049; call toll-free, 1 (888) OUR-AARP (687-2277); or visit online, about_aarp/aarp_overview/aarp_office_of_academic

• Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit organization that develops and advances programs in research, health education, and public policy. Undergraduate and graduate students can participate in internships year round. Opportunities include internships in programs and development, communications, and public policy. For more information, write to the alliance at 2021 K Street NW., Suite 305, Washington, D.C. 20006; call (202) 293-2856; or visit online,

• The nonprofit Alzheimer's Association aims to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through research and advocacy and to enhance care for people affected by the disease. The association offers internships, which may provide a stipend, for the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Internships are not available for laboratory or medical experience, but they may include work in fundraising, program development, public relations, communications, or graphic design. For more information, write to the association’s national office at 225 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1700, Chicago, Illinois 60601-7633; call toll-free, 1 (800) 272-3900; or visit online, aboutus/internships.asp.

• Global Action on Aging, based in New York City at the United Nations, is a nonprofit advocacy organization for older people worldwide. Its unpaid internships offer undergraduate and graduate students the chance to work on issues such as elder rights, health, pension concerns, and rural aging, among others. For more information, contact Global Action on Aging, P.O. Box 20022, New York, New York 10025; call (212) 557-3163; or visit online, interns/internships.htm

• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging advocates for older people and their concerns. Unpaid internships address aging and public policy issues and are located primarily at the Washington, D.C. headquarters, although placements may also be available in nine regional offices. For more information, contact the administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 4708, Washington, D.C. 20201; call (202) 357-3412; or visit online,

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TED in print

Every business day for 7 years, you’ve been able to see MLR: The Editor’s Desk (TED) online at no charge. Now, you can get the print version—still at no charge—of 40 of TED’s 2004 best.

TED makes statistics come alive by providing a simple graph of recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Each chart highlights data about the labor market or the wider economy and gives a brief explanation of what the data mean. If a piece piques your interest, you can follow the electronic link to the original data.

TED is available online every business day at To obtain a free copy of the 2004 printed compilation, "The World According to TED," write to the BLS Office of Publications and Special Studies, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Room 2850, Washington, D.C. 20212; call (202) 691-5200; or e-mail

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: June 22, 2006