So you’ve got an interview for a library job…

June 1, 2012

Congratulations! You’ve got an interview for a library-job! Here are 5 ideas to float around as you prepare for your interview. Please share others, too! Also – check out several of the job-search related posts on Hack Library School.

  1. Be Yourself. Dress nicely but yet wear something you’re comfortable wearing.
  2. Ask questions. Ask about the history of the library, the community, the future plans for the library, etc. Employers like to see curiosity and excitement. They won’t think you’re stepping out of line – you’re interviewing them, too!
  3. If you’re heading into a public library, brush up on a few books from different genres. You never know when you might find yourself eating lunch or having coffee with a few patrons. They’ll be oh-so-excited (not to mention impressed) that you have read something they’ve loved!
  4. If you’re coming straight out of graduation from your MLIS or a related-degree, remember that we use jargon. If you’re being interviewed by the library board or even members of a city council, they don’t always understand that jargon. Use it wisely – again – we’re aiming to impress rather than overwhelm and confuse.
  5. Get to know the library and its community before your interview. Do some research – explore their website/catalog/Facebook. Find out as much as you can! (This will also help you formulate some questions to ask them.)

This post was inspired by a couple of amazingly intelligent librarians who recently interviewed and received job offers to some GREAT libraries! Great work! These libraries will be so thankful you accepted the positions!


MY thoughts, opinions, words

April 14, 2011

I guess this is as good of a time as any – but I want to reiterate that what I post on my blog represents my thoughts and opinions and is not representative of the Muir Library or the City of Winnebago. Just a friendly reminder!

A job! – Library Director of Muir Library

April 13, 2011

It’s the post everyone’s been waiting for – well maybe not everyone. But to those of you who have been growing tired of me talking about finding a job – I HAVE A JOB! I am the new Library Director of Muir Library in Winnebago, Minnesota.

Winnebago is a town near (just 10 minutes north of) my hometown of Blue Earth, Minnesota. It is part of the same school district, so I actually went to sixth grade in Winnebago. In any event, it is an active small town and I am unbelievably excited to be part of the community! I’ve already been introduced and re-introduced to so many people – and they all have wonderful things to say about the library and the community. This support makes me feel hopeful about this new position.

The former Library Director, Judy, retired after 29 years in the position. I am thankful that she will still be in town to perhaps provide some guidance for me. There are 3 part-time employees at the library and they have already welcomed me and given me pieces of great advice to get started. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas and expectations of me in the first few weeks.

Finally, I want to touch on another group of people who I am sure have and will continue to be an asset to the library – the volunteers (Friends of the Library). Recently, there’s been several posts about volunteers in libraryland. Katie wrote one for HackLibSchool – there’s one on Annie’s blog – and over here on TheGoLibrarians. In any event, as I’ve been a volunteer for different organizations for several years, I know how valuable volunteers are to an organization. It will be different for me to be coordinating their schedules and duties, but I look forward to getting to know each person who volunteers their time to make the Muir Library a better place.

Look for another post (with pictures I promise) soon as I head into the library!


Revisit – Job Tips for MLIS Grads

February 24, 2011

In November I wrote a post about job tips. I received awesome feedback and ended up revisiting and expanding the topic on the Hack Library School blog a couple weeks ago. So, check over there for some other tips/resources AND make sure you read the comments. They are FULL of pertinent information!

Update on my current job search: The hunt is still on! I’m continuously looking at job boards, reading job posting email announcements from listservs and hoping for the best!

The Search for a Job

February 16, 2011

Several of my posts have been career or job related lately, so I’m sure you can tell I’m feeling ready to be done being a “formal” student. The next logical step (for me) is starting my career in a library! (and I am oh so so so excited about that!!!) Here are five job-related thoughts floating about in my over-caffeinated brain tonight:

Read the rest of this entry »

iCareer Week Email — Share

January 24, 2011
I composed this email to be sent to my classmates a couple of weeks ago. We were having iCareer week — a week where we had events, panels, job fairs, etc. regarding Information Careers (careers in information?). Anyway, sALA (the Student chapter of ALA at UW) did not plan an event. Instead, I pulled together an email full of resources for people to have. I figured I’d post it and let other people find access to these resources if they haven’t already. Here it is:

Greetings iSchoolers!

Because we know you will be busy attending other iCareer Week events, sALA sends you this email to read and react to at your leisure. The following are points of interest from the ALA web site and related information (list servs, wikis, blogs, etc.) that are related to the development of Careers in Librarianship.

Remember, we post any/all scholarships for ALA members to our web site, Facebook and Twitter.

Points of Interest:
ALA web site
  1. Join or renew your membership to ALA — As a student, you can simultaneously join ALA and your state’s chapter for only $35! This deal lasts until August 31, 2011. You can read more about this phenomenal deal here:
  2. Looking for information about your state’s library association? Try this site:
  3. ALA Student Member Blog —
  4. New Member Round Table Resume Review Service — submit your resume online or meet up one-on-one with someone at a conference —
  5. Free webinars and webcasts — related to a wide variety of issues in librarianship —

Job Lists

  1. ALA JobLIST —
  2. Library Journal’s Job Zone —
  3. —

List Servs
Want to know what people out in the field are discussing day-to-day? Join a listserv that interests you. Job positions are also often announced on these listservs. Here’s just a sampling of what’s out there — ALA Divisions such as RUSA, YALSA, LITA, ACRL, PLA. The full list is here:

As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact one of the sALA officers.

Thank you,

Your sALA Officers

Culminating Experience in Library School

January 10, 2011

There comes a time in the MLIS program where we have to face a scary and somewhat intimidating question:
Am I qualified for a job in the professional world?
I mean, the job market for (not only) libraries doesn’t look good right now even though we’re in the midst of an “information revolution”. When I read the news and see libraries closing and organizations “encouraging” retirements and not replacing employees, it makes me a tad bit worried.

At the iSchool we are required to complete a Culminating Experience before we graduate. This could be one of a few things:

  • a thesis – no explanation necessary — right?
  • a research project – working with a faculty member and his/her research team – designing, collecting data, evaluating data, writing reports, presenting information, etc.
  • a capstone project – this is a NEW option this year – it’s an integrated project (individual or team) where you bring in your skills and knowledge and apply them to a project (inside or outside of the iSchool). 
  • a professional portfolio – create a portfolio based on YOUR coursework and experiences to examine your qualifications in the professional world of librarianship.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m completing the Professional Portfolio to meet the requirement of the Culminating Experience. I think this is the most efficient and practical way for me to make good use of my time as I stretch myself thin by taking the last of my MLIS classes, work and search for a full-time position before April.

I’ve spent the past couple of days reviewing my work from the last 16 months and looking at Professional Standards and Qualifications in Librarianship. Here are a couple of documents I’ve been examining:
ALA’s Core Competences in Librarianship — these seem more theoretical to me and therefore more difficult to define assign specific pieces of my work to.
WebJunction’s Competency Index — these seem more tangible (is that the right word?) — they describe the qualifications of a working librarian. I feel like the work I am satisfied with from my classes and work experiences meet these in some ways.

I guess it really depends on what the wording of the actual qualifications in the job descriptions and the understanding of them by the people actually hiring me (us) are.

In any event, until I have a job offer, I don’t know if I’ll be able to super-confidently say I am qualified for a job in the world of libraries. So, keep these lists in mind when you’re preparing yourself for the future. And good luck!

%d bloggers like this: