This week I’m talking with Ellen Mehling, who is not only the Director at the Westchester Graduate Program (Palmer School of Library and Information Science) but is also the manager of the Job Bank, and a career development consultant for the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). If you subscribe to NEWLIB-L, or read INALJ articles, or just generally keep your eyes open for library career advice, you’ve probably read something she’s written, or seen links that she’s shared. She was kind enough to answer my questions about METRO’s Job Bank and Career Resources sites.
What is your website all about? Please give us your elevator speech!
METRO’s JobBank/Career Resources site provides job postings, and job search and career information for job seekers and employers. In addition to the Job Bank, we’re also regularly publishing articles with tips, information about local professional organizations, and other useful information for new professionals and those in career transition.
When was it started? Why was it started?
The Job Bank was started 10 years ago as the “Job Magnet”, as a way to connect employers and job seekers in the field of library and information science, in the New York area.
Who runs it?
The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), a non-profit organization working to develop and maintain essential library services throughout New York City and Westchester County (those who use the Job Bank and Career Resources include many outside of those areas, though).
Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?
I’ve been an advisor on job hunting and career development for various groups including librarians/information professionals and library school students, for about eight years. I started in a former job, advising members of the general public and special populations who were seeking employment, and before long was being asked to teach workshops on the job search to other library professionals. I’ve trained other librarians on assisting job hunting patrons, and have taught classes/workshops, moderated or spoken on panel discussions and conducted mock interviews and more, at METRO and other venues. I write regularly on job hunting/career topics for various sites, including METRO’s. I’ve served on hiring committees and have been a successful applicant myself in recent years, so I’ve seen and experienced first-hand what works and what doesn’t. I also work for LIU as Director of the Westchester Program and Director of Internships for the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, where I advise all students and alumni on the job search and career development and write a career Q&A for the blog.
Who is your target audience?
Information professionals of all stripes and library school/iSchool students in the greater NYC area.
What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?
Job seekers can read the postings and post their own resumes; employers can post positions and see the resumes. Anyone can read the articles and the lists of resources. There is also an RSS feed (http://metro.org/jobs/feed) for the positions that appear on the Job Bank.
Does your site provide:
√ Job Listings √ Articles/literature √ Links
√ Advice on:
√ Cover Letters √ Resumes √ Interviewing √ Networking
√ Other: Advice for students and new professionals
Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?
√ Twitter: @tweetMETRO
√ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/METRO-librarians-archivists-information-professionals-1131967/about
√ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/METRO-Metropolitan-New-York-Library-Council/20722206359
√ Newsletter: The METRO Monthly and ProfDev news are each delivered once a month. Anyone can subscribe via the homepage
√ Other: Networking opportunities including Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The general listserv (METRO-l) is open to all; many positions are posted on the listserv in addition to the ones posted on the Job Bank by employers. More ways to connect: http://metro.org/connect/.
Do you charge for anything on your site?
There is no fee to access the job postings, read the articles/resource lists, or join the listserv.
Anything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?
The job market is improving, but it is still tight. While the ways in which people find job openings, apply for jobs, and connect have changed, the classic strategies for finding a job are still the most effective: get the skills and experience that employers want, cultivate and guard your reputation as a positive, effective professional, and network, network, network.