Tag Archives: Employment

Job Hunters’ Web Guide Guide

We’ve been featuring different websites for LIS job hunters for a while now, and here is our list.  You can always access the full feed of profiles by going to the Archives page and choosing the category Job Hunters Web Guide (or just click that link).  While you’re on the Archives page, you may want to take a look at the other categories, which include things like library type or feature title.

So, in alphabetical order, here are the websites we’ve featured since starting with INALJ on December 6, 2012.  The links go to the full profile, which will link you to the website (just click on the screenshot).

Academic Library Jobs:  Job posting website, targeted on Academic libraries

ACRL Residency Interest Group: Job listings and information for people interested in getting a residency position, and for those offering them.  Excellent opportunity for networking and information straight from the source.

Archives Gig: Job postings for archivists.

Career Q & A with the Library Career People: Submit your questions about careers and job hunting, and read answers to what others have asked.

Careers in Federal Libraries: Your guide to being the POTUS’ Librarian.  And other Federal library positions.

Careers in Law Librarianship: Everything you ever wanted to know about being a law librarian, from the American Association of Law Librarians

I Need a Library Job: Comprehensive job postings for all kinds of LIS careers.  Also blogs by over 50 different editors on different aspects of library job hunting and careers.

Infonista: Information about non-traditional LIS careers (and traditional ones too).

Librarian Hire Fashion: Crowdsourcing advice on what to wear to library interviews, by posing questions and curating submissions from users of their interview outfits.

Library Association of Ireland’s Career Development Group: Career links, research, and events from the LAI.

The Library Career Centre: Career coaching from recruiter Nicola Franklin

LibraryJobline: The Colorado Library Association posts jobs and resources, and collects statistics about library jobs, making the data freely available.

Library Job Postings on the Internet: Index of library employment sites – over 400,  from all around the world.

LisList: US lis jobs, in one big list.

METRO Jobbank/Career Resources: From the Metropolitan New York Library Council (managed by the extraordinary Ellen Mehling), job listings and articles on library careers.  METRO also hosts workshops for job hunters.

Library Jobs.ie: Want to work in Ireland?  Irish library job postings, as well as LIS-related job opportunities.

MLA Deal:  The Maryland Library Association’s website for new professionals and library students.

Open Cover Letters: Real cover letters that got people library jobs

What are we missing?  Tell us about your favorite library job site in the comments!

Guides Alma Wegen and Fairman B. Lee with a climbing party on Nisqually Glacier, Mount Rainier National Park

Finally, it’s time for your monthly reminder about the Interview Questions Repository.  Follow this link to submit questions you were asked in your recent library interview, or follow this one to prep for your upcoming interview by taking a look at what others have added.  These links are always available in the sidebar to your right.  Top tip: use the List View feature to limit to just the answer categories you are interested in. As of 07/11/2013, there are 156 lines of submitted questions.

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Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, News and Administration

I am Looking at Entry-level Assistant Jobs in Order to Gain Experience

Duck shooting at Jungara, on Freshwater Creek, Cairns, ca. 1907This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed and has been hired within the last two months. This person has been job hunting for less than six months and is looking in Academic libraries, Public libraries, and School libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience. S/he is planning for library school, but has not yet started:

I don’t have a master’s degree, but I am looking at entry-level assistant jobs in order to gain experience before investing in graduate school. I volunteer at my local library in the audio-visual department. For the most part, I shelve materials after they are returned, but I sometimes sort materials. I have also helped one of the librarians in the department prepare the cd shelves for recarpeting.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US, and says:

I prefer to stay where I am, but I am currently considering moving somethere within the state

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

A job with steady hours and very little overtime (unless stated in the job description); that is not highly stressful, and that offers opportunities to advance

Where do you look for open positions?

county library websites, college websites, Linkedin, indeed.com, simplyhired.com, and on occasion, state workforce websites.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

My application packet includes a custom-tailored résumé, cover letter, and the application form (if applicable). I usually provide a list of references or reference letters if the job description states those items are needed.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Phone

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Look at transferable skills in addition to the skills those candidates already have and also consider a candidate’s willingness and initiative, which can better serve an organization rather than someone who has all the qualifications but is not willing to learn or is somewhat inflexible in regards to duties.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Public, School, Southern US

It’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary

Seminole woman and children gigging frogs near the Tamiami TrailThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level, Requiring at least two years of experience, Senior Librarian.
This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

It’s difficult to narrow it to 3, but I guess the first thing I look for is whether it is in the type of library where I’d like to work. Is the salary fair? What are the hours like? How close is it to home?

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Job Bank, professional association listservs, LinkedIn, other websites

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I spend at least an hour to 90 minutes per packet, and I have to admit, I don’t rewrite everything. If I did that, it would probably take me closer to 4 hours per packet.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Offer fair salaries to attract the appropriate person for the job, not just someone they can pay the least.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Universities could have more user-friendly job application interfaces. Goldey-Beacom College actually has a good one, but most others are sooo painful!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I wish I knew. I’m probably a little bitter, but I think it’s being a young, recent MLS grad who is willing to take a smallish salary because it’s his or her 1st or 2nd job out of grad school.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Thank you for this opportunity! I hope it helps librarians’ job prospects! Happy New Year!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Special, Suburban area

Further Questions: Does Library Support Staff Certification Give Candidates an Edge?

This week someone on Twitter inspired me to want to know more about a new-ish program from the ALA-APA.  This week I asked people who hire librarians library support staff:

What value do you see in the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) program? Would it give an edge to candidates? Have you ever hired someone with this certification?

Marleah AugustineI’ve never had any experience with the certification program, but I have read a bit about it. I do think it would give candidates an edge, because it would show that this isn’t “just another part-time job” and would show the candidate’s level of commitment. That being said, I wouldn’t NOT hire someone just because they didn’t have the certification. It would simply be one more piece that would help me make a hiring decision.

- Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

I have not seen the Library Support Staff Certification on any resume that I have personally reviewed and I do not know anyone who has one so I do not know that I can speak to the benefit of the certificate or if it would give a candidate an edge overall.

There really is no substitute for on the job experience and that is what I am looking for when I hire support staff; however, if I was looking at external candidates, and both candidates had the same level of minimum and preferred qualifications that I listed on the job description and the same amount of time working in libraries, this certificate would give them an edge over another candidate.

- Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries

Alison M. Armstrong Collection Development & Cataloging Specialist McConnell Library Photo by Lora Gordon/Radford UniversityWhen I was a paraprofessional, I took several of the ALCTS courses both before and after I got my MLIS and I see them as very beneficial. I haven’t taken any of the other courses. I don’t necessarily see the need for the certificate for a lot of staff positions, particularly in this economy, because the paraprofessionals out there are generally overqualified for the positions they are in and funding for training is limited.  It certainly would make a paraprofessional more marketable though and, personally, if a candidate had an LSSC, they would definitely be moved up in my pile of applicants. If I had not been hired in my current position after getting my MLIS, I would have strongly considered working toward the LSSC to try to set myself apart.

I currently supervise my former position and encourage my staff person to take the courses. In my opinion, they offer some supplemental information to what is learned in school. For people who have an MLIS but didn’t focus in this particular area, it is good training for them.  The ALCTS courses are nice in that there is a discussion forum which brings in diverse levels of experiences, knowledge and perspectives. I don’t think we have had applicants who have an LSSC but, my experience has been limited.  As someone who plans to be an instructor of one of the ALCTS courses, I am a huge cheerleader of them.

- Alison M. Armstrong, Collection Management Librarian, McConnell Library, Radford University

I actually have never had an applicant who claimed to have this certification. I have had employees who have taken some of the classes, specifically those from DACC in NM when I worked there. It would give an edge if all other factors were equal. However, having some real library experience would be preferable to the qualification for me. I also emphasize hiring for talent rather than skills. People can always learn new skills, but they must have enthusiasm, initiative, and the capability to learn. We can always encourage them to take classes later. Depending on the hiring system involved, applicants might get an edge for having these college credits, but it probably wouldn’t matter that they are in library-specific classes. I don’t think there is a critical mass of people out there with the certification at this point.

- Anonymous

Jonathan Harwell

I’m interested in the ALA-APA’s certification.  I’ve worked with ALA-APA for years, and would definitely see this qualification as an asset for a staff candidate.  I have at least one current staff member who’s interested in doing this certification, and that would be one factor that would help me to advocate for higher merit increases for those individuals.  I have yet to meet anyone who has this certification, however.

- Jonathan H. Harwell, Head of Collections & Systems, Olin Library, Rollins College

Sherle Abramson-BluhmI think that there is always value in gaining knowledge and this is one way to do that. I believe it might be a way for someone interested in the field to get a bit of formal education before investing in the full Masters Degree. I hire staff in print acquisitions (ordering, serials and monograph receiving, cat-on receipt) and have no positions which require a degree.  I have not hired someone with the certification. I think it would be a factor in considering a candidate, but would not weigh more than experience.  My biggest concern is that with the entry level pay that these positions are compensated, I am not sure it would be worth the expense to the individual.

- Sherle Abramson-Bluhm, Head, Print Acquisitions, University of Michigan

I haven’t had any applications from candidates with the certification.   However, if I saw it on a resume it would definitely move that candidate to the top of the pile.  To me, it signifies a person who is interested in libraries as a long-term career (good for reducing staff turnover) and who has gained insight into the operation of libraries beyond the routine duties that many staff members are limited to.  It indicates potential for growth and promotion.

- Anonymous

I think the value of the LSSC program works in two directions – value to the candidates and value to libraries.
I think value to the candidates is derived from multiple aspects: from the content of the work they do to either in courses or through self-study and preparing a portfolio, from the experience of going through the certification process and identifying and reflecting on their learning, and then from the credentialing that certification represents.   I don’t know if it is the case or not because I have not had the opportunity to speak with any candidates who have completed certification, but would hope that the accomplishment provides personal satisfaction as well as contributing to the candidate’s sense of professional identity, and affirming their feeling valued by the rest of the profession.

The value to libraries is similarly derived from multiple aspects:  from the content of the training and self-study that support staff receive and undertake and then take back to their libraries, from the boost that having employees taking on professional development brings to the organization, and from having the competencies themselves articulated and then certified.  I think having a pathway that explicitly recognizes and certifies the knowledge and abilities that support staff contribute is important for the profession.

It could give an edge to candidates if all else were equal, but opportunities to participate vary so widely that it wouldn’t necessarily.  We have not hired anyone with this certification at our library, nor do I recall ever seeing an applicant who had it, but we have a very small staff and very few support staff openings.  It may also be more typically held by applicants to school or public libraries.

If the question is about whether it is “worth it” to pursue LSSC certification, I would encourage candidates to do so if they have the intrinsic motivation to seek such a credential, and if it will be meaningful to them irrespective of whether it will provide any hiring edge or salary benefit.  At least in academic libraries I think those benefits cannot be relied on or maybe even considered as possibilities, so it has to be worth it to the candidate just because they want to do it for their own learning and satisfaction.

Ann Glannon, Associate Director, Wheelock College Library, Boston, MA

I have never hired someone who has been through the certification program, but I have hired people with a library technician AA degree, and all three were rather a disaster. At the time of hiring, I thought the degree would give the person an edge, but it did not.  These experiences come from two previous libraries, not my current institution.  In one case the person didn’t seem to know more than someone would have who had had library experience, and I was disappointed in what I might call library service values. Things like getting cards filed quickly (this was back in the days of card catalogs) so users could find the books I cataloged or responding to users as invitingly as I would have wished.  In two other cases, the library assistants seemed to have the knowledge from the classes they took, but the work just didn’t get done as efficiently as we needed to be successful. It wasn’t just our expectations, as the replacements were extremely successful. These were people without the library technician degree but had library experience (in one case circulation, particularly ILL and the other was cataloging). Maybe it’s just bad luck, but it’s three out of three.

Who goes for the certification?  If they have good experience and good references, I would go with them and probably wouldn’t give the certification any boost. I have been extremely lucky hiring fabulous library assistants, so I think experience, interview, and references tell me more than certification.

- Anonymous

bonnie smithTo my knowledge we have never had anyone apply for a position with this certification yet. But the certification is well regarded and would definitely be noticed and considered a plus. We are always looking for staff who can fit right in and get started on the job at hand. This certification means that less time is spent on training during the first phases of employment. With a better understanding of how libraries function, from a broad perspective, individuals in this program can better serve patrons and feel more confident about their service.

- Bonnie Smith, Assistant Program Director for Human Resources, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries

 

I think the library support staff certificate has it’s value but how valuable would come out in an interview.   Probably a reason to interview someone.

- Jan Wilbur, Library Director, Mondor/Eagen Library/Information Commons, Anna Maria College

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight. If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.

Thank YOU for reading! When you’re not strong/I’ll be your friend/I’ll help you comment.

*edited 8/10/2013 to add Jan Wilbur’s response

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Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Public

I am a Terrible Liar, So I Avoid it Like the Plague

Man on Snowshoes Carrying RifleThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), and has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Museum / special collections, at the following levels: Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, and Director/Dean. This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US.

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA joblist, CT library jobs, Educause, Highered jobs, Indeed, Libgig, LISjobs, MBCL job listings, Metro.org, NYline, Simply hired, SLA-ny, USAjobs.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Only for certain kinds of employers

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Between one and five hours, over a span of days.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Other: I am a terrible liar, so I avoid it like the plague. But I have sometimes wondered after the fact whether my answers were full enough.

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Other: To let me know that my references will be contacted.

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Being able to present
√ Other: One-on-one meeting with potential supervisor.

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Advertise widely and keep positions open until filled.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Provide written interview agendas ahead of time, along with the names of those on the committee, and/or those with whom the candidate will be meeting.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Competence, confidence, and a clear recognition of what your weaknesses as a candidate are.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

It would be good to know how many applications (on average) candidates are submitting prior to getting an interview and/or being hired.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Academic Library Jobs

I’m glad to be able to present this site, not only because it will be a great resource for all you academic librarians (present and future), but because I think Molly has done a good job of explaining how a “job ad junkie” can turn a quirky habit into a very helpful resource.  Today’s post looks at Academic Library Jobs.


Academic Library Jobs

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

Academic Library Jobs is a mobile-friendly website that features a curated list of job listings in academic libraries. It includes job listings from public and private colleges and universities in the United States, most requiring a master’s degree in a library-related field.

When was it started? Why was it started?

It started about a year before it was actually launched. :-) In the summer of 2012, I was working in a university IT department, and, like many people I’ve talked to, spent my breaks surfing job ads on my phone. I noticed that many job ads were pretty hard to view that way, and I’d end up emailing myself a reminder to check a particular job when I got home.

I had been wanting to try my hand at app development, so I decided to write an app that would deliver job ads. Then I started trying to narrow down the kinds of job ads it would include. I kept drifting toward the library jobs (I have an MLIS, but have worked in IT for a long time), and more specifically, toward academic library jobs, because I love working in higher ed.

The problem was that it was taking me so long to develop the app that a lot of great jobs were going by. Finally, in May of 2013, I decided to ditch my app aspirations and find a responsive WordPress theme, so that at least I would have a mobile-friendly site where I could post the jobs I was seeing. I found ThemeHorse’s Clean Retina, which looks lovely on every device I’ve tried it on, with minimal CSS tweaking.

Fortunately, since I had already designed and built the database for the app, I knew where I wanted to go with categories and tags, and what information I wanted to provide with each listing. I decided to include college-town profiles too, because I believe that place is such an important consideration when you’re looking for jobs.

Who runs it?

I do. [Molly Ives Brower] I do all the WordPress wrangling, the job-ad curation, and the tweeting. I do use the editorial “we” from time to time, just because I like that particular affectation. :-)

Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

I’m not a career expert–although I’ve had 17 jobs since 1988, so I do have a lot of experience applying for jobs and interviewing. These days I’m an IT consultant, but one of my clients is a library, and I keep up with some of my favorite library issues, thanks to Twitter and my friends in the library world (including my husband, who is the director of an academic library).

My primary qualification to do this is that I am a job-ad junkie. When I started library school I was a clerk/typist in the serials department of a university library, and one of my jobs was to open the mail. Every time we got a new issue of Library Journal or other publications that advertised library jobs (I remember a weekly newsletter that was almost nothing but job ads), I would read them to try to decide what kind of librarian I wanted to be and where I wanted to live when I finished my degree. I’ve never really gotten out of the habit of looking at job ads. It’s become a hobby.

Another hobby of mine is visiting college towns, so I’ve actually been to a lot of the places I link to. I’ve been known to drive two hours out of my way to visit, say, Carbondale, Illinois or Oneonta, New York (Oneonta is one of my favorite college towns, actually). But I haven’t traveled the entire country, of course, so there are a lot I’ve never even been close to.

Who is your target audience?

Academic librarians and people who want to be academic librarians.

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?

They can certainly consult it daily if they want to, or they can just follow the RSS feeds. I don’t have ads, so it doesn’t matter to me if people read the feeds (there’s a general feed and one for each state) and never even visit the site.

For those who know what they’re looking for, I’ve tried to make it easy to browse by deadline, state, and job categories, and I tag every job with its institution and location, as well as other tags that seem to fit. I have a category for entry-level jobs, because I know there are always recent graduates out there who are looking for those. There’s a search function, and a calendar that shows every day’s posts. Every Friday I post a list of jobs with deadlines the following week, so that readers will have the weekend to get their application materials together.

Does your site provide:

 Job Listings  Links √ The opportunity for interaction
√ Other: I’m developing my template for location profiles, and occasionally I post links, mostly related more to relocation than job-hunting.

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?

 Twitter: @AcadLibJobs

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No.

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

Not yet, but I hope I will someday!

Molly Ives BrowerAnything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

I don’t include entire job listings, like some of the bigger job sites do. I try to give enough information about the job that someone who is interested can click through to see the official job posting on the institution’s website, and I try to make it easy to go directly to job listing, or at least get close. If I see a listing for a job on another site, but can’t find the job listed on the institution’s site, I don’t list it. When I run across those, I try to check back in a day or two, just in case it shows up (and it usually does). That means that sometimes I list jobs a couple of days after they show up elsewhere.

The site is still evolving; I’m still refining the categories and tags, as well as my criteria for including jobs (for example, I don’t include part-time jobs now, but might decide to change that later).

I’d love to get some job submissions from libraries, and some college-town profiles from people who are living and working in academic libraries. But mainly, I just hope that people will be able to use my site to help them find the kind of jobs I see posted every day that remind me why I have always loved working in higher ed, and in libraries.

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Filed under Academic, Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students

Don’t Leave People Hanging

Interior of the Drawing Room, Mar LodgeThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field) and has been hired within the last two months. This person looked for a new position for six months to a year,  in Academic libraries, Archives,  Public libraries,  and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience and Supervisory. This job hunter is in a city/town in the Southern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

The ability to move up
Innovation in technology and collections development
Autonomy and flexibility within job title/description

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA Joblist, Twitter, FB, listservs, friends

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks, depending on the deadline.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Pay them what they are worth, no excuses. And allow them room in the schedule for professional development.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate. Don’t leave people hanging.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing the right person.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Archives, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Public, Southern US, Special