Creative Freedom/Independence

This post originally appeared on January 4, 2013. A follow up with Ms. Musser will post in just a few minutes.
Amy MusserAmy Seto Musser is preparing to graduate from Texas Woman’s University  in the spring of 2013. She’s excited to combine her professional theatre experience with her library science education to create dynamic interactive programming and services for children. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in public libraries, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how Ms. Musser describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I have volunteered at various public libraries off and on since childhood. Recently, I’ve volunteered specifically for the children’s department of a public library, which allowed me to gain experience doing displays, collection maintenance, and other special projects (flannel boards, etc.).

Other volunteering – Reading to kids at preschools, Indexing a history book for a local author, Planning/Presenting storytimes for summer festivals

I will be starting my internship/practicum for grad school this month, which is 120 hours of work. I also had a work-study fellowship in undergrad as a music librarian cataloging, binding, and organizing sheet music.

Ms. Musser is in a suburban area of the Western US, and is willing to move anywhere. Check out her blogs: &

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

1-Creative freedom/independence
2-Job security
3-A library system that supports and promotes children’s services as much as adult services

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs, ALA Joblist,,, websites for specific libraries I am interested in.

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 approximately 4-6 hours on each application. Most of that time is spent figuring out how to incorporate the required or preferred skills listed on the job description with my experience.

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 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

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?

I am just starting my job hunt and haven’t had the opportunity to interview yet, so I can’t answer this question with much authority.

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

I am just starting my job hunt and haven’t had the opportunity to interview yet, so I can’t answer this question with much authority.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Networking and connections, as well as being as prepared as possible. Preparedness includes learning as much as possible about the library, the community (users and non-users), exploring the facility on your own (if possible), and having pertinent and insightful questions to ask during the interview.

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 Job hunter's survey, Public, Suburban area, Western US

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