Category Archives: Job Hunters Web Guide

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: LisList

Ever wished for a REALLY BIG LIST of LIS jobs?  Look no further than LisList.  Keep reading to learn more.


lislist

What is it?  Please give us your elevator speech!

LisList is a list of U.S. library jobs, updated daily.  It includes public, academic, school, and special library jobs.  We are especially interested in  those that require an MLS or equivalent.

 When was it started?  Why was it started?

It started in February 2014, so it’s brand new.  It was started to fill what we saw as a gap in the job search resources available for librarians.  There are a number of good sites that offer articles and advice, and some of them include job listings by state or specialty, or job listings submitted by employers .  But other than LisList, there is no clearinghouse with one big list of jobs (like the one Lisjobs featured in its heyday).

Who runs it?

Amadee Ricketts, a youth services librarian from Colorado, and James Orndorf, a photographer who happens to be married to a librarian.

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

We are definitely not career experts, but we’re good at making lists.

 Who is your target audience?

Librarians, aspiring librarians, and library workers.

 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?

The list grows every day, but users can check it out as needed.

Does your site provide:

Job listings

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

√ Twitter: @theLisList (highlights a Job of the Day)

√  Tumblr: http://lislist.tumblr.com (highlights a Job of the Day)

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 hopefully in the future.

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

Nope.

Do you run a web resource focused on LIS jobs or careers?  Or is there one you’d like to know more about?  Email me a hiringlibrariansATgmail to suggest a site for the Job Hunter’s Web Guide.

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Job Hunter’s Web Guide: LAI CDG

Irish sites two weeks in a row?  Tá Éire uamhnach!  This post provides a look at what an Irish professional group does to support its members’ careers, and I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you. Keeping reading to learn more about The Library Association of Ireland’s Career Development Group.


LAI CDG

What is it?  Please give us your elevator speech!

The Career Development Section of the Library Association of Ireland represents both existing library and information professionals and new graduates looking for job opportunities. The function of the CDG is to develop a proactive approach to employment in libraries through the discussion of issues such as career development, CV and interview tips, alternative funding models for job creation, non-traditional work opportunities. This will be done through formal events, informal events such as Library Camp Ireland 2013, talks and joint training with other LAI committees/groups.

 When was it started?  Why was it started?

The LAICDG was initially developed by our previous chair, Giada Gelli. After many, many months of meetings with interested parties we began, in 2012, to develop a definite vision of the aims of our group. The primary reason for the development of the CDG was due to there not being a similar group in existence in Ireland. Given the current economic climate, we believe that it is necessary and essential to have a group like ours to help those who currently find themselves without employment in the information professional field.

Who runs it?

The LAICDG is run by a committee. The members are as follows:

Catherine Ryan (chair)

Ciara Boylan (treasurer)

Daniel Murray (secretary)

Sarah Connolly

Celia West

Bryan Whelan

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

The members of the LAICDG have many diverse experiences. Some of us have worked as JobBridge interns, others have been unemployed and some are working in paid positions as information professionals. One thing we all have in common, however, is that we have a Master’s in Library and Information Studies.

 Who is your target audience?

We represent new and existing library and information professionals in Ireland and we aim to help those who are currently seeking employment opportunities as well as those currently studying for a library degree or MLIS.

 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?

Our main mode of communication is Twitter where we will announce any training or events. We also tweet items of interest relating to job search, the different aspects of librarianship and career development in general. For library job listings in Ireland we recommend www.libraryjobs.ie.

The best way to use our site is to consult it as needed. Our blog contains details of our own events as well as others that our members have attended. We also have a page on the blog with links to career and job search resources. We encourage anyone with an interest in career development in libraries to make a submission to the CDG blog.

Does your site provide:

√ Links √ Research  √ The opportunity for interaction

√  Other: Our main interaction is through events and we run unconferences, talks, workshops on resumes, cover letters, and interviewing. These events all include a networking aspect. Libary job listings in Ireland are available at www.libraryjobs.ie

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

√ Twitter: @LAICDGroup

√ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laicdg/390809420999237

√  Other: CDG Blog; Library Camp Ireland 2013 site

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! Our main impact comes through events so hopefully we’ll have some stories for you soon!

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

We have just recently organised a very successful and well-received unconference in the Chocolate Factory recently and we are hoping to organise more career development events in the forthcoming months.

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Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Library Jobs.ie

Today I’m happy to present a site from across the ocean, Library Jobs.ie.  Margaret Irons runs a wonderful job posting site that gathers Irish library jobs of all kinds into one convenient location.  She was also kind enough to do this interview whilst on maternity leave!  Thanks, Margaret!


Library Jobs ie

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

We aim to consolidate the search for library jobs in Ireland.
No more trawling through individual sites – we will do that for you.

When was it started? Why was it started?

LibraryJobs.ie had been on my mind for years. I even bought a domain name many years ago but it just never got off the ground. Ireland is a small country but there was never any one place to find work in libraries. There are many job sites for librarians in the UK but no dedicated site in Ireland. The advertising of library jobs was and is very erratic. Also any generic jobs sites in Ireland generally don’t have library related roles listed in the drop down menu. And with the downturn in the economy the advertising of jobs in print media seemed to just stop altogether. So it seemed that the job search for graduates was just getting more and more difficult.

Over the years, my friend Barry Gildea and I had many conversations about it.  After he had successfully gotten Dublin Startup Jobs up and running, it looked like it was time to get serious about LibraryJobs.ie. Barry is a fantastic web designer and a college friend (He can be contacted at his website, Brickisred Design). It seemed like an obvious step to collaborate on this project after years of discussing it. So last summer we got around to it and LibraryJobs.ie was softly launched.

Who runs it?

It is run by myself (Margaret Irons) with design and technical input from Barry Gildea. As I am on maternity leave at the moment, my friend and colleague Ann O’Sullivan is currently updating the site with me. Ann has been a huge help. We have worked together for six years on the Academic & Special Libraries Section committee of the Library Association of Ireland and share a similar work ethic. So I knew the site would be safe in her hands.

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

I am currently working as librarian in the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

My undergraduate degree is in History and Media & Communications. I have worked mainly in academic libraries from medical to third level and specialist research libraries.

I qualified as a librarian in 2001 and since then I have been both an interviewee and interviewer, and an employee and employer. I also have had recent graduates and interns working with me and felt that many graduates were at a loss as to where to even begin searching for work.

You can find out more about my career history on my LinkedIn Profile.

Who is your target audience?

  1. LIS graduates or anyone looking for a library related job.
  2. We add internships for those who would like to gain experience in order to break into the market.
  3. Also we are trying to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to roles that we advertise. It’s time to look beyond the ‘traditional’ library role.

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?

We use blogging software so updates can be followed like any blog. Also you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @LibraryJobs. We are also on LinkedIn and Google+. There really is no way you can miss out.

Does your site provide:

√ Job Listings

Should readers also look for you on social media?

√ Twitter: @LibraryJobs
√ LinkedIn
√  Facebook
√  Google+

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No – it is a free service.

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

Jane Burns (@JMBurns99) recently took up the post of Research Officer in the Health Professions Centre at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. Here is what she had to say about the current job market for Library & Information Professionals

“I think this is the toughest economic climate I can ever remember experiencing. The keys to helping land this role were perseverance, networking and using LibraryJobs.ie as my primary source for new opportunities.

Margaret Irons effectively scouts positions that perhaps some LIS professionals would miss without her curation. Library Jobs.ie is in my opinion the first and last stop for any LIS professional looking for a new role.”

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

Keep a close eye on LibraryJobs.ie of course!
Network, network, network. The library community is a very friendly and welcoming place. Go to events and mingle and get to know others. You will get a clearer vision of what is happening in the library world and may also even hear of a job that hasn’t yet made it on to LibraryJobs.ie.
Think outside the box. There may not be so many ‘traditional’ library jobs at the moment but the skills you have learned can be adapted to work in many different roles.
Get someone to proof read your CV before you send it to a prospective employer. Update and refresh your CV on a regular basis.
Start your own blog. Document your experiences and practice your writing skills.
If you’re not on Twitter then join now. It’s a great networking and information sharing tool. You can get to know other librarians on there and get them to look out for jobs for you.
Make notes after interviews about questions you may have found difficult and work on them for the future.

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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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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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Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Career Q & A with the Library Career People

This was originally posted on January 17th, 2013.  I’m reposting now because they’ve moved to a new site, which looks fantastic!  The new URL is http://librarycareerpeople.com/  You can also follow on Twitter: @LibCareerPeople

Have you ever wished that someone would just answer all your career questions? Today’s post gives you the answer to that wish!  I’m happy to showcase Career Q & A with the Library Career People, who have been playing Dear Abby and Anne Landers to the LIS career world for nearly ten years. Please read on for more of their well thought-out, well-written advice.

Career QandA with the Library Career People

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

“Career Q&A with the Library Career People” is an online advice column for anyone working in, or interested in, libraries. We provide answers to actual questions from our readers.

When was it started? Why was it started?

“Career Q&A with the Library Career People” began in May of 2003 as a regular advice column in the Info Career Trends Newsletter (LISjobs.com’s career development newsletter). In 2007 we moved the column to a WordPress site in order to facilitate more communication between the writers and the readers and to provide more timely answers to the questions we receive.

Who runs it?

Tiffany Allen, Director of Library Human Resources at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Susanne Markgren, Digital Services Librarian at Purchase College, SUNY, have been the “Library Career People” since 2003, and they currently run the site.

Are you “career experts”? What are your qualifications?

We are working librarians with more than thirty years combined experience. We have worked in a variety of roles in different types of libraries in different parts of the country. We have chaired, and served on, hiring committees. We are members of library committees and associations. We are mentors. We have written and presented and taught classes on different aspects of career management. We have worked as career consultants. And most importantly, we truly enjoy helping others and serving as a resource for our colleagues and for those new to (or interested in) the profession.

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is anyone who may have a career-related question about our profession. This includes librarians working in all types of libraries (at all different stages of their careers), library school students, recent graduates who are looking for work, and those thinking about entering the profession. We’ve answered questions from all of the above and we are incredibly thankful for our diverse readership. They keep the site relevant and interesting!

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?

Our site contains Q&As from the past ten years. They are archived and organized into categories and tagged with keywords. Users can search for specific things, or browse categories such as: Job Seeking, Getting Started, Library School, Career Change, or Setting Goals. It isn’t meant to be used on a daily basis, since it isn’t updated daily. We try to answer at least a few questions per month, depending on how many questions we receive and how much time we have to answer them. We attempt to write fairly in-depth responses to the questions, and to provide our readers with links to other resources. Readers can subscribe by email, so they will be alerted when there is new content.

Does your site provide:

√  Answers to reader questions    √  Articles/literature    √  Links

√  The opportunity for interaction

Advice on:

√  Cover Letters    √  Resumes

√  Interviewing    √  Networking

√  Other : We also offer advice on career change, job satisfaction and what to do during library school.

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats? Please include links, subscription information, or other details if pertinent

√  Book(s): coming soon!

We do not have a social media presence, perhaps because social media sites/tools didn’t exist when Career Q&A began, but we’ve had some discussions about it and it may happen one of these days. However, we each promote it on our own personal social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and we are happy to connect with our readers from those places as well.

And, we have written a book (which we are very excited about!) that will be coming out this year. The title of the book is: Career Q&A: A Librarian’s Real-Life Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career. We will post more information about the book, and how to get it when it comes out, on our web site.

The purpose of the book is to take a broad look at librarianship by dissecting it into different stages and answering specific questions about the various stages, events, transitions, struggles and advances that encompass and define a librarian’s career.

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No, we do not charge for anything.

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

It’s funny, we hear so much from people looking for jobs right out of library school, or trying to change jobs at some point during their career, but we don’t often hear back from folks once they’ve landed the job. It’s like calling your doctor when you’re sick, but never calling them back to say that you’re well. We do get a lot of thanks, however, and a lot of the questions we receive begin with something like “I’m so glad I found you!”

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

We have been asked so many questions over the years, and the one that we get asked the most is some variation of “how do I get a job?” (or, “why can’t I get a job?”). We’ve answered this question many times and in a variety of ways, but our answers usually include the following things:

  • Libraries like to hire the best qualified candidate for the position (and that may not be you).
  • You need to have all the requirements for the position. Period.
  • You need to have impeccable, and personable, application materials.
  • In your application materials for a specific job (cover letter, resume, etc.) you need to accentuate your interest in the position — not a position, the position.
  • When applying for positions, you need to (or really, really should have) library experience, even for entry-level positions. If you do not have it, get it!
  • A good personality, the ability to adapt to different situations and environments, and an affinity for learning can go a long way.
  • You should have a professional online presence.
  • When you do not get a job you want, don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from it, appreciate the experience, and move on. There are many behind-the-scenes aspects of a job search that candidates don’t see and have no control over.

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Job Hunter’s Web Guide: ACRL Residency Interest Group

It seems that each year, the number of LIS graduates increases, and the number of entry-level jobs decreases.  And the bar for those jobs is set higher and higher.  It is difficult for new grads to get their feet on the path to becoming future library leaders.  I’m interested in what we, as a profession, are doing about this problem.  

So I’m glad to present a resource which may really help new grads: the ACRL Residency Interest group.  Residencies provide a structured entrance into the profession, and the ACRL group, along with it’s associated website, provides some good insight into how you can obtain such an entrance.  Hannah K. Lee, who is the Outgoing Convener of the ACRL Residency Interest Group as well as Assistant Librarian, University of Delaware Library, Student Multimedia Design Center, was kind enough to answer my questions about the site and the group.


ACRL Residency Interest Group

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group (RIG) is a group of library residents (both current and former), residency program coordinators, library administrators, diversity officers, and human resources professionals from across the country. A residency is post-degree work experience, often from one to three years, designed as an entry level program for recent graduates of library and information science programs. The aim of this group is to encourage interested parties to more broadly share their expertise regarding residency programs and to make it both available and accessible for future residents and coordinators. It was also founded as a resource for newer members, particularly library school students, who may be considering a residency program upon graduation.

When was it started? Why was it started?

In 2008, ACRL amended their bylaws allowing for communities to be created within ACRL that had a specific area of focus but that weren’t represented by Discussion Groups or Sections. They called these Interest Groups. An interest group is a network of individuals who have come together to share their knowledge and expertise with one another, and to help solve problems across organizational boundaries with those who may face similar challenges. The Residency Interest Group was the very first Interest Group to be formed by ACRL.

We have several goals:

  • To centralize information regarding residency program availability
  • To maintain a directory of past and present program participants
  • To garner interest and support for the group’s activities through the production of research projects related to residency programs
  • To serve as an information clearinghouse and resource for institutions planning, managing, or researching residency programs
  • To support potential residents, new graduates, and early career librarians in their professional development through a variety of resources including guest writers, podcasts, and downloadable documentation

Who runs it?

RIG is completely volunteer-based and is part of ACRL’s committee structure. ACRL, in turn, is a division within the American Library Association (ALA). RIG’s leadership includes the incoming convener, convener, outgoing convener, and web editors.

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

I wouldn’t consider myself a career “expert,” and librarianship isn’t my first career. But I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’m always happy to give advice to new graduates and job seekers. As a college student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I dabbled in every possible field you can image– psychology, French, architecture, chemistry, history, photography– before eventually graduating with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Education. I started my professional career as a high school English teacher in Chicago, where I taught British Literature and Film Studies. I then set my sights abroad, and ended up teaching in the Paris, France region for a couple of years at the junior high level. I returned to the States—and to my alma mater– to continue my studies at the graduate level. While at the U of I, I taught various rhetoric and composition courses, including ART 250: Writing with Video. I received my M.A in English with a specialization in Writing Studies in 2008 and my M.S. in Library and Information Science in 2009. I have worked as a Substitute Adult Services Reference Librarian at the Urbana Free Library, as a Librarian Intern at Harper College Library in Palatine, IL, and as an Affiliate Assistant Librarian and Pauline A. Young Resident at the Student Multimedia Design Center at the University of Delaware Library. I’m currently an Assistant Librarian in the Student Multimedia Design Center. The Center is a one of the largest multimedia facilities in an academic library in the nation. During my residency, my responsibilities included assisting students in creating multimedia content, collaborating on interdepartmental library projects such as videos and interactive tutorials, digital literacy instruction, and staff and student training, among others. In my permanent position, I began a program for multimedia literacy instruction that was launched in Fall 2012. I work collaboratively with faculty across departments, consulting with them on assignment design and teaching class sessions on digital storytelling, production basics, video editing, etc.

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is new library and information science graduates as well as people who are interested in starting library residency programs.

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?

For recent graduates who are looking for a job, the best way to use the site is to consult it on a regular basis to see if there are any new residency positions that have opened up. They can also subscribe to the Residency Interest Group listserv, because most of the jobs that are posted on the website also get sent out through the listserv. To subscribe to the listserv, go to http://lists.ala.org/sympa. We also have regular posts from current and former residents in our Residency Diaries series, and although we haven’t had a podcast recently, we also have a Newbie Dispatches podcast series on a variety of topics of interest to new librarians.

Does your site provide:

√ Job Listings √ Answers to reader questions √ Interviews
√ Articles/literature √ Links √ Research √ The opportunity for interaction

Should readers also look for you on social media? 

√ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ACRL-Residency-Interest-Group/113621396297?fref=ts

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No

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

I actually found my residency through the ACRL Residency Interest Group! I hadn’t even heard of residencies when I was in library school, and I stumbled upon a job ad for a residency program when I was searching for jobs. This piqued my interest, and I started looking for other residency programs. I came across the Residency Interest Group website and subscribed to the listserv, and not too long after, there was a posting for a job opening at the University of Delaware for their Pauline A Young Residency program. I applied for the position, and one thing led to another to bring me to where I am today. My residency was for two years, but they ended up offering me a permanent position midway through my residency. I’m still at the University of Delaware, and am very thankful for my experiences as a resident.

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

Hannah LeeDon’t get discouraged! It might take a few tries to get your dream job, but in the meantime, don’t be afraid of taking on positions to help build up your experience. If you want to work in a university library, you might have to move to a location you’re not familiar with. If you want to develop your career as an academic librarian, it’s something that you’ll have to seriously consider. Good luck!

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Filed under Academic, Entry Level, Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Open Cover Letters

My sister is an actor, and a couple years ago she wrote a post about generosity that really resonated with me. She said that if you see a great role that someone else would be perfect for, you should share it.  She said that to get other people to root for you, you have to root for them.  Its better to go through the stress of auditions with people by your side.

I really think the same is true for job hunting.  If we share information, we build a better community.  We’ve got people on our side and a higher quality of work.  That’s why I’m happy to feature Open Cover Letters today. This is a site which allows job hunters to share with each other the secrets of their success.  It provides good examples, which for me personally have created clarity and improved the quality of my work.  Please enjoy this interview!


Open Cover Letters


What is it?  Please give us your elevator speech!

Open Cover Letters aims to help inspire library job hunters write great cover letters. Over 60 hired librarians have graciously submitted cover letters they wrote as part of a successful library job application.

When was it started?  Why was it started?

I created the website in June 2011 after completing a job search. I found that existing cover letter websites were generic and unhelpful. I wished I could have read real examples of librarian cover letters. After accepting my current position, I approached friends and colleagues who were hired, and launched the website with five anonymized cover letters.

Who runs it?

Stephen X. Flynn, Emerging Technologies Librarian at the College of Wooster. Wooster, Ohio.

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

I am not a career expert at all! Instead, I try to offer advice based on my real world experience both applying for jobs, and also now hiring. I have partnered with ALA JobLIST to present cover letter workshops at the Job Placement Center at ALA. I tell the story of my own job hunt, share what I’ve learned from hiring, and use a worksheet and activities to engage the attendees in reflective practice.

Who is your target audience?

If you are looking for a library job, whether you’re an MLIS student, or an experienced library administrator, you should benefit from reading successful library cover letter examples.

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?

I think it’s best to browse the website as needed, and use the tags and categories to narrow down to a specific type of library or job description.

Does your site provide:

 Advice on:

 Cover Letters


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

√ Twitter: @opencoverletter
√ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/opencoverletters

Do you charge for anything on your site?

Open Cover Letters is not only free, but also licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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

Yes! When I started the website, I hoped that librarians who were helped would pay it forward by submitting their own cover letter. This has happened countless times as cover letter submitters have told me in the email that they found my website to be helpful. Some readers have also asked me for cover letter and resume advice directly, and one individual in particular told me that after making significant changes to the resume and cover letter, the rate of call-backs went up.

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

There is no magic formula to the perfect cover letter. Like other forms of composition, it’s a form of art that requires time and passion to succeed. Also, an outstanding resumé is just as important as an outstanding cover letter. The two should, in perfect synchronization, communicate your strengths and address the job requirements. You’ve heard the advice that you should tailor your cover letter, but you should also tailor your resumé.

A healthy support network is critical to getting through the job hunting highs and lows. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to critique your job applications. Reach out to hired librarians for advice and support. I know how tough the daily struggle is, and I believe that with the right combination of passion, initiative and support, you’ll be able to find an amazing job!

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Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Infonista

Tired of getting kicked around by libraries? Are you intrigued by the myriad of possibilities for using your degree? Want an alternative LIS career?  Today we are featuring the site for you!  Kim Dority was kind enough to talk to us about her blog, Infonista.


Infonista

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

Infonista is a blog that focuses on all the different ways LIS professionals can deploy their information skills, in both traditional and nontraditional environments. In addition, I try to bring in information from outside the profession that may be relevant to building a resilient LIS career.

When was it started? Why was it started?

It was started in June 2010 as a way to extend the reach of a course I’d been teaching in the University of Denver MLIS program – I wanted more students (and LIS practitioners) to understand how incredibly valuable their skill sets could be if they took a broader approach to information work.

Who runs it?

I (Kim Dority) run it, but I have to admit (with embarrassment) that I’ve been somewhat neglectful of my blog recently due to other commitments, e.g., creating and managing the LinkedIn LIS Career Options group and finishing off a recently published book, LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career (Libraries Unlimited, 2013). My goal for this year is to be a much more diligent blogger!

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

I don’t necessarily consider myself a “career expert,” but more of someone who’s done nearly every type of LIS work in her career and who has researched and taught courses, webinars, and workshops on this topic for 13 years. During that time I’ve had the extreme good fortune to learn from hundreds of colleagues, students, friends, and even mentors, so I consider myself more of a conduit for and aggregator of all the stuff we’re learning from each other.

Who is your target audience?

LIS students and professionals, especially those trying to explore or navigate into broader career opportunities that will use their information skills.

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?

I’d say noodle around. All of the posts are tagged by a specific category, so if users are interested in a specific topic, they should be able find all the posts on that topic. My goal is to post weekly, although as I mentioned, that’s currently aspirational rather than reality!

Does your site provide:

Interviews   Answers to reader questions
Articles/literature    Links
Research   Coaching
The opportunity for interaction

Advice on:
Networking

Other: emerging types of LIS career paths and how to explore/position for them

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

Book(s): Rethinking Information Work (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), LIS Career Sourcebook (Libraries Unlimited, 2012)
 Other: LIS career webinars and workshops for MLIS programs and LIS associations, divisions, and chapters

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No

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

I’ve actually never tracked this information so have no idea!

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

Hmmm…. I think I’d encourage your readers to think as broadly and creatively about the application of their LIS skills as possible in order to find jobs, and then continue to keep an eye out for “alternative uses” even after landing those jobs. Given this economy, I believe it’s really important to operate as if we’re all self-employed, regardless of where we happen to be working at any given point in our careers. My goal is to help LIS students and professional create resilient careers, which often means rethinking what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for.

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Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students, Other Organization or Library Type

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Careers in Law Librarianship

I’m happy to be able to share today’s site with you. It is an excellent example of the services our professional associations can provide for job hunters and prospective librarians. Today we are featuring Careers in Law Librarianship, a site run by the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL). Wendy E. Moore, who is the Chair of the AALL Recruitment to Law Librarianship Committee as well as the Acquisitions Librarian, University of Georgia Law Library, was gracious enough to answer my questions. I hope you will enjoy!


Careers in Law Librarianship

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

Careers in Law Librarianship is a portal to link people interested in law librarianship with information about educational requirements, career possibilities, types of law libraries, and sources of financial assistance.

When was it started? Why was it started?

It started about five years ago or so. It was created to have a single source to share with people interested in law librarianship which would be easy to find using a search engine.

Who runs it?

The site is run by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), an organization with over 5,000 members, which was founded in 1906 to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the legal and public communities, to foster the profession of law librarianship, and to provide leadership in the field of legal information.

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

I am not a “career expert,” although I have been a librarian for almost 20 years. I am currently the Chair of the AALL Recruitment to Law Librarianship Committee.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone interested in learning more about careers in law librarianship. Many of our users either already have a JD degree or an MLS degree and our seeking information about what additional educational requirements they may need and for how to network with law librarians in their region.

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?

Our site is a great place to get started to understand some of the unique aspects to careers in law librarianship. It directs users to additional information at the AALL website including lists of dual JD/MLS programs, job positings, and scholarship opportunities from various AALL regional Chapters, Special Interest Sections, and Caucuses.

Does your site provide:

√ Answers to reader questions
√ Links

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

Our site is not active on social media, but the American Association of Law Libraries AALL is active on the following:
√ Twitter: @aallnet
LinkedIn
Facebook
Newsletter
√ Magazine or other periodical: AALL Spectrum
Blog
Flickr

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No, our site is free to all.

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

Since the site is an information portal, we don’t really track or follow-up on specific job positions people who use our site eventually find. We have through the site been able to match up people interested in learning more about law librarianship with law librarians in their local area, so I consider that a successful outcome of the site.

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

Law Librarianship is a very specialized form of librarianship. The more flexible you are concerning your geographic location, the easier time you will have in securing a position. Also carefully read the educational and experience requirements in job ads and make certain you meet (or will meet before the start date) those requirements before applying for a position as the requirements are usually not flexible.

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Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, Law Library, MLIS Students