Tag Archives: Academic library

Being a New Grad I Feel Better Applying to Jobs That Indicate They are a Place to Grow and Learn

This post originally appeared on March 10, 2013. Her year two follow up will post in just a few moments.
Neyda GilmanNeyda Gilman has a VERY recent MLIS, as her degree was conferred February 1st! Librarianship will be a second career, after working as a medical technologist for five years. She is a graduate reference assistant at the University at Buffalo’s Health Sciences Library  Ms. Gilman has been looking for less than six months, in academic libraries, archives, and special libraries, at the entry level. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

I currently work part time at a library on campus. I have also done practicums at a public library, hospital library, and in a special collection. When my part time work ends soon I plan on continuing to volunteer there until I can find a job.

She is in a city/town, in the Northeastern US, and is willing to move anywhere, although

location is important so if I don’t think I could be happy living there I probably won’t take the job.

Ms. Gilman is a 2011 ALA Spectrum Scholar (MLA/NLM Scholar). You can learn more about her by visiting her e-portfolio or LinkedIn profile.

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

Type of library – I am interested in Academic (especially health sciences) or hospital

Location – I am looking nationwide (and Canada), but only apply to places in locations I think I would enjoy living

Mentorship/guidance – this is not necessary, but being a new grad I feel better applying to jobs that indicate they are a place to grow and learn

Where do you look for open positions?

Mostly indeed.com and ALA joblist. I also check MLA jobs and am on numerous listservs.

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?

One application will take at least a day, usually more, depending on what they want. I start with my resume or CV (whichever one they specify) since that is the easiest – I use a similar resume/CV for most applications and it doesn’t usually take long to customize it for the specific job. Next I work on my cover letter and this is that part that takes the longest. Last is compiling my list of references – I have a list of about ten people who have all agreed to be references and I choose from that list depending on the job. The exception to this is if the job wants an actual letter or form filled out; in these cases the first thing I do is contact my references.

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?

√ Email

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

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

Put the posting out in as many areas as possible. Don’t have too strict of requirements. Having a lot of preferred qualifications is good, but I get really discouraged when I don’t meet one qualification out of a long list of required qualifications. There have been jobs that I know I would be good at and would love doing, but didn’t apply because there was one or two qualifications that I didn’t fully meet.

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

Keep the lines of communication open. If I am not a top choice, fine but let me know. Even if I am still being considered but not in the first batch of interviewees I want to know where I stand.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I’ll let you know when I get a job. 🙂

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, Northeastern US

Further Questions: How easy is it to switch between different types of librarianship?

This week we have a question from a reader.  She asks:

With the job market being the way it is, I have generally been looking for jobs in both public and academic libraries. How easy is it to switch between different types of librarianship? Do public libraries see an applicant with lots of academic experience and automatically dismiss them, or vice versa?

Laurie Phillips

I have been an academic librarian for 24 years but, before that, I worked in reference at a large public library. Reference was very different in an academic library than in the public library – not nearly as interesting when I first came here, but now I have a lot more opportunities to work with students. The skills are the same but the teaching and relationships that are part of academic librarianship generally aren’t there in public libraries. That said, I think you can apply successfully for both. Just know that you will have to highlight different skills and successfully respond to different environments. One of our most successful hires came from public school teaching and public librarianship. When he applied here, he tailored his letter of application to show how well he fit the qualifications for a job that was just being developed.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans 

 

Christine Hage - Dark backgroundIt depends on the job pool.  Generally we get enough applicants that is is highly unlikely that we would look an academic librarian for a public library position.  This is not to say that we haven’t had academic librarians with NO public library experience apply for a youth services position.  In fact I just interviewed one today who had lots of sports coaching experience with young kids, but no public library experience.  Even with coaching experience he wasn’t qualified to work with kids in a public library.
If the position were in a large public library and in a subject department there might be more relevance.  In that case a public library might really be looking for a subject specialist, but in the run of the mill public library not so much.
I realize that library education isn’t all that different for public and academic libraries (merely a couple of different courses), but the experience is very different.  If an academic librarian volunteered or worked as a substitute librarian in a public library I might be inclined to consider them.  Other than that I’d stick to people who studied and / or have worked in public libraries.
– Christine Hage, Director, Rochester Hills Public Library
Petra Mauerhoff, CEO, Shortgrass Library SystemMy personal experience has been that after a certain amount of time spent in one type of library one does tend to get pigeon-holed as knowing only about that type of work.
I have made the switch from special library to public library and then into post-secondary library work for a short amount of time and back into public libraries. Speaking from my personal experience, on an administrative/management level, the duties are very similar and transfer easily.
Recently, our regional library system (serving public libraries and school libraries) was going through a hiring process for a technology related management position and we interviewed candidates from academic libraries. We found out during the conversations that to a large extent the duties appeared to be similar: vendor relations, budgeting, ensuring services are relevant to the audience served.
The most important aspect always seems to be how willing the incumbent is to learn about their new environment. This is of course the case even when switching jobs within the same type of library. Be a “sponge” during your first while on the new job: absorb as much about the new environment as you can, learn about how things are done and WHY. Immerse yourself in the culture of the new place of employment, to find out what the priorities of the organization as a whole as well as those of the individual departments are.
The basic principles of excellent customer service and the (relatively) seamless provision of access to relevant resources will likely be the same, no matter which type of library you find yourself in.
I also wanted to mention again that our library system is currently part of a Shared Intern Librarian initiative, in which we share a newly graduated Librarian for a period of 12 months with our local public library as well as our local College Library Services. The Librarian spends equal amounts of time at each institution and thus is provided with experience in three different types of library organizations. Given that new grads often have to choose between types of libraries without actual experience that might tell them which they would prefer (or have an aptitude for), we figured this initiative was a great way to allow new grads to gain experience in different library organizations and then lets them make an educated decision after the 12 months. Plus, it gives them great work experience and they come out of the 12 month period with three “bosses” who are able to provide (so far, glowing) references.
And yes, we do pay our Interns.
– Petra Mauerhoff, CEO, Shortgrass Library System
Sarah MorrisonI would consider any library experience as “library experience” when reviewing applicants.  Academic, public, special, corporate, every library requires the same basic skills—order to fit the collection, stay within a budget, work within the hierarchy, work in teams or on committees, work in a hectic environment, deal with technology issues, choose and explain databases, handle problem patrons, etc.  Not having switched between libraries after I began full-time work, I can’t absolutely say, but I know people who have made the switch.  It would be more about finding jobs that meet your skill set and marketing those skills.
– Sarah Morrison, Adult Services Librarian, Neill Public Library, Pullman, Washington
I feel that experience is experience-both work with patrons/students. I would be more hesitant to hire someone with only TS experience, for example, to work as a Reference/Public Services librarian.
– Kaye Grabbe, Director, Lake Forest (Public) Library, Lake Forest, IL.
Jason GrubbI don’t think the switch is as difficult as some in our profession would have you believe. I’ve successful transitioned back and forth between both type of libraries throughout my career. I’ve watched friends and colleagues do the same. I currently work in a public library where we have hired several librarians who only had academic library experience. The key is to show with your application and interview how your library experience in any type of library is relevant and transferable to the position you are applying to.
– Jason Grubb, Director, Sweetwater County Library System
Celia RabinowitzAs a profession we seem to have often told new librarians to pick a track and stick with it because switching between types of libraries is difficult, or at least it is hard to convince search committees that it can be done successfully.  The switch might be easier for some subfields than for others, and it is certainly the case there are many differences in the audiences served, resources, and services provided.  That said, I am always looking for someone who can demonstrate in a cover letter that they “get” the job that is open and that they can match their qualifications and approach to the work with the position we have available.  It isn’t always easy.  I think it’s fair to say my library faculty might have a bias toward candidates with academic library experience.  I think this is an example of a situation where the cover letter can be the most important part of an application.  Why do you want to make the switch (if you are already working in the other type of library)?  If you are applying for both simultaneously it is absolutely worth the time it takes to craft cover letters that clearly address the jobs.  The same letter won’t work for different libraries.  Is it a challenge?  I think it still is.  Should academic libraries simply overlook candidates who have most, or all, of their experience in public libraries?  I don’t think so.  I want to be talked into it, so go for it.
– Celia Rabinowitz, Director of the Library, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

I can only speak from an academic perspective to respond to this question. I would say that it very much depends on the hiring manager. I know many academic librarians will not hire librarians out of the public library, but I think it has to do with the differences in administrative structure (City Council verses Higher Education). Also, many academic libraries are tenure track which requires scholarly publishing, presenting, professional service which is not required of public librarians (however many of them do these things).

From my personal perspective as a hiring manager in a public services setting in an academic library, I frequently hire librarians (and support staff) from public libraries because they usually bring with them very strong customer service skills. While many public librarians aren’t publishing, they are frequently involved in community service, service in professional organizations, and are used to giving presentations so I feel they can make the transition easily enough and their stellar customer service skills are worth the extra mentoring I might have to do in the scholarly area.

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

For more on this topic, take a look at How Can Candidates Changing Library Types, or Fields, Best Present Their Skills? from September 2013.

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.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  She got sequins in her hair, Like she stepped out off of a Fellini film, She sat in a white straw comment.

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Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Public

Residency Run-down: Santa Barbara City College Library Residency

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Kenley Neufeld of Santa Barbara City College. In this interview, Mr. Neufeld describes, the origins of the program. as well as why Santa Barbara City College Library is a great place to learn about academic librarianship and the top two things he looks for in applicants.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Santa Barbara City College Library Residency Program?

See http://library.sbcc.edu/blog/2011/07/08/2011-2012-library-resident/

Why was this program started? or Why does Santa Barbara City College Library continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

The program was started to meet a need to serve more students. Between 2005-2010 the number of students using the library more than doubled and yet we weren’t able to make any staff changes to meet this increased demand. We are an extremely busy library with very limited staff. We also wanted to keep our approach to serving students fresh and innovative. By bringing in new librarians on a rotating basis we can assure freshness.

I approached a community member to fund this position because the institution wasn’t able to add more librarians to our staff. As a leader in the library profession, as an award-winning library and award-winning college, it is the right thing for us to continue being innovative in how we provide services.

What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The duties of the resident are no different than our “regular” librarians. We try to expose the resident to as many aspects of library service as possible, assign them areas in which they have interest or strengths, and push the resident to take on leadership responsibilities.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

Yes, the residents are paid as part-time faculty. No other specific benefits.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

We are one of the top community colleges and library in the country. We are exciting, innovative, and passionate about what we do. The view is spectacular.

What are the eligibility requirements?

See http://library.sbcc.edu/blog/2011/07/08/2011-2012-library-resident/

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

The selection process is less formal than our regular job application process. Applicants must complete one of the online college applications and then are screened by the library director and other librarians for interview selection. The interview is performed by the library director and a selection is made.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

At this point we’re on a 2-year cycle and so the next vacancy will be in Summer 2014. Reviewing the criteria should provide the best indication on how to improve their chances.

When will the next residents be picked?

Summer 2014

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Communication and customer service skills are two of my top criteria when interviewing people. I want to see someone who is creative, smart, and has some vision on where to go.

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Filed under Academic, Residency Run-Down, Western US

Job Hunter’s 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 Hunter’s 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.

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

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.

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, 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

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

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!

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

I just want the job or to be let out the door so I can find my job

Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away his chickens, Pie Town, New MexicoThis 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 had/has been looking for a new position for more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendor/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, and Corporations, at the following levels: Entry level , Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Department Head, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager, Director/Dean,

(I have a lot of management experience so I really branch out a lot.)

Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Recent grad. Volunteer at academic library’s digital initiatives. Internship at a public library’s reference department.

This job hunter is in a rural area of the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere.

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

Enough pay to survive on… not get rich, just live comfortably.
Variety. I want a position that touches on multiple areas of the library, not just one little corner.
A position with promotion potential. Not that I wouldn’t be happy as a reference librarian my entire life, but I want to be able to move up and be a director too!

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ. RAILS. ALA Joblist.

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?

Depends on the job. If they are specific and detailed in the items that they list I will spend days on it. If they are generic, so am I.

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)?

√ Other: Don’t waste my time or yours. If I’m not your guy, I don’t need or want to go through a process like this. I just want the job or to be let out the door so I can find my job. I have more important things to do than take a tour or meet people I’m not going to be co-workers of.

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

Be specific. How is your library different? I see hundreds of jobs every day… why is yours so special? What kind of personality are you looking for? What kind of experience will you accept? Don’t shoot for the stars if your pay is in the dirt.

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

Remove the fluff. Take out the tours, take out the meet/greet. Just focus on the skills and what you’re looking for. And try asking some legitimate questions. Don’t focus on the traditional cookie cutter questions, or your off the wall what would you read type of questions. Focus on the job and how best to get it done. Look for philosophical differences, etc. And give a candidate a chance to rebuttal the other candidates. You might not hire me over another person because of some stupid error… give me a chance to argue my point against theirs. In other words, maybe bring us back and clarify. Give me a chance to prove my point.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

You need to be a salesman. I’ll be blunt here. I’m a better worker than 3/4 of the people out there. I have great ideas, I’m dedicated, I’m will work faster and harder with more attention to detail than most out there… But I wont get hired because I’m not a salesman. I’ve lost out on three jobs because I couldn’t sell myself as well as the others, yet I could have done it better and for cheaper. As a hiring manager you need to look past the used car salesman and look at the credentials, the references, the history. Because I would be the best employee you’ve ever had but you wont ever give me a chance. I may not look or sound like a traditional library student but let me tell you… I am the future of this field and if you can’t adjust you’re going to end up being part of the problem instead of the solution.

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

The problem with the library process is really two things. First, they want way to much experience for positions that a new grad could realistically do…. and probably just as well if not better than its being done now and for less money. And Second, the amount of money that is being offered isn’t enough to pay for the schooling I just put a couple years into getting. And, when it is enough, its only part time. I understand the budget process but there comes a point when you need to stand up and say to the board, you can either have quality or quantity… you choose.

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, Midwestern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Public, Rural area, Special