Tag Archives: archives jobs

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Archives Gig (Revisited)

Meredith Lowe started Archives Gig in 2010 and has been posting jobs for Archivists, records managers, and students ever since. We profiled the site back in 2013 and wanted to provide a quick update.

The site has a new URL (no more LiveJournal) and has continued to grow and evolve. 

I caught up with Meredith with a few questions:

What has changed with Archives Gig?

One thing that has been really interesting is the research and tools that have cited AG as a resource! A couple of recent favorites are:

It’s incredibly rewarding that AG has been helpful to these important contributions!

How is archives job hunting different now versus ten years ago?

This field has been steadily moving toward seeking those with skills in digital curation, projects, and collections, and those who are looking to work in the GLAM fields would be well-served to pick up skills in those areas. With the pandemic, there has been a big shift to remote work in all sectors, and that includes the archives field. Although most positions are still in-person, there are a lot more remote-only positions as well as hybrid schedule options – and I think with digital projects that hybrid/remote work is even more achievable.  

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Not thinking about EDI even though it is in the job description

men move crates of records
Unloading War Department Records at the National Archivee. From the National Archives Catalog.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Archives

Title: Processing Archivist

Titles hired include: Distinctive Collections Head, Archivist for Collections, Metadata Operations Engineer, [Project] Archivist, Metadata Librarian

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ Library Administration

√ The position’s supervisor

√ A Committee or panel

√ Employees at the position’s same level (on a panel or otherwise)

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview

√ More than one round of interviews

√ A whole day of interviews

√ Other: Presentation, some positions may be a half day of interviews

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Applications get narrowed by HR, hiring committee decides who gets phone interviews and conducts these interviews, committee decides who comes for in person (or virtual) final round interviews, candidates meet with committee, stakeholders, peers and/or reportees, higher library admins, and may give presentation to the entire libraries. A casual lunch is usually part of the interview day, but feedback isn’t given for that session. Assessment forms go to anyone that participated in the interview or viewed presentation. Committee assesses feedback and makes recommendation. Ultimately committee chair makes the decision on who to recommend (committee chair tends to be the person that will be reported to) which has to get approved by the library director. I have served as a hiring committee member or stakeholder in searches.

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

They had been actively involved with professional development through volunteering on committees, despite being relatively new to the field.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant

CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not thinking about EDI even though it is in the job description. (Or having too narrow a view of diversity)

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Yes. When giving a presentation, be aware of how you look when delivering it. (Please don’t be obviously reading from the screen, when it is easy to do it surreptitiously.) Understand the platform, test it out beforehand if possible.

How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?

I think by tailoring how you describe these positions to play up the relevant experience. If you understand what is relevant and show it, it helps.

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the job ad

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

Generally we try to have feedback forms that quantify how well a candidate does as compared with the job requirements. We also are encouraged to read an article on bias before starting reviews. We also try to give every candidate the same experience, from questions to schedules. Some decisions are very much up to the opinions of a small few. Phone screens are subject to the greatest bias.

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

Questions that show interest in the position or are aimed at better understanding expectations. 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Northeastern US

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 101-200

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 100-200 staff members, Archives, Northeastern US, Urban area

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Archives Gig

This week we’re showcasing a resource for the archivists out there.  I don’t know much about archives and archivists, so I’m glad to be able to learn more with Meredith Lowe, and her awesome resource: Archives Gig.

Archives Gig

What is it?  Please give us your elevator speech!

I curate postings of careers, jobs, and internships in the world of archives & records management, and post them to Archives Gig.

When was it started?  Why was it started?

Archives Gig was created on February 5, 2010.  As part of my job, I was contributing to the student job listserv at the University of Wisconsin – Madison SLIS.  I thought that I could benefit a broader group of people by making a public website, so that’s what drove the creation of the site.  I really enjoy looking at all of the opportunities out there, too, so running AG is a fun hobby.

Who runs it?

Just me!  I have a MA in Library and Information Studies, with a concentration in archives, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  My training largely informs my decisions about which jobs I post.  I currently work in Continuing Education Services at UW-Madison SLIS, so I coordinate continuing education and training for librarians and information professionals.  Check out our offerings at http://www.slis.wisc.edu/continueed.htm.

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

I’m not a “career expert.”  I just post jobs that fall within the purview of the site.

Who is your target audience?

Archivists, records managers, and students.  I post jobs at all levels, from internships to directors.  Anyone who is interested in the current archives/RM career landscape would certainly find a lot of information here.

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 generally post daily on weekdays, and I exclusively post job announcements.  It’s in a blog format, so the most recent post goes up top. If you’re actively job hunting, check in at least weekly (or set yourself up to receive Twitter or Facebook alerts).  If you’re just casually interested in what’s out there right now, consult AG at your leisure.

Each job posting gets tagged with keywords that you can use to narrow your search. If you look at the main page (http://archivesgig.livejournal.com), the tags are listed down the left side of the screen.  The quick and dirty trick to searching: I always tag the state/geographical region of every job’s location, whether it’s permanent or temporary, and what kind of institution it’s in. For example, if I tag something as “status: internship”, and if you click that tag in the list, every entry that received that tag will come up (the most recent will be at the top of the page). If you’re looking for all jobs in a certain state (let’s say Iowa), go to the tag list on the left side of the page and look for “State: Iowa.” One caveat: the “skills” tags are NOT comprehensive. I often get a little more detailed with the tags, and specify particular skill sets that a job demands – but that’s basically if I have time to do so!

Does your site provide:

√  Job Listings

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

√  Twitter: @archivesgig
√  Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/archivesgig
√  Other:  RSS feed: http://archivesgig.livejournal.com/data/rss

Do you charge for anything on your site?

Free! It’s completely free for anyone to search.  If someone wants me to post a job, that’s also free.

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

I’m always thrilled to hear from someone who found their job through Archives Gig.  It’s my mission to make job hunting in this tight market just a little easier.  I have heard from several archivists who found their jobs through AG, which makes my day every time.

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

This is especially directed toward the newly graduated job seekers: Be Flexible.  If you can’t find your dream job in your ideal location, try and look for other positions (or other places) that you’re qualified to do, and that will give you some professional experience.  You’ll certainly learn something new, and you may find a job in a different area of the profession is a great fit.

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