Tag Archives: Association of College and Research Libraries

Job Hunters’ Web Guide Guide

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

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

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

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

Archives Gig: Job postings for archivists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Library Career Centre: Career coaching from recruiter Nicola Franklin

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

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

LisList: US lis jobs, in one big list.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, News and Administration

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

Researcher’s Corner: Art Librarians’ Professional Paths

I’m excited to be able to give you another guest post by Eamon Tewell, who shared the results of his research on entry level positions for Academic librarians with us back in late November.  This post presents research which is reported more formally in:

Tewell, E. (2012). Art librarians’ professional paths: A careers survey with implications for prospective librarians. Art Libraries Journal, 37(1), 41-45.

Although this work deals specifically with art librarianship, his methods should be of interest to anyone beginning a library career – it strikes me as a good way of exploring potential trajectories, and the advice given by the subjects has broader applications.  I also find it an interesting look into librarians’ additional qualifications: what do we need in addition to the MLIS in order to find work?


Introduction

I have always been intrigued by stories of how people chose librarianship as their career. A couple of years ago as a recent MLIS graduate with an interest in art libraries, I decided to ask professionals in this field about their career paths and any recommendations they had for those new to the profession. Additionally, I was curious to see what characteristics distinguished art librarianship from other specializations. I conducted a survey to attempt to answer these questions about how and why people selected art libraries as their workplace, as well as to solicit job search advice for prospective librarians.

Methods

I developed and sent an online survey to six email discussion lists related to art librarianship that represented several different areas of the world. For readers interested in art librarianship, I highly recommend subscribing to the listservs of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS-L) and the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Arts Section (ARTS-LIB). The survey had 33 questions that addressed professional art librarians’ education, current and previous positions, career goals, and advice for future art librarians. In particular, I sought insight into the following questions:

● Was art librarianship a career goal for most professionals currently in the field?
● Why do individuals choose a career in art librarianship?
● What factors contributed to current professionals successfully obtaining a position as an art librarian?

Findings

Summary: I received a total of 280 completed responses to the survey. The results show that art librarians most commonly work in academic settings (followed by museums), chose art librarianship while already employed in a library, have an educational background in the arts at the undergraduate or graduate level, and selected librarianship primarily because they were attracted to the duties of the job. Unexpectedly, in a field that’s highly concerned about the graying of the profession, there was a relatively even distribution among age groups between 27 and 62.

Job Duties: One-third of the survey respondents felt their job duties most closely resembled a combination of Public Services, Technical Services, and/or Digital Services, while one-quarter selected Public Services as their primary responsibility. This indicates that employment opportunities in art librarianship are more likely to require a rounded background combining multiple skillsets, and that Public Services is a particularly common job responsibility.

Education: 35 percent of the respondents received a degree in Art History and 12 percent in Art/Studio Art. A wide variety of subjects were represented, which suggests that an undergraduate-level education in the arts would enhance one’s success in becoming an art librarian, but is not necessarily required. Slightly more than half had obtained a second Master’s degree or its equivalent, with the most frequent areas of study being Art History (52 percent), Fine Arts (16 percent), or Architecture (11 percent).

Advice for Prospective Librarians

The survey respondents said that “Background in the arts” and “Experience” were the most significant factors towards obtaining their first position in an art library. Interestingly, 20 professionals mentioned “Luck” as a factor in finding a job. On the topic of how graduate students should best prepare themselves for today’s job market, the following key themes surfaced:

● Gain as much experience as possible. Many respondents mentioned internships as a good way to get practical experience while in school.
● Be willing to relocate if possible. This theme was summed up in one librarian’s advice to “be prepared to move for your first professional post – once you’ve got that experience you stand a much better chance of getting jobs you really want.”
● Networking is essential. One respondent recommended networking both in person and online, while another pointed out that “Networking might not secure you a job directly, but [it] will increase your confidence in the field.”

Most significantly, respondents urged those new to the profession to manage their career expectations, which may include settling for a less than perfect position initially and working towards opportunities better suited to long-term goals. While a small number of art librarians advised current graduate students not to pursue a specialty in art librarianship or a career in librarianship in general, a more widely-held view acknowledges that competition is fierce, and one must put in major effort to make their achievements stand out to potential employers.

Conclusion

Hearing about other professionals’ career paths, whether in art libraries or another specialization, can be very informative in terms of learning how others successfully found a position that suits their interests and needs. Much of the advice for prospective art librarians is applicable to prospective librarians as a whole. Gaining experience while in school, being open to relocation, and networking are all familiar but significant recommendations for recent graduates. Remaining flexible regarding initial job expectations may be the most important piece of advice to keep in mind. As one respondent encouraged, “Keep an open mind. Show willingness and enthusiasm. Don’t give up!”


Eamon Tewell is Reference Librarian at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, where he provides research, instruction, and outreach services. He earned his MLIS from Drexel University in 2008 and his BA from the University of Colorado at Denver. Eamon has published and presented on the topics of emerging technologies and popular media. He tweets at @eamontewell and can also be reached via eamontewell.comAcademia.edu, orLinkedIn.

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Filed under Academic, Guest Posts, library research, Researcher's Corner, Special