Tag Archives: Drexel University

Library School Career Center: Drexel University iSchool

Here is this week’s installment of the Library School Career Center feature, which is presented in partnership with the folks from the blog Hack Library School.  If you’re interested in library education, or in new ideas and the future of the profession, you should check it out.  


Jennifer Lally

 

This interview is with Jennifer Lally, Event & Career Services Manager, Drexel University, The iSchool, College of Information Science & Technology. Jennifer Lally plans all the events for the college and manages a jobs page on the iSchool’s website, where she posts weekly full-time and part-time jobs that pertain to iSchool students.  Jennifer works with employers interested in hiring iSchool students, by setting up information sessions, webinars and field trips.  She also works with student groups helping them plan events.

Career Center Information

Who staffs the career center?  Please talk a little about how it is managed and run.

We do not have a “career center” per se; I am the only person in the iSchool’s office that deals with career services.  Drexel University as a whole has the Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC) where career services are offered to ALL Drexel students.  Each college is assigned someone from the SCDC to work with our students.  The iSchool at Drexel’s key feature is the job board we keep where any jobs received are sent to an email address where they are then opened and posted onto our website.  If students have career services questions, they stop in, call or email me.  I field the questions they have and decide which department they should speak to.  I am basically the liaison to all career services questions, I field the questions and then send them to the appropriate department/person.

We want the students to understand the resources we have available so we include a few career services slides in our mandatory online/on-campus orientation presentation in the beginning of each quarter.  We have a weekly e-newsletter, “The iSchool Weekly Digest” where announcements are sent out every Tuesday and we also have an announcements section in Blackboard Learn where I can post upcoming information sessions, networking events, internships, etc.  We have Graduate Peer Mentors who are available to speak to prospective and new library science students.  The Alumni Association also manages an Alumni Peer Mentoring Program, so students can sign up and find a mentor.  Students may schedule appointments with Ken Bohrer, Graduate co-op coordinator at the SCDC to talk about career questions, resume and cover letter review.  I also help the student chapters advertise the events they plan, which consist of information sessions, field trips, webinars, tours, networking events, resume review events.

Are there “career experts” on staff?  What are their credentials?

We have faculty mentors and we list on our website their specialty areas so students can contact them with questions.

Does the career center provide any of the following:

(If I do not directly provide this service, a department on campus does)

√ Job Listings   √ Resume/CV Review   √ Help writing cover letters
√ Literature/articles   √ Interview Practice   √ General career coaching
√ Networking events (virtual or in-person)
√ Other: We participate and help promote events sponsored by the student groups of professional library associations.

Do you provide in-person services?

√ Appointments (Ken Bohrer does at the SCDC)
√ Speakers, or programs that present experts
√ Mixers or other networking events
√ Job Fairs (*The SCDC hosts 2 big career fairs a year one in October and one in April and I have an event every year after the October career fair inviting all employers who hire iSchool students and invite them to a private reception where students can speak to them one on one.)
√ Drop-in career center:  Students can stop in anytime from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Do you provide online services?

(If I do not personally do it, the Marketing team promotes on Facebook and Twitter; The student groups have webcasted events, I advertise in the e-newsletter)
√ Website with resources
√ Webinars   √ Podcasts   √ Twitter: @ischoolatDrexel
√ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ischoolatdrexel   √ Newsletter
√ Other: Blackboard announcements section.

What do you think is the best way for students to use the career center?

To read the weekly e-newsletter that goes out every week, to join a student group and keep an eye on the iSchools job board.

May alumni use career center resources?

Yes, the jobs website is open to the public, so anyone can view it.  They can also contact the Career Services Office in the Department of Alumni Relations.

Are there any charges for services?  

No

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using the career center?

Students that pay attention to the announcements and job board and become involved in the student groups are more likely to get an internship and gain the experience they need to get a job after graduation.

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

No

iSchool Alumni GardenDrexel iSchool: Bridge MagazineApril 25, 2011

Students’ Career Paths

Can you share any statistics about employment rates after graduation?

Library Journal 2012 Placements & Salaries results.

Can you talk a little bit about the school’s approach to internships, practicums and/or volunteering?  

We post all internships, practicums and volunteer projects on our job board and will highlight specific ones in our weekly e-newsletter.  We encourage students to take the practicum after they have 24 credits to help build their job portfolio and to become involved if they do not have any prior library experiences.

Does the school have a stated approach or policy on helping students to find careers?

No

Does the school have any relationships with organizations that offer fellowships or other post-graduate opportunities?

Yes, we received announcements like these from faculty members and staff on the student services team.

Rush Building at Night

Demographics

How many students in the library school?

We have 470 students currently enrolled in the library science program this winter quarter.

What degree(s) do you offer?

www.ischool.drexel.edu/PS/GraduatePrograms

Is it ALA accredited?

Yes

What are the entrance requirements?

www.ischool.drexel.edu/PS/GraduatePrograms/Admissions

When was the library school founded?

1892

Where are you?

√ Northeastern US

Where are you?

√ City/town


Brianna Marshall

This interview was conducted by Brianna Marshall is a second year dual-degree Master of Library Science and Master of Information Science student at Indiana University’s School of Library and Information Science. She is Managing Editor for Hack Library School and a 2012-2013 HASTAC scholar. Learn more about Brianna through her blog and portfolio or by following her on Twitter @notsosternlib

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Filed under City/town, Library School Career Center, MLIS Students, Northeastern US, Web/Computer Services

Researcher’s Corner: Entry Level Job Opportunities for Academic Librarians

I’m very happy to be able to share Eamon Tewell’s research with you here, not only because I think the subject matter is very relevant for many of you readers, but because he did such a wonderful job of writing this informal summary. If you’d like to read a more formal, thorough account, follow the link to Project Muse, or search for the article cited below:

Tewell, E. (2012). Employment opportunities for new academic librarians: Assessing the availability of entry level jobs. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 12(4), 407-423.

Rather than being disheartened by the rather bleak results, I hope that this research will spur us to continue discussing how we can make more job opportunities for librarians, entry level and otherwise.  Please feel free to add your comments below.


Introduction

As a recent graduate seeking a professional position in an academic library, I spent most of a year looking for a job suitable for someone without a great deal of experience. Anecdotally, it seemed that many postings were for administrative positions that required years of post-MLS experience. Where were the entry level academic library jobs? Further, I wondered, what types of academic settings and which departments offered the most opportunities? These are two questions I attempted to answer by conducting research, of which the full version can be found at Project Muse (institutional subscription required). One goal of the article was to shed light on the reality of the job market for recent graduates–a market which new librarians know to be extremely challenging but for which little data exists to back up this assertion.

Methods

To examine the state of the academic library job market, I went directly to the job listings. Many articles that study job postings fail to take into account the many positions that are now advertised almost exclusively online in a wide variety of places. With this in mind, I used 22 different sources representing national, regional, and local listings to collect a total of 1385 job advertisements over a one year period from 2010-2011. These sources included national job aggregators (such as I Need A Library Job), regional listings (like ACRL/New York’s Job Listings), and human resources departments for individual institutions to make sure the maximum number of postings were found. A listing of the sources used to find job advertisements is included in the full article.

Defining which positions were and were not entry level was key. Using previous articles on similar topics as a basis, I reached the criteria that jobs were to be considered entry level if they required:

1. An ALA-accredited Masters of Library Science degree or its equivalent;

2. One or fewer years of experience;

3. No experience or duties that entry level librarians typically do not possess (supervising other professionals, administrative experience, etc.)

For each advertisement found, the level of position (entry level, non-entry level due to experience requirements, non-entry level due to job duties, and administrative), institution type (university, college, community college, or other), location (state and region), department, and job type were all noted.

Findings

Of the many findings, here are two that I found to be most interesting and relevant to job seekers:

  • Nearly three-quarters of the 1385 positions were non-entry level owing to either experience or duty requirements, confirming what those in the academic library job market already know: finding an entry level job to even apply for can be a challenge.
  • Twenty percent of positions were entry level, and public services (such as reference or instruction) accounted for sixty percent of entry level positions, a significant majority. Administrative and part time/temporary jobs accounted for the remainder of the jobs.

Given the relatively small number of jobs that recent graduates can viably apply for, I looked at what types of institutions and locations are more likely to offer positions.

  • Applicants for entry level jobs will have better chances finding a position in a university, where nearly seventy percent of all postings were found.
  • The distribution of advertisements among the four major U.S. regions was relatively even, though slightly more positions were based in the South and Northeast. The number of jobs in each state corresponded roughly to the state’s population, with New York and California offering the highest number of opportunities.
  • Certain specialties are more likely to offer positions, particularly Administration and Public Services. In terms of entry level work, the data suggested that recent graduates have the most prospects in Public Services and Electronic Services.

To begin to address the major question of whether the candidates being hired for entry level jobs actually had experience that matched those requirements, I emailed the Human Resources departments at 47 institutions to determine the experience backgrounds of successful hires. Through their responses I found that a large majority of the candidates hired for entry level positions had two years or more of professional experience, demonstrating the impact of potentially unexpected competition on the outcome of entry level job searches.

Conclusion

In the current academic library market, entry level positions are greatly outnumbered by jobs requiring years of experience and duties beyond the reach of new librarians. Seeking work in particular settings or within certain specializations is one way to increase your chances of landing your first job, but that may not be enough. Recent graduates lacking practical experience may find securing professional employment to be a huge challenge, which is why I and many others cannot overemphasize the importance of securing internships or pre-professional work prior to graduating with your MLS. Despite these difficulties, it is my hope that with more facts regarding the realities of the job market, everyone involved in or thinking about joining the library field can make more informed decisions regarding their career paths and goals.


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