For the very first time on Job Hunter’s Web Guide: A podcast! Although Lorene Kennard interviewed me back in November, she primarily speaks with librarians who work outside of libraries. Her podcast is a great resource if you are looking to do the same, or if you just like to hear librarians speak about the breadth and utility of their skills.
What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!
The Librarian Linkover is a podcast that is changing the paradigm on how we perceive the value of librarians’ skills and on recognizing the value that librarians can bring to any industry. I interview guests who have master’s degrees in library and information science. Most of my guests have left libraries and are leading library-related organizations or have taken their skills to industry or have started their own businesses. My guests who work in libraries have appeared on my podcast to discuss their leadership in crisis management.
When was it started? Why was it started?
I started my podcast in early 2021 to boost and advance the value of librarians. When I tell someone that I was a public library director, that should imply a skill set. Librarians gain a variety of leadership, management, budget and and operations skills from our library education and from working in libraries. Job hunting can be difficult if you’re trying to move around library types or out of libraries because the perception is not there that we have all of these great skills and we can use them anywhere. One of the questions I ask in the trailer for my podcast is “Why should being a Director be the end of our career path?” My guests are demonstrating that there are so many career options available to us outside traditional libraries.
Who runs it?
I am Lorene Kennard. I have a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from University of South Carolina. My undergraduate degree is in Communications with an English minor. I have worked in leadership roles in corporate, public and academic libraries. I also owned a freelance research business. I have held leadership roles in professional associations like SLA, AIIP and IACRL.
Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?
I’ve done a lot of interesting work and I have a lot of accomplishments. I have built a really good professional network. But, every time I’ve looked for my next opportunity, I’ve struggled to find it. Because of my job hunting experiences, career paths are fascinating to me. I always read hiring announcements for leadership roles in libraries around the country, especially for high profile roles. Many job ads say they want a natural progression of roles into leadership positions, but the people who are hired rarely have that kind of career path. Many times, the person’s education or previous experiences don’t make obvious sense for the job. There seems to be a trend of hiring people to lead libraries/library-related organizations who have no experience in libraries. If we don’t hire librarians to lead us, why should people outside libraries respect our leadership skills? I don’t think this is spoken about enough, so that’s another reason for my podcast.
Who is your target audience?
I would like my target audience to be hiring managers and HR professionals, but they are hard to get in front of. I know how to find librarians! So, I mainly market my podcast to the library field.
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?
Episodes of The Librarian Linkover drop at noon on Mondays on many podcast apps. Episodes are also available on my website, The Librarian Linkover. They don’t have to be listened to in any order. Some listeners binge them. Some listeners simply listen to the episodes with the guests they are interested in. Some listeners re-listen to episodes. I have a lot of listeners who listen every week as episodes are published.
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
√ Twitter @liblinkover
√ Other: I have an Instagram account, but I haven’t done anything with it. I may do some IG Lives in the near future. @thelibrarianlinkover
Do you charge for anything on your site?
Nope. All content is free.
Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?
Here are two examples of feedback that I have received from listeners.
“Hi Lorene! I wanted to let you know that I’m starting a new job tomorrow, and I think that you and your podcast deserve some credit for encouraging me to try exercising my skills in new contexts! Thanks so much for the important work you’re doing :)”
“I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the amazing podcast and professional development work you are doing. Your podcast has really inspired me and helped a lot. Keep being awesome! It really does make a difference. I feel like the podcast is more about highlighting the worth of our degrees and teaching us how to advocate for ourselves. There is a persistent oversimplification of what librarians do, especially in the public sector, so when your podcast offers new talking points and growth opportunities to explore, I feel like it gives people a new way to frame our profession.”
Anything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?
We generally get into the library profession because we like to help people find information. Many of us love what we do. For a variety of reasons, lack of full-time positions, low pay, lack of support, it can be really difficult to work in libraries these days. I would like for librarians who are considering making a career move to take a step back and think carefully about their skills. We have skills that can translate in many other areas outside libraries. We don’t have to stay in libraries to have a fulfilling career helping people find information.
The LIbrarian Linkover podcast has helped listeners think through their skills and their career options, in and out of libraries. Listeners have reached out to my guests. I want librarians who are thinking about making a move to know there are resources to help them decide on the direction of their next opportunity.