Tag Archives: library jobs

Job Hunter Follow Up: Ta-Shiré Tribbett (year three)

Ta-Shiré Tribbett took the Job Hunter’s survey on January 31, 2013. Her responses appeared as A Positive Work Environment. We followed up with her on December 16, 2013 and again last year on January 6, 2015

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

I’m still at the international law firm. Instead of a traditional librarian role, I am a Knowledge Systems Analyst, which means I concentrate on customization of content, patron training, research, analysis and presentations for product reviews and trials, instructional development and training in support of workflow and efficiency measures, and systems re-design and analysis.

Looking at last year’s check-in, have any of your attitudes changed?

No. I still believe that enthusiasm and confidence are really good traits to have.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

I’ll repeat what I said last year: Be on the lookout all the time for opportunities to enhance your career. You are single-handedly your biggest advocate. I’m still seeing a lot of job-searchers get stuck looking for jobs with “librarian” in the title, instead of trying to find something that showcases our varied skillset.

Anything else you want to share with us?

Be realistic about the job market for librarians. It’s not the responsibility of a job site to find you a job, it’s your responsibility to go and get one. Branch out into other things. Don’t let awards or accolades define who you are and what you bring to the profession. Be willing to walk away from something that isn’t working for you –financially, professionally, emotionally.

Ta-Shiré is willing to answer questions you post in the comments section.

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Job Hunter Follow Up: Greg Bem

 

Greg BemWe last heard from Greg Bem on October 20, 2014, in the post Full time schedule, room for innovation, digital responsibilities.

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

I am currently a part-time faculty librarian at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech). I just finished up another part time position at North Seattle College Library as the Student Media Center Coordinator, but decided to leave to pursue librarianship exclusively. This past summer I completed a contract in Cambodia with the Wildlife Conservation Society as an information management professional. It’s my goal to continue at LWTech while I seek out additional part-time employment as a librarian, or an appropriate full-time position in the Greater Seattle Area.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

I really think that the library job market is dependent upon patience and self-awareness. I did not truly realize how specialized librarianship can be until I started working as a librarian and working with/communicating with practicing librarians directly. There is countless opportunity for growth and professional development and specialization in the world of librarianship and pursuing it is a challenge, but it’s necessary. To know oneself and to develop one’s skills in a focused manner can be incredibly difficult but appears to be the surest way to find librarian positions that one qualifies to hold.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

As mentioned above–focus on yourself. Be ready to say “I’m not ready yet” and then figure out what specific skills need to be worked on. I think every librarian in every position can appropriately do this to find their next move. Of course, looking at job postings in the ocean of the Internet is incredibly difficult because it can be overwhelming from a professional development point of view. That being said, focus on skills and knowledge that seems attainable. Make baby steps. Oh, and try and tap into communication as much as possible (whether it’s active via conferences or passive via listservs) to survey what is needed in any given region. Knowing the rises and falls in the profession in a given consortium or geographical area can help you understand the landscape and know what to expect when you’re looking for the next job/opportunity. Mentors and individuals can really help with this process too.

Anything else you want to share with us?

Be open. You have no idea how many individuals I’ve met in this relatively open profession who are closed-minded and think of certain opportunities (from volunteering to taking contracts to consulting and so on) as fantasy or unattainable. It’s a shock! When twiddling your thumbs, take a moment to think of some way to contribute to the information vortex within your local community. Be it volunteering at a small/special library, a museum, or for an NGO, or taking that extra free month you have off to go do an internship or contract in a new place–these are the opportunities that will give you energy and optimism to the profession/field, and will do nothing but help you as a librarian.

 

Greg is willing to answer questions you post in the comments.

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Job Hunter Follow Up: Samantha Winn

samantha winnWe last heard from Samantha Winn on September 3, 2014, in the post It is difficult to give a useful answer to overly theoretical questions.

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

In October 2014, I joined Virginia Tech as an assistant professor in the University Libraries. As a member of the Special Collections department, I work with architectural records and the cultural heritage of historically marginalized communities. I interact frequently with peers in the library, faculty across many disciplines, and donors. My institution is very supportive of professional development and service.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

This position has probably strengthened my former attitudes, if anything. I am more confident about what I am looking for in a job and what I expect from a search committee.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

I improved so much as a job candidate from my first application to my last – my resume and cover letter were more refined, I had more confidence answering interview questions, and I was able to really define my career priorities and expectations. This realization was a huge boost to my morale and it helped me to recalibrate my efforts in the final stretch of my search. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from each application and interview, even if you’re not happy with the outcome. Don’t underestimate the value of personal cheerleaders – in addition to practice interviewers and application copyeditors, I benefited so much from the personal feedback and encouragement of my trusted peers. Also, don’t stop applying until you have a job offer. It’s easy to withdraw an application, not so easy to build up momentum again once you’ve stopped (especially if you had your heart set on a particular position that didn’t pan out).

Anything else you want to share with us?

The decision process is such a mystery that you may never find out why you were or were not hired somewhere. Put in the effort on your application, do your research before the interview, and present yourself with integrity. Once you’ve done that, it’s all out of your hands. Good luck, everyone!

 

Samantha will try to keep an eye out for any questions you post in the comments section.

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Job Hunter Follow Up: Cristy Moran (year three)

Cristy Moran

 

Cristy Moran took the Job Hunter’s survey on January 4, 2013.

Her responses appeared as There is a “Black Hole” of Information After One Drops a Resume.

We followed up with her on December 9, 2013 and again on November 14, 2014.

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

At the start of 2015, I was midway through my second year as a FT library paraprofessional at Miami Dade College, Medical Campus. Simultaneously, positions opened up at two of the four Broward College campuses just north of Miami where I live. I applied to both positions and interviewed for both. In the end, I scored what I believe is the right one for me. In July 2015, I started at Broward College, North Campus. I am finally in the position I’ve been seeking: faculty librarian.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

I continue to think the job application process is incredibly difficult, nuanced, and dense. Who knows why I didn’t make it past the first interview at the same college in a very similar position at a different campus! I also continue to believe working hard and being industrious at any job helps you build relationships and skills that will inform the next job you get. Asserting your value in your current situation – whatever it may be – will prepare you for new opportunities and makes you marketable.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

Diversify your skills. Keep an open mind both about the job descriptions you’re applying to and how you’ll present those diverse skills on both your resume and your interviews. Library positions are wildly nuanced, as is the industry. Consequently, the skills we develop and our professional experiences are highly transferrable outside the industry as well.

Anything else you want to share with us?

It’s easy to box ourselves into a chosen profession because that’s what our job is. And I mean this for any job in any field. The most successful I’ve been at any job I’ve had is when I’ve thought back to seemingly unrelated past experiences and considered them in context of my current responsibilities – or the job description of a position that I want. I’d like to encourage library job seekers to make those connections as well.

Cristy is willing to answer questions you post in the comments section.

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Job Hunter Follow Up: Alexandra Patterson

 
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Alexandra Patterson took the Job Hunter’s survey on May 6, 2014.  Her responses appeared  as HR can tell when you just want a job instead of wanting THAT job.  We followed up with her search on December 4, 2014.

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

I am still in the same position I was in last year, Research Librarian at Mercersburg Academy.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

I am a little more optimistic about the library job market than I was last year. I think that the market is really picking up!

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

Try to find a reason why you want THAT particular job. It’s not enough to love libraries and want a job. You have to prove that you want to work in that library for a particular reason.

Alexandra is willing to answer questions that you post in the comments.

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Job Hunter Follow Up: Anonymous Z

We last heard from this job hunter on February 21, 2015.  His answers appeared as Where you start is not always where you end up.

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

I just received a promotion to a management position at the library system. I will start soon after the holidays. I wanted a position in an academic or a law library. Since those positions are scarce and highly competitive, to applied to any opening that looked interesting. I interviewed for a few positions, even one or two that I was not sure I wanted. A few weeks after graduating, I accepted a half time position at a local public library. I thought it would be good experience and some paycheck while I prepare for the summer hiring season. I enjoyed the position so I applied for an open full time position when it became available a month later. The full time position included some supervisory responsibility over the pages. That meant that I found myself on the other end of the interview process when I started interviewing people for support staff positions.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

Being flexible and positive worked for me. I was able to find a job very quickly and I have been successful thus far. I fully understand that this does not apply to everyone. Many job seekers cannot be as flexible as I was. It is important to set realistic goals for the job market you are trying to break into and take a long term view of how you want your career to progress.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

The best thing that you can do, regardless of where you are in your job search, is to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. This might seem obvious but I have lost track of how many people either forgo things like volunteering, working on job related special projects or networking at conferences or fail to communicate to potential employers how this things make you more hirable.

Anything else you want to share with us?

One thing I did underestimate last year is the importance of a good reputation in the library community. Even if you are still in library school. Your classmate today could easily be that coworker that helps you or even a part of the hiring committee. I have seen this work for and against job seekers.

This job hunter will answer questions you post in the comments section.

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Job Hunter Follow Up: Anonymous 4

 

This person took the Job Hunter’s survey on December 28, 2012. Her responses appeared as I make sure that I qualify first and foremost.  We then followed up with her on November 26, 2014. 

Where are you now? What’s your work situation like, and what path did you take this last year?

I’m currently working full time in an archive (YEA!!), however I am currently job hunting again because the position is not really what I expected, or what I really interviewed for in fact. Not to mention it’s further away from home than I really wanted. So I’m back at it, looking for postings a little closer to the West Coast.

My work situation, while it would be great for a new grad entering the profession, is not for me because I am more experienced than this job needs, so I’m really bored. Not to mention there is a lot of issues from previous issues within the system and its really frustrating.

This past year was a huge change for me as I moved 1200 miles for a job to a new place, so a lot of growth on my part. However, it made me realize even more that I’d rather be on the West coast, so I’m looking to head back that way.

Looking at last year’s answers, have any of your attitudes changed?

I realize even more what I want in a job is about the only real change. I guess I’m more optimistic now that I’ve had the full time experience.

What’s your best advice for job hunters?

Just keep swimming! Also have your cover letters edited by someone other than yourself. I know it seems like you should be able to do it yourself but as I was reminded of at an interview this past weekend, it’s okay not to be great at everything and getting (and asking) for help is okay!

Anything else you want to share with us?

If you can, job seekers, be willing to relocate! Other than that, no.

This respondent is willing to answer any questions you might care to post in the comments section.

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