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.
This interview is with Ellen Mehling, Director, Westchester Program and Internships, Palmer School of Library and Information Science, LIU Post.
Career Center Information
Who staffs the career center?
Career services (job hunting and career development) are provided by me [Ellen Mehling] for the Palmer School’s students and alumni. There is not an actual physical center; services are provided in various ways, online and face-to-face, one-on-one and in groups, for all Palmer School locations.
Are there “career experts” on staff? What are their credentials?
I’ve been an advisor on job hunting and career development for various groups including librarians/information professionals and library school students, for about eight years. I started in a former job, advising members of the general public and special populations who were seeking employment, and before long was being asked to teach workshops on the job search to other library professionals. In addition to my work at the Palmer School, I am Job Bank Manager and Career Development Consultant for the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).
I’ve trained other librarians on assisting job hunting patrons, and have taught classes/workshops, moderated or spoken on panel discussions and conducted mock interviews and more, at various venues. I write regularly on job hunting/career topics for various sites, including METRO’s. I’ve served on hiring committees and have been a successful applicant myself in recent years too, so I’ve seen and experienced first-hand what works and what doesn’t.
Does the career center provide any of the following:
√ Resume/CV Review √ Advice on writing cover letters
√ Interview Practice [mock interview]
√ General career advising
√ Other: Career Q&A on blog, webinars presentations/workshops (given by me), joint or guest presentations/workshops, recruiter visits, panel discussions, and full-day job hunting/career events. Some of these are open to students and graduates from other schools. I visit each of the Internship classes each semester to discuss resume writing. Palmer School students and alumni are also encouraged to make use of LIU’s Career Services in addition to the industry-specific career services provided by the School.
Do you provide in-person services?
√ Speakers, or programs that present experts
Do you provide online services?
√ Website with resources √ Blog √ Webinars
√ Twitter: @LIUPalmerSchool
√ LinkedIn √ Facebook
√ Other: Career / Job Hunting Q&A, “Kiosk” student listserv (anyone can subscribe to the listserv)
What do you think is the best way for students to use the career center?
Palmer School students and alumni contact me directly. Anyone can access the information on the blog and/or join the listserv or follow on Twitter, etc.
May alumni use career center resources?
Are there any charges for services?
There is no charge.
Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using the career center?
We are always delighted to hear that our graduates have found positions. Three recent hires among our alumni: Library Media Specialist in the Elmont School District, Archives Technician at the National Archives at New York City, and Archives Coordinator for NY at Cartier.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about your services in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?
The job market is improving, but competition is still very strong, with many well-qualified applicants for each open position. Relevant skills and experience are necessary in addition to the degree, as are a strong network, patience, and a positive attitude. Students should start networking while they are still in school, and begin their job search before graduation.
Students’ Career Paths
Can you talk a little bit about the school’s approach to internships, practicums and/or volunteering?
A 120-hour internship is required for the Master’s degree students. It is usually done in the final semester. This benefits the students in a number of ways, including giving them experience to put on their resumes, and providing networking opportunities, both of which are crucial to job-hunting success. Students are encouraged throughout the program to get as much experience as they can, however they can, including volunteering, part-time jobs, project work etc.
Are there any notable graduates?
Bonnie Sauer at the National Archives at New York City
Caitlin McGurk at the Center for Cartoon Studies
How many students in the library school?
What degree(s) do you offer?
MS in Library and Information Science
MS in Library and Information Science – School Library Media
PhD in Information Studies
Is it ALA accredited?
What are the entrance requirements?
When was the library school founded?
The Palmer School of Library and Information Science was established in 1959 on the LIU Post Campus of Long Island University. The Master of Science in Library Science was first accredited by the American Library Association in 1971. In 1992, the M.S. in Library Science was merged with the M.S. in Information Science and subsequently the name of the degree was changed to the M.S. in
Library and Information Science.
In 1995, the School began to offer the full accredited M.S. in Library and Information Science in Manhattan, and in 1997, the first class of students was admitted for the Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies program.
Where are you?
√ Northeastern US
Where are you?
√ Urban area (NYC)
√ Suburban area (Long Island)
Anything else you’d like to share that’s unique about the school?
The Palmer School of Library and Information Science is one of the most distinguished schools of library and information science in the country. With three program locations throughout the New York metropolitan area as well as online and blended courses, the Palmer School offers a broad portfolio of degree and advanced certificate programs taught by a faculty of distinguished scholars, researchers and hands-on practitioners. We prepare our students for careers for a digital world and help them skillfully harness the way information is preserved, valued and delivered to every facet of society.
Aside from the internship requirement, the Palmer School is known for personalized one-on-one advisement and support throughout the time students are in the program. This continues even beyond graduation with the services available to alumni. The three campuses are LIU Post and LIU Brentwood on Long Island and in Manhattan at NYU’s Bobst Library. There is also a Dual Degree (Master’s) program, offered at the Manhattan location.
This interview was conducted by Brianna Marshall, who 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