You know you've been in the job hunt too long, when the first draft of your cover letter is as perfect as it can be.
A blog of musings, maybe mayhem, and more from a young MLIS.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Remember that position where a friend of mine works? I spoke with her yesterday about her impressions, and they were all positive. She's obviously very happy to be where she is and I'm very happy for her for that. I've decided to put in for it because you will never know what will happen.
I did hear back from one of the academic libraries I had applied to, in response to an e-mail query about the status of the search. I was not chosen to interview and so should be receiving a formal letter soon. One more off the list.
I was talking with my mom tonight about my frustration of finding a job. I've applied to a couple of retail stores in the area as a way to fill the gap time. The one I applied to probably two months ago now, never got in touch with me. The other one I only applied to about a week and a half ago, and they only review the received applications once a month. With the holiday season coming up, I hope they at least would consider me for a seasonal position. I feel frustrated though because I think that many of these types of places might consider me to be over-qualified for their entry-level/sales positions, and with my chosen profession, I'm going up against people who have more experience, and therefore are considered more qualified, than I. Metaphor time: I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can't get the the jobs that would allow me to at least pay the bills, and I can't get the positions that would give me the experience I need. It doesn't help that it seems like no one is hiring (at least for jobs that would fill the gap time).
For right now, my dad is going to have me do some odd jobs for his business, which I'm grateful for, but I'm really hoping that something comes through soon. I'm really, really sick of feeling like this.
I thought some of you who are new supervisors might find this workshop useful. As it's on the ALA website, I'm a little leary of the link, just because of the length. This workshop is sponsored by ALCTS if you need to navigate through the ALA website.
ALA | A Supervisor's Academy: Essentials of Supervision for the Professional Librarian
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
I admit it, I'm a stats junkie. I really like seeing where people are coming from physically and virtually.
Now, can anyone give me an explanation why I saw more than double the average daily hits today, with those primarily coming from servers based in New Zealand? I can't see full IP addresses, so I can't tell if multiple hits are coming from the same place, but there's a good mix of domains that ultimately end in .nz.
So, on that note, I hope everyone that stopped by today found something useful and will come back again. To all my readers, please feel free to send me comments on things you'd like to see at The Young Librarian.
Tip for the day:
Are you looking to get your name out there as someone who gets things done? Are you looking to contribute to your profession?
Why not get involved?
How do you get involved?
Check to see if your local or national professional organization is looking for volunteers. This may be to help set up local events, serving on a committee, or even serving on the board. My advice would be to start small and get your feet wet. See if the temperature of the pool is right for you. If it is, get involved as deeply as you feel comfortable with.
Being involved is not just a resume padder. It shows potential employers that you are willing to contribute to the cause. They want someone who is willing to be involved. They want someone who is willing to be a leader.
So, all of you young and new librarians, get out there and get involved!
Monday, October 27, 2003
An example of GIS?
Admittedly, I'm not that well-versed in GIS beyond knowing that it stands for Geographic Information Systems. And I know that only becuase that's what my brother and uncle do for a living. I thought that this was a really cool way to represent the location of publication information for some weblogs. Of course, my being a fan of the Tube has absolutely nothing to do with that assessment :D
Great sayings on these t-shirts. Even better is that they are non-alma mater specific :D
Librarian Tees: Welcome
Hmm...I was looking at the stats for the website today. Admittedly, these are the ones kept by Geocities, so I trust their percentage based stats to a point. For the Weblogs as Libraries page, here was the top search string used to find the page through Google: "92.36% typed 'young librarian master or library or science united states -sex' ". Interesting. To say the least. I think I'll have to reread the essay to see how that search string fits.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Thought for the day: Is it right/appropriate/whatever-term-you-want-to-use to have special interest professional groups delineated by age?
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Friday, October 24, 2003
Since nothing has really caught my eye today as being worth of linking, here's a brief update on the job search.
1. I have 10 active APR's.
2. I will be talking with a grad school friend tomorrow about what she likes and doesn't like about the institution where she's working at. They have two job openings.
3. I have applied to the local major chain bookstore in my neighborhood.
4. I'm taking bets on how long it will take me to land a job, any job. Odds for within the next month are 10:1.
Seriously though, the tip for the day is that if you see a job posting and you know someone at the institution, contact them. Get their impressions of the place. Mine them for insider knowledge. Depending on how well they know you, they may be willing to be a reference for you. An in-house reference can't hurt.
Yes it's freaking late and technically tomorrow, but I'm posting! I just finished putting together a conference workshop proposal for another interest that I have. As I was working on it, I realized that it can quite easily be adapted to the librarian biz. It's called "Building a Presence on the Web: Layer by Layer". I'm not going to hear until probably January on whether or not the proposal will be accepted, so if you don't mind, I'll wait on adapting until I hear. I will adapt it at some point though.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
For those who are considering the corporate librarianship track. The site does have pop-ups.
CareerJournal | Librarians -- Salary Data and Hiring Trends -- Corporate Librarianship
~Thanks to Patti McCall on Newlib-L
Recruitment strategies for the next generation of librarians pops up as a topic a number of times a year. The Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative created the Become a Librarian! website to help address this issue. This site seems more geared towards those currently in college and considering what to do after graduating, or for those interested in a career change. Both very important segments of the population.
What about hooking them young? And I mean in grammar school and high school. I always knew that being a librarian was a career option. This was because my mom and great-aunt were librarians though. What about those kids whose parents are not librarians and who may not go to the library that often? How can we hook those kids into considering LIS as a career? How about participating in the Job Shadow Day program? The Public Library Association is working on developing support kits for members who participate. Why don't you consider being a mentor to these impressionable minds? We can take this opportunity to show children that being a librarian means more than just checking out books and telling them that they need to settle down.
I just realized when looking over yesterday's posts that I mention the concept of querying a lot. I realized that not everyone may understand what querying is. It is basically like a cover letter to explain, in the case that I use the term, what your article/written piece is about and your publishing credentials. Basically, it is supposed to sell editors on why they should give your piece and you further consdieration for publishing. Would anyone like for me to post sample query letters so you get an idea as to their flavor?
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Some tips for those interested in getting your foot in the publishing door by doing book reviews:
1. Check to see if the journal/magazine is receptive to new reviewers by either looking for ads for reviewers or by querying the editor in charge of book reviews.
2. If they are receptive, make sure you include a sample review.
3. Make sure the sample review follows their general format for book reviews, including citation, tone, and word count.
4. If you have questions, be sure to ask. The book review editor should be able to help you, but also find out if already published reviewers would be willing to answer. You might find a mentor in one of them.
~Compiled through my own article writing experience and posts to the Newlib-L listserv.
I somehow missed the cover story for the current issue of LJ. I loved this quote:
One career placement director noted that "it was challenging for some students to maintain an optimistic outlook given the media attention on the bad economy and job market."
Every time I hear, or see as a 24pt font headline, the monthly unemployment rates, I bang my head against the wall and tell my parents: "This is not what I want to be hearing."
They also quote a statistic of an average of 1.3 months of searching before landing full-time permanent employment. Counting from when I sent out my first resume last December, I've been job hunting for 10, almost 11 months. Depressing, ain't it? Admittedly, these statistics are for those who graduated in 2002, so I'd be very interested in seeing what the numbers are like for those of us who graduated in 2003.
Library Journal | Salaries Stalled, Jobs Tight by Stephanie Maatta
Monday, October 20, 2003
CORRECTION: Simon says that unfortunately, the journal does not exist, it was only part of a school project. It's still a pretty cool idea though :D
For those of you who are members of LIANZA (you know what I'm talking about if you are), there's a new electronic journal that's making a point of publishing at least one new author a month. I got this from Simon who is a member of the editorial board (I think).
Digital Information Access: an online journal of e-publishing
Nothing much to report today. I'm trying to post something every day just to keep in the habit :D
Since it is somewhat job related in that it all happened while I was personally dropping off an application, I will mention my drive today. A beautiful, unseasonably warm day in the area complemented the drive. So, I didn't get too mad when I got lost following Rand McNally's directions. Normally, they are pretty on target, but they missed the fact that the road I was supposed to turn on was a different name than what they gave me. I figured it out though after going a mile out of my way ;) I still trust them over MapQuest. Also, AAA is a wonderful service to have, along with calling cards. I stopped for gas on the way home and locked the keys, my AAA card, and my cell phone in the car. I called my dad on a pay phone using my calling card (I have the number memorized), who then called AAA for me and the tow truck got there in maybe a little more than a half hour and got me into my car. Let's just say this could have been a lot more traumatic for me if I wasn't where I was (busy gas station by big shopping area), my memory wasn't as tuned into numbers as it is, and the day was a normal, crappy October day.
As for the job search, I turned in that one application I mentioned and submitted two other applications. I have to wonder, considering I'm not currently employed, and I don't name who I'm applying to, does anyone think a potential employer would be mad seeing what I write here? This is one of the main purposes of the blog, for other job seekers to know that there's someone else out there going through what they are. Do potential employers expect to be the only people you are applying to if you are currently sans career? I wouldn't focus on this aspect if I were already employed, and I try to do it as anonymously as possible, so I have a hard time seeing where I could run into problems with this. Any insights?
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Friday, October 17, 2003
Library Link of the Day points to a wonderful article that takes a look at what being a prison librarian is like. A friend of mine in grad school was considering this career path, and I had no idea what to think of it at the time. You never know where life will take you, so check out the article and see what you think.
The Great Escape by Holbrook Sample
Thursday, October 16, 2003
All I can say is that if you have someone helping to support (emotionally, financially, etc.) you while you are job searching, get down on your knees and thank them. Right now. This tight job market can get very frustrating for all parties involved, but if it weren't for them, where would you be?
Today, I took my own advice and updated APR's for what I have out there right now. Some are going to take a while to hear back on, some aren't. With an increase of the applicant pool for managers to pick from, it is so hard to have to sit back and wait. And you do have to wait. Even if a position description says that the position is to be filled immediately, that can take 3-4 weeks, if not longer. Where does all that time go? The managers are sorting through the huge pile of applications they've received. And don't delude yourself. The only short stacks of applications nowadays are for positions where the patron who lives/works closest to the library is still 10 miles away. Yes, I'm exaggerating a little bit there, but you get the idea. Then the managers pick out the people they want to interview, contact the references for those people either before or after the interview, and interview the person. And then, they probably have to go through some kind of bureaucracy in order to have the job offer approved. Think of the Molly Raphael debacle as a worst case scenario. These days, 3-4 weeks is a fast hire.
Now, you understand the kind of state I'm in right now. It's gotten me to thinking: do I really want stick it out for some kind of professional position, or do I bite the bullet and turn to where it isn't so hard (or seemingly hard) to break into? Oh, hey look, the police department has their test coming up. NO! I will wait it out. There are reasons, beyond genetics, why I chose this field. Unfortunately, unless something comes through in the next two weeks, I'm going to have to find a non-professional, and most likely non-related, position so that I don't have to rely as heavily on my support system as I have been. Those suckers seem hard to come by too, though. Admittedly, I am being called to sub at the high school every once in a while, but it's not often enough (especially since it's still the beginning of the school year, kind of) that I can solely rely on it for an interim income. The question becomes, do you put the non-professional/non-related position on your resume? Most likely, yes. How do you explain it then when a potential employer asks you about it? I have no idea. The subbing bit is in education, which a lot of people group librarianship into, so while non-professional, it is somewhat related and therefore easier to explain. Something else, I don't know. We'll see what happens, if that is the case for me.
Does anyone have any war stories they'd like to share?
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
I've been waiting for this article to come online.
Library Journal | The Click and Clash of Generations
There are many points in the article that all workers, no matter the field, need to consider. One that came home to me was the point about Gen X'ers and Millenials not understanding the history of the library. I can see their point, but I think I might be in a different place because I'm a third-generation librarian in my family. I know that there are others out there like me. I grew up hearing about how the library worked and the influence it had on my family. Does this give me an advantage when dealing with the generation gap? Possibly. I'll probably be more understanding about a Boomer who has to deal with raising kids and caring for elderly parents as I see my parents doing. At the same time, I recognize a lot of attributes of Gen X'ers in myself. To succeed we all need to evaluate our work processes, and that of those around us, and work on meshing, not mushing, them into a coherent working environment.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
A couple more applications out the door, we'll see what happens.
My essay, "Weblogs as Libraries", has been picked up by a Canadian (:::wood s lot:::) and a Scandinavian (Biblioteksrelaterat) blog. I think this is pretty darn cool!
So, for any of you who are considering writing an article for The Young Librarian, you will get international exposure!
For any of you who are members of ALA's New Members Round Table, they are now accepting applications for the 3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant. This award will allow the winner to attend the 2004 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Addendum to previous post:
My best advice about looking at online programs is talk to graduates of that program. Ask them about their hiring experiences. A few people that I know from UIUC's LEEP program have told me that their employers told them after they were hired that their receiving their degree through LEEP was a big plus in their column. This was mainly because it was expected that the LEEP grad would be knowledgeable about current technologies. IOW, check into the program's reputation.
This would be a great survey to check out if you are considering the online route that some LIS programs offer:
Hiring Preferences in Libraries: Results
I actually read the article that Steve (LibraryStuff.net) mentions here when it first appeared in the Chicago Tribune. It got me thinking very hard about the impact of blogging on the job search. So hard that I called my youngest brother up and encouraged him to consider doing one of his own as he is phenomenal about remembering sports trivia and facts. My dad had made the statement a day or so earlier how the little brother is so informed about sports that he can probably tell you if a player is earning his potential or not. The little brother seemed receptive of the idea as he is currently studying communications and hopes to get into sports marketing. I hope he does decide to do one as I'm sure there are a lot of fantasy sports fans who'd love to pick his brain.
I've been aware for the past few weeks about how big of an audience I apparently have. From the domain statistics I see, I know that I have quite a few regulars, so hi to you all and thanks for reading
Friday, October 10, 2003
Some news. I subbed at my high school again today and spoke with the librarian, who was there when I went there. She gave me some good advice about what to do for checking into getting my certificate. Also, it is an incredible mind trip to be able to sit in the teacher's lounge at lunch rather than in the cafeteria.
I spoke with the supervisor of IITF #3 yesterday about my interview skills and if there are any behaviors I may need to correct. She said that I did perfectly fine and that I shouldn't worry about changing anything I did. The person that they did offer the position to had the specific specialized experience that they were looking for. This was a highly specialized library, so I'm pleased that I made it into their top picks.
I also feel better that I lost out to someone with the one "wish list" item that I was missing rather than having done something really not kosher during the interview.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
USATODAY.com - Young workers say their age holds them back
Interesting article. With the increase of people entering the LIS field straight out of an undergraduate program or only a few years after receiving their bachelor's degree, do you think cases like this exist in the LIS world? Could they exist?
Five Common Cover Letter Mistakes
Sent to me by a friend, this might be useful for those who want quick tips on cover letter writing.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Okay, checked for grammar and basic coherency by a non-librarian, here's that essay I mentioned in Monday's post:
Weblogs as Libraries
Let the flaming begin!
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Well, I spoke with the HR person at IITF #4 today and she said that the search committee had recommended three candidates to the dean and that they would be inviting those candidates to interview.
I'm sitting here trying to figure out how I feel about that. All that's coming through is along the lines of "okay, mark that one off the list." I'm not sure if that's because I had decided to speak with my neighbor about the school librarianship thing, IITF #6 has things happening with it, or that I've got another substitute job at my high school on Friday and therefore have a bit of income in the immediate future. Probably a bit of all three.
Anyway, I discovered a new list for those who are currently LIS students or those who are considering the field: Librarian Wannabes. Check them out if you're interested in the field.
Monday, October 06, 2003
Nothing really new to report. I'm currently working on an essay that I'll put up here when I'm done. It's kind of rambling, but then what do you expect when the idea's born from sheer boredom while driving?
This is the week that I'm expecting to hear from IITF #4 about whether or not they want to interview me. I have a feeling that if I'm not in their top three, they'll just not notify me one way or the other until they've offered the position to someone and it's been accepted. That's what has happened to me in the past anyway.
Something I've been thinking about is that, depending on what happens with IITF#4, I may look into what I need to do to get my teaching certificate so that I can work in a school library. One of my neighbors who is a school librarian has talked to me before about it and offered me the use of her contacts. I have said in the past that I'd like to have kids of my own someday, and I'd rather not burn myself out by working with kids all day. The more I think about it though, I feel that I could probably handle the high school years. My mom's all for it because of the schedule ;) The thing that is holding me back a bit though is that I thought I was done with formal school. I was happy to be done with formal school. I went back to school to place myself in a better career position. The fact that I probably have to go back to school again just to get any position is depressing.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Image of Librarians in Popular Culture
It looks like the site hasn't been updated in two years, but great things to think about.
"How old were you when you first received your LIS degree?"
See the results from last week!
Interesting note of the results, out of all the ranges, the only one that I did not receive even 1 response for was $40,001-$45,000.
Friday, October 03, 2003
Tip for the day: Make sure you are ready to stand behind anything you post to the web. Possible and current employers will probably be able to find it. Especially if you attach a related site to your web resume. IOW, just like public speaking (which is basically the type of forum that the Internet is), think before you open your mouth.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Well, I think I have another IITF. I think I'll number it #6. I can't be sure if it's #5 or #6 because Blogger has conveniently lost my August archives. They had better find them. Grr.
As to IITF #6, I'm going to sit on telling you guys about this for a little bit. I find I'm becoming superstitious ;)
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
On some very strong advice, I ended up replying to the e-mail sent to me about IITF #3. Here's what I wrote:
Thank you for notifying me of the fulfillment of the position. I was wondering if it would be possible for me to receive a critique of my interview for future reference. Thank you again for the opportunity to interview with your office.
Feel free to lift and use where applicable.
I know you all expected to see pictures and whatnot much earlier than this. I expected to have it up as soon as I got home. Well, those plans were obviously derailed. Here's the story:
My mom, aunt and I went downtown for the day. Me to see Al Franken and my mom and aunt to get makeovers while I waited to get my book signed.
I got there about 11:30, 11:45am and the event was to start at 12:30p. The seats were completely filled up by the time I got to the event area. No big deal, I'm a huge signing veteran (ie. Nora Roberts). I overheard one of the staff telling another event-goer that she might want to consider getting in the signing line even though the view would definitely not be the greatest. I headed my butt right on over to the line. The guy in front of me handed me his business card which reads: "Dress to the left with Auntie Fashions". Check it out if that saying fits you ;) I got to talking with the two people behind me in line, missed the guy's name but the lucky sucker is moving to Italy in two weeks to teach English indefinitely. The girl, Ursula, has a weblog that's pretty interesting. She was taking notes, so she may have a lot about what Al talked about up on the blog in a few days.
Al finally made his way through the crowd, with his media escort Bill. Yes, I know a media escort. I've been to so many signings where Bill has been the media escort that we usually have a quick chat about what's happened since we last saw each other a couple of months previous.
Al was a great speaker. If you ever have the chance to see him, I highly recommend it. He is thoughtful, intelligent, very serious about his subject, and extremely funny at the same time. Come on, who doesn't love Stuart Smalley?
The line moved pretty quickly as Al was not posing for pictures (though I did see a few taken) or personalizing books. Ah, vell. I do have a signed copy (though not first edition) of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. What pictures I was able to take can be found here.
Mom, aunt and I then headed out for some more shopping before heading back to the train. While waiting for the train, we saw the guys who were giving out free tickets to the Sting concert in Grant Park on the 7th. Mom has been salivating for tickets since last week. The deal was that you had to get this little game piece that had a barcode. Wait in line. Get to the front of the line and have the barcode scanned to see if you were a wiener as my mom says. Well, my line moved quickly and I didn't win. Got back in line again. As I get to the front of my line again, my mom finally gets her chance. She wins! I lost again. Normally, I'm the one winning this type of thing. I'm glad she was the one who won though as I'm not that big of a concert goer and, like I said, she's been salivatinig for these tickets.
So, we're on a bit of a high on the train ride back. It's been a great day so far. Get home and find messages on the machine. I didn't want to listen, so I made my mom listen to them for me while I did something else. The supervisor of the position I interviewed for (IITF #3) called and asked that I call her back. Okay, now I'm on this incredible high because hey, they want me to call back, and how many people REALLY call to say no? This did happen to my friend Nanette with her second to last interview. She played phone tag for half an hour before she heard that she didn't get the position. So I call back, acknowledge that I got the phone message and am looking forward to hearing back from the supervisor. I'm all hyped up. Mom's all hyped up. I'm crossing my fingers going "please don't let this be like Nanette, please don't let this be like Nanette." I get online to go through the ton of e-mails I'd gotten for the day. As I'm scrolling through, I see a message from the supervisor. My heart stopped. She sent me the e-mail because she wasn't sure if I was still out of town. They offered the position to another candidate. My heart painfully started to beat again. I now know EXACTLY how Nanette felt for that half hour and then right after she got off the phone after being told "thanks, but no thanks."
Right now, my plan is to call the supervisor back tonight and let her know that I did get her e-mail, but I'm still interested in speaking with her about getting feedback on my interview. This is very important so that I know what behaviors I might or might not need to correct for future interviews. It could be that I did nothing wrong, the selected candidate was just more qualified. That happens. It just sucks with this economy.