Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Fourth (and final, I swear) post of the day.

I won't be posting until late tomorrow, but I'll have pictures of Al Franken for you all! He's signing at the Borders on State Street tomorrow, and I get to be there . If anyone else is in the Chicago area and is thinking about going, I got a tip that you should get there before 1pm or risk being turned away.

Looking for examples of cover letters and resumes!

I've had a number of hits here coming from people who are looking for examples of cover letters and resumes for librarians. If anyone would like to submit copies of cover letters or resumes that have gotten you jobs, strip out your personal information (maybe put in Employer: ABC Library, School: XYZ University, etc.) but keep the formatting, and send it to young_librarian{at}yahoo{dot}com with "Resume/Cover Letter" as the subject.

Just a note that the New Librarian Survey now can be done over the internet, just click here!

You don't have to be a lifer to get this title!

Library Journal is putting out the call for nominations for their 2004 list of Movers & Shakers. See the story at LISNews.com and check out last year's list at LJ March 15, 2003 Movers & Shakers.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Funny and interesting:

Brainteaser or Interview Torture Tool?

~Thanks to Kelly P. from the NexGenLib-L listserv~

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I'm up late and had nothing better to do :pfft:, so here begins the Weekly Poll!

This week's poll: "What was your first LIS professional salary out of school?"

Remember, only vote once!

Saturday, September 27, 2003

It turns out that my sibs are reasonably generous with computer time. My sis keeps threatening to pull the plug on me though :) Just to let you all know, there will be a new feature coming soon: weekly polls! These will be totally anonymous and unscientific, but if you all participate (wink, wink), you'll be able to get an idea as to starting salaries, the favored brand of shoe to wear at work, how long it takes to find a job, and how many of us really do wear glasses.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Okay, check out the list of topic ideas if you're stuck for something to write about.

Just a note that I'm going away for a long weekend visiting the sibs. So, depending on how generous they are with computer time, I may not be able to check e-mail or update this until Tuesday. Have a great weekend all!

Now that I have some time on my hands while I wait to hear about how I did yesterday, I'm going to put together a list of topic ideas for articles. That way, if you know that you'd like to write, but don't know what to write about, maybe this will help get you jumpstarted. You'll still have to send in a query so that I know you're interested, but it's not that hard :) I'll probably have a tentative list ready later this afternoon/evening. If you already have an idea as to what you want to write about though, send me an e-mail! LOL

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Well, I'm back. I think it went as well as could be expected. There were three people interviewing me and I made them laugh a few times. A good sign, I hope. I'm pleased with the impression that I got from them, and I hope that they liked the impression I gave. Now that it's over, I can barely remember what happened. This happens to me with every interview which is why I freak out every time. I just can't remember what kinds of questions they asked me in previous interviews.

Tips for the day of the interview (aka what I did today, maybe): get enough sleep the night before (I got barely enough), exercise if you can, maybe go for a walk (I worked out at Curves), eat a healthy breakfast (big bowl of Smart Start), play with the dog/pet for a bit, if your interview is early afternoon, just eat something small like a nutrition bar to tide you over until your nerves are done with your system, take lots and lots of deep breaths to calm yourself while you are waiting for them to call you in, have a pen and a pad of paper in hand if just to occupy your hands and not fidget, ask questions of them, shake hands with each of your interviewers when you're done, thank them for the opportunity to interview, get a time frame as to when they'll notifiy you of yes or no, and when you are out of their sights (well out of their sights) do something to congratulate yourself if you think you did a good job. Also, if you can, debrief with someone. I called my mom as soon as I got home and we'll probably talk some more when I see her tonight. This is important because you can let out your emotions in a positive and constructive manner.

My only bad experience was that while I was changing from my heels to my gymshoes for the trek home, I lost a personalized autographed romance anthology that I pulled last night out of my stack of books from the conference I went to over the summer. So, while I was happy about the interview, I was quite bummed on the train home because one of the authors who signed the book lives in Australia! Maybe if they're all at next year's conference I can bring another copy for them to sign. Just not the same though.

Okay, enough downers. My spirits did pick up considerably when I came home to the mail. I knew yesterday that I was going to get this one piece of mail today or not at all. Well, I GOT IT!! They sent it to my old school address which then had to be sent through the hell that is known as my city's postal system. And now I'm sure you're wondering what the heck it is ;) It's the invitation to join Beta Phi Mu, the LIS honor society. Yeah, yeah, it's just resume filler I hear you say. To give you a perspective, one of my goals for my time in library school was to graduate with a GPA to qualify for nomination. I got that minimum GPA right on the nose. Hehe. So, it's added bonus for me that they actually nominated me for membership. I just think it's cool :)

Also, I checked the stats for the blog before I signed on to write this, and I have to say, I'm really pleased with all of the attention, especially international, that this project is getting. Let me know if there are things that you'd like to see more of on the website. And remember, there are no residency restrictions in the submission guidelines!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Is it me, or has Haloscan (my commenting system) been down a lot lately? Does anyone else use Haloscan and know what's going on? I do know that they changed servers about 1-2 months ago. Would it be prudent to move to another system such as enetation.co.uk? I was really impressed with Haloscan when I checked them out, but if they're going to be down a lot, I'd rather go with a more reliable system. And yes, I do know about MT as an alternative :) I've used it for a currently dead project. When I have the funds to move The Young Librarian to it's own domain, MT's what I'm moving to for the blog.

So, everyone, PLEASE cross your fingers for me as I interview in person for IITF #3 tomorrow at 1:30p CST. Tip of the day: don't trip the night before the interview and possibly sprain one of your big toes. If you do, put lots of ice on it immediately to keep the swelling down to a minimum so that if you're like me, you can fit into your 3" interview heels.

Some of you have probably seen this article before, but it was the first time for me: The Anti-Stereotype Stereotype. I think this is a very thoughtful piece on current LIS recruitment strategies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

It's got to be a sign. All sorts of resources relating to the mission of IITF #3 are just falling into my lap. My mom's a public librarian and she found a bibliography of upcoming books related to the subject in CHOICE magazine yesterday. In my e-mail of the day's stories from LISnews.com there was a note about a webliography of webliographies related to the subject. There have been other little signs, like the building where the position is located is right off the train that runs by my house and oh, the building is owned by the university where my great-aunt ended her career as the head librarian there. If I'm not offered this position, my karma is really whacked.

Tip of the day: spend the day before brushing up on the topics related to the position you're interviewing for so that you can answer their questions in a coherent and thoughtful manner.

Yeah! I've received my first article query (smooches Greg!). For those of you who might be sitting on the fence about submitting, here's a couple of, I hope, reassurances:

  • The article does not have to be completed. It helps if the idea is fleshed out pretty well, but we can work on this.

  • I'm nice, I really am ;) I'm a trained judge for a couple of fiction writing contests and know the difference between constructive criticism and tearing someone's "baby" apart.

  • The only reasons I'd reject an article is if it's not related to the LIS field or the experience of being a new/young librarian.

  • If you've got an idea that you're kicking around, but you think someone's already done it before, submit to me anyway. Everyone's got a unique voice, so even if the topic has been done before, it hasn't been done from your perspective. I'm more than happy to help you find your voice and fine tune your idea. That's what an editor is for. That's how I view being the editor of The Young Librarian, anyway.

  • You have to start publishing somewhere, so why not here?

So, please, if you have any questions at all, I'm here to answer them. Just post a comment or e-mail me at young_librarian{at}yahoo{dot}com.

Check out the New Librarian Survey! The survey is specifically for librarians in a public library setting and working one year or less out of grad school. This is being done by a friend of mine from grad school, Ria Newhouse, and a friend of hers, Anne Spisak. They will be presenting their results at next year's PLA meeting. Please remember that while The Young Librarian is helping to host the survey, all responses need to go to Ria by October 24th. I hope some of you will be able to help her out.

Interview countdown: 2 more days. What to do: pick up interview outfit from cleaners that you were supposed to pick up yesterday, if you were even able to get it into the cleaners in the first place. Go out and get about 5 clean copies of your current resume so that if you have more than one person interviewing you, they don't have to share and they don't have to rely on information that's at least 2 months old. I know that I change my resume about once a month as I realize "yes, I SHOULD put what little cataloguing skills I have down."

Monday, September 22, 2003

Well, I've gotten A LOT of hits to the website in the last couple of days, but so far, only two people have mentioned they'd be interested in submitting articles if they can think of something to talk about. Now, I know that there are a lot of new and young librarians out there with things to say. Please consider using this as your venue. Queries for articles are accepted at young_librarian{at}yahoo{dot}com with "QUERY" in the subject line. I wouldn't want to have to delete you because I don't know you.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

"Attributes for the Next Generation of Library Directors" (PDF file) is an interesting article published by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) division of ALA. This would be good to check out if you're interested in administration.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Well, I was more inspired than I thought. I've got a Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines all ready to go. So, for those of you who are interested, have at it :)

Tip for the day: before the interview, take the job description and pick out every single required and desired trait of the ideal candidate. Come up with an example of how you fulfill each trait. Use it to prepare for your interview. I got this from an application I had to complete with a headhunter firm.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Well, since this idea has gotten some pretty positive responses, and no one has told me that this has already been done, I'm going to spend the weekend fleshing out this project. Primarily, submission guidelines. One thing that I know already, this will not be a paying market for the forseeable future. Once again, if you have any questions, comment or e-mail me.

Tip for the day: when going on a job interview, try to wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Depending on the type of library, you might have a half to an all day interview and you might be walking around a lot. Popping off your shoes in the middle of an interview because you're developing a blister is not good etiquette .

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I started up a companion website called The Young Librarian (warning it's on Geocities, so has pop-up ads). I'd like for it to be a useful resource for librarians who are chronologically "young" and/or new to the profession. I'm toying with the idea of soliciting articles from people who are under 30/35 or have been in the profession for less than 5 years about issues they think are important. For example, how to supervise those who are old enough to be your parents, types of benefits to look for when considering a job, balancing a social life while advancing the career, the perception of a librarian by the public, etc. I think this will have the added benefit of giving people an opportunity for publication which will help with career advancement.

Let me know what you think either by e-mailing me at young_librarian{at}yahoo{dot}com or leaving a comment in the new comment system .

A little more testing, and a tip for the day. If you are having problems finding jobs that you are interested in applying for see if you can find a listserv for the field you are interested in. A list of library related listservs can be found at: Library Oriented Lists & Electronic Serials

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

All right, HaloScan is back up and accepting new subscribers! Commenting is now available. Feel free to tell me if I'm on the right track, or totally off my rocker.

Okay, imagine me bouncing off the walls here. I was expecting to get a letter in the mail sometime later this week saying "yes, call to schedule an in person interview" or "no, thanks for trying" for IITF #3. I had to go out for a bit today. When I came back, I had a phone message waiting for me. They wanted to schedule an in person interview. YEAH!!! I'm really excited just because, at the very least, it shows that I can make it to the second to last cut. Hopefully, I'll be offered the position, but I'm really thankful to be asked for this type of interview for the first time since I started this search.

Tip for the day: plan about 2 outfits out in advance depending on what season you're in, ie. fall means one outfit for hot weather and one outfit for cool weather. Then take those outfits into the cleaners if you've got the time, so that they're all pressed, neat and fresh. Then, again if you have the time, get yourself in for a hair trim or cut. Once again, you're making sure that you're as presentable as possible.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Just FYI, I've created a companion website and a resource called the Application Progress Report. The APR is for those like me that send out a lot of resumes and need to keep track of them.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Well, the RSS feed should be up and running. I'm still looking into a commenting system. I like the look of Haloscan, but they are not accepting new subscriptions at this time. If I find one I like, you'll see it up here soon enough.

I'm adding an RSS feed, courtesy of LISFeeds.com

Another quick tip: always make sure that your application is complete no matter what format you use to apply. If you apply through a job board and they want a cover letter and three references, contact the contact person and ask how you can submit those additional materials. If you get a letter saying that your application is not complete and you really do want to be considered for the position, *CALL* the contact person and ask if you can still submit the missing material/s. Calling will most likely make up for not having a complete application in the first place. The worst they can do is say no.

Quick tip for the day, when using a template for cover letter, make sure you change everything you need to make the letter personalized to the position you are applying for. Even more important, make sure you change the date from the last time you used the letter.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Well, I heard from IITF #1. I did not get the position. I'm very much of two minds on this. I truly understand the probable reason why they went with someone else over me: that person could guarantee them that 12 hours/week was all the work they were looking for. I couldn't, and they knew that. At the same time I feel a loss for a position that I felt that I could do well in and was welcoming the experience it would have given me.

I want to be working now, not looking for positions to apply for. This was my best bet for a professional position that would alleviate my financial worries for the immediate future. Now, I'm looking for non-professional positions so that I can pay the bills. How do you explain to a potential employer why you were working outside of the profession, other than using the excuse "no one else would hire me"?

I'm to the point that I have no clue about how to differentiate myself any further from the other well-qualified and jobless candidates out there. I'm sure we're all applying for the same positions. During my last semester, I would cheer when my friends would get job offers. I was cheering first for them for getting the position, and then I was cheering for myself because they were no longer on the market. Less competition.

I keep trying to keep my one friend's advice in mine when I told her about my phone interview yesterday: "Keep in mind, there is a reason why they called you. They liked something in your application." I just hope that I get called for an in person interview. I'm tired of not getting anywhere.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Well, it's been a little while and a few things have happened. I contacted IITF #4 last week to make sure that they had my updated information and to get a bead on how much longer this search would take. Since it's an academic library, my estimation of about another month to find out if I'm going to be asked to interview was right on target. Let's just say that the panic about being able to pay the bills kicked in. It wasn't pretty. I ran out an applied to one of the local large chain video stores. What can I say? I'm feeling really desperate here. Which brings on another tip: don't let them know you're desperate.

I've also found out in the last couple of weeks that two of my good library school friends have gotten jobs. One got offered her position the day after I left town. My other friend got offered a job that she thought was going to be a real long shot because it was for the Technical Services Manager position at a decent sized public library. It gives me hope. Especially since IITF #3, which I thought was going to be a long shot myself, called early this morning to set up a time to do a phone interview. YEAH!! We ended up doing it this afternoon, and I think I did fairly well on it, especially since I really, really wasn't expecting to be considered for the position. Considering what the interviewer asked me about, I'm feeling fairly confident that I'd be able to handle the position and do well in it. The reason why I feel so confident about how well the interview went was because I was able to give specific examples of past job duties to prove why I'd be able to handle the particular job duty described in the question. That is key in ANY interview, phone or in person. Be able to give examples of things you have already done and tie the examples into what you are being questioned about.

As for what I'm doing to while waiting for a full-time position, I'm still waiting to hear about IITF #1. They were supposed to finish interviewing the other candidates at the end of last week, so hopefully by the end of this week I'll hear something. Until then, I've started subbing at my old high school. Yesterday I filled in for one of the math teachers. I figure the interview for IITF #3 was karma rewarding me for doing that ;)