Thursday, January 29, 2004

Continuous learning:

I just had to point this out because I think Lynette's got a great attitude. Striving to learn one new thing a day is a great personal resource in an information professional. You may not choose to post your findings in as public a manner, but doing it will help make you a stronger person in your field.

One New Thing

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

New article idea. Anyone want to write it?

Okay, since younger people and those starting out in a new profession tend to be more mobile, and since librarians, for some reason, tend to be introverts, what do you do when you move to a new town to meet people? Anyone want to write a short article of tips, tricks, whatever on the social life adjustment to a new habitat?

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Attended ALA?:

For those of you who have attended ALA conferences in the past, especially those of you who were at the recent Mid-Winter conference, Walt raises some questions and is looking for responses. Check out the Bibs & Blather section (page 1 conveniently :D) of the latest Cites & Insights.

Cites & Insights v.4:3

Friday, January 23, 2004

Friday update:

Well, once again, I've barely written this past week. Things have been a bit crazy, ending up with me receiving an offer for a full-time position this morning. I've accepted it and will be starting it after I finish up my commitment to my current part-time position. So, I'm basically saying that I'm still here, just going through some major transitions right now and adjusting to them. Posts may be sparse, but I am here and the website is here. So, if you have any articles floating around, feel free to send them in :D

Monday, January 19, 2004

Brain overload:

You may have noticed that I didn't post a lot last week compared to previous weeks. I've taken to heart Walt Crawford's title of his newest book, First Have Something to Say. Nothing really caught my eye as being relevant to post here. Which is not to say that I haven't been writing. I feel like I've been writing up a storm in the last two weeks. I've been doing book reviews for some smaller review websites, I've been writing essays for job interviews, I've been working on some fiction pieces, and I've been putting together paper proposals and outlines for other projects. In short, I feel like my brain is about to explode from all of the information floating around in it right now :)

This has been an interesting month to say the least, and we've still got 11 days to go. What I'm hoping will happen in the next two weeks or so is that things will quiet down enough so that I can sit down and outline everything that I need to do in the near future. Number one on my list, though, is turning in the outline for this one paper proposal. If that's accepted, then I have a few months at least to work on it.

I am feeling like I'm being pulled in many different directions right now. I think part of it is because I don't really have a set schedule because of working so many different part-time jobs to make ends meet. Part of it also is adjusting to my professional part-time job and relearning what sources are appropriate when. I had been introduced to these sources in my reference classes, but I worked in a very specialized library for my graduate assistantship, so I didn't really use them. Everything is a learning process, it's just tough when a lot of things are hitting you at once. I'm off to bed now. Interview in the morning. Must be bright-eyed and busy-tailed :)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

New column

LJ has debuted a new column by Rachel Singer Gordon of Titled NextGen, this is the inaugural column. It should be interesting to watch over the next few months. For future columns you might have to search LJ for "NextGen".

Library Journal - Get Over the "Graying" Profession Hype

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Bits and pieces

Not much going on right now. I'm looking forward to hearing/seeing what people thought about the ALA Mid-winter conference. I'm also waiting to hear if I was awarded either of the grants that I applied for as decisions on them were made over the weekend.

Just a note for those of you who are members of ALA's New Members Round Table, but aren't on the general listserv, a new message board forum has been created by Aaron Dobbs and is available at

Yesterday, I think it was yesterday, I had posted a response to a question about portfolios on the Newlib-l listserv. Today I received an e-mail from Priscilla Schontz, the owner and editor of, asking if I'd be interested in writing an article for her on portfolios. I told her, yes, I'd be happy to do one. So, for all of you who are interested in getting a foothold in the field, be active and participate in the forums that feel most comfortable to you because people will take notice and ask you to do more.

Monday, January 12, 2004

New trend?

Now, I know I've mentioned that I put together a portfolio of some of my work for the interview this past Friday. When I was asked to bring in an example of past work for them to see, I was a bit taken aback as I was not really aware of this happening for interviews at public libraries. Academic library interviews have a long history of having the candidate do some sort of presentation, either to assess the candidate's knowledge of the field or their teaching capabilities. Public libraries on the other hand...

Tonight I got an e-mail from the head of reference for the library where I'm interviewing with next week. In addition to confirming the date and time, and giving me directions, she also asked for me to send her responses to two questions by Sunday night. One is a request for a short, annotated bibliography for a topic suitable to a public library and the other was to rank, and explain the rankings, four items used when assessing the quality of a suburban public library. The annotated bibliography is not a problem. I'll head in early or stay late after one of my shifts this week and hit up our history fair display, as it is THE big topic of the season in my area. The essay on assessing quality on the other hand will take me a bit longer to ruminate on.

So, I'm wondering, has anyone else come across similar practices in interviewing for full-time public library positions?

Friday, January 09, 2004

Friday recap

Well, I think the interview went fine. I was getting a wee bit stressed last night because I couldn't figure out what I was going to wear. Luckily the last time I had an interview (August), I had both my suits dry cleaned, and the one I didn't wear was still in the bag. So, I accessorized and wore that one. The staff at the library was very nice, and the library seems very nice for its size (on the small end). We'll see what happens in about two weeks. Funny thing is that right after I e-mailed the head of the department my references, I got an e-mail from another position that I had written off, I had applied so long ago, and they were wondering if I could come in for an interview. Apparently the person that they had offered the position to could not work out housing for the area and had to rescind her acceptance. So, I go in for that interview on January 20th. The good thing about the interview that I had today was that it forced me to create a hard copy portfolio of my work. This will come in handy as I've volunteered to go talk at my high school's career fair on March 4th if they need me. This is something I think is very important that we as a profession need to do to encourage younger people to think of LIS as a possible profession. Right now I'm trying to formalize my thoughts on the importance of various types of mentoring and will hopefully have those posted soon. Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Volunteer opportunity in South Africa: ITW - South Africa Program Homepage. ~Thanks to April Mazza, on the Chattylibrarians list.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Tip of the day: combined two-in-one. Go to bed early if you have an interview the next day, ESPECIALLY if you are feeling very stressed out because you didn't accomplish half of what you wanted to and had a couple of more things which need to be done as close to immediately as possible piled on.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Input requested

From a discussion that I helped to start on one of my listservs, I am now wondering the following:

What do you think is the easiest/most convenient/most productive way to conduct professional communication on an international level?

A. A listserv with archives available
B. A messageboard system with defined forums and then topic threads
C. A website
D. A collaborative weblog

If you're interested in responding, a comment to this post or a quick filling out of the contact form with your top two picks, ranked, and reasons why would be most appreciated. Any other suggestions, and reasons why, than the ones listed will also be appreciated. Thanks!

ALA Midwinter

For all of you who are going, have safe and uneventful trips to and from the conference, knowing that I am completely jealous of you! I will be sitting on pins and needles until the conference ends as the winner one of the grants I had applied for will be determined during this time.

Tip of the day from my brother: if you are a student, and you are interested in attending some conference/workshop, e-mail the coordinator asking if they offer student scholarships. You might get one just for asking!

New article at TYL

Tara Murray of DIY Librarian fame has contributed the first article in the "A Day in the Life of a (insert job title here)" series. Check it out!

The Young Librarian - A Day in the Life of an Information Core Director by Tara Murray

Networking Tips

In the new ALA-APA newsletter "Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today's Leaders", Vicki Burger gives some solid tips on recognizing, organizing and utilizing your network.

ALA-APA: Library Worklife

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Sample interview questions

Paul Greenberg gives a list of what he considers the 10 toughest questions in an interview and tips on answering them.

Thanks to Tracey Reed on Nexgenlib-l. Best Local Jobs

Monday, January 05, 2004

For those of you who might be looking for info on the Illinois State Library's Synergy program, selection has been completed it seems. Details are below. If you're interested in going for the 2005 program, if they have it, I'd keep in touch with the ISL for more information starting around end of Sptember/beginning of October of this year.


First day on the job

Well, I think it went pretty well, though I only remember maybe three of the names outside of the reference department. I also wish that I'd been able to spend more time with the librarians who came on the desk my last half hour. They seem like good guys to know and pick their brains.

This is the job that I had been up for back in September where I got an informal interview and tour of the library, so I got to talk with my boss a lot back then about expectations and such. She reiterated today that she understood that I'd be looking for a full-time position, so not to worry about having to keep my search a secret. I really appreciated that because keeping a job search secret, in my area anyway, is really hard to do. This is partly because the libraries in the system that I'm targeting kind of know what's going on with all of the other libraries position listings, and my mom is fairly well-known in the system. A few of my co-workers actually used to work with my mom peripherally and so I've got a lot to live up to. I think I can handle it though :)

Today was just orientation for the most part, tomorrow is going to be the real test. I'm very glad it's finally arrived though.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Crawford on weblogs - Part Deux

Walt Crawford revists the issues of weblogs in his latest American Libraries "The Crawford Files" column (Jan 2004). "The Crawford Files" has become a staple read for me every month because I find Walt to be very thought-provoking. I especially took to heart this column because it reinforces something that I've been thinking about lately as to the purpose of this blog. I started it as a release valve for tension stemming from job hunting. I ventured off into other areas and was a bit shocked to find that I had a small audience. I feel very gratified that what I have to say may be of some help to someone somewhere. I never expected to reach the level of recognition that I apparently have, but in having reached it, I now hope that one day I might make the second-tier of librarian bloggers/commentators (there's that whole goal vs. aspiration thing I was talking about earlier.)

I do agree with Walt that blogging is not for everyone. I enjoy writing, and have been pursuing it for a number of years now. I do believe that if you desire to have a successful blog, however you want to term success, you have to truly enjoy writing in the first place. If you don't enjoy writing, that comes through and will distance possible readers from you. Blogging is a wonderful forum of communication for myself because my writing style tends to be short and informal. Something that my fiction writing friends and I have come to realize is that a writer who may not be a technically correct writer, but one who has a distinctive, strong, and engaging "voice" is one who will be successful in their chosen writing career. I believe this to be true of blogging also. Think of the blogs that you read on a regular basis, including collaborative ones. If you read a post independent of the site, can you give a good guess as to the original writer? If you can, that's because that blogger has a strong and distinctive voice.

Anyway, I hope that everyone checks out this column and Walt's other endeavor Cites & Insights.

ALA | January 2004: Starting a Bicycle Club: Weblogs Revisited

Saturday, January 03, 2004

2004 Goal #4 - Check

"The Young Librarian" website now has it's very own domain. You can now get to the website by typing younglibrarian.NET (net is just in caps to get your attention) into your browser. If you type that in, wanting the weblog, you'll need to click on "News" in the menu. The site will still be hosted on Geocities, so you'll still get the popups, but that's the other half of getting the domain that I still need to work on the funding for. If you have any of the TYL pages bookmarked, those are still okay since I haven't actually moved the website. If, when, I finally do move the website, I will put redirects in place so that you can still get the information. Isn't that what we, as information professionals are all about anyway? Access to information? Anyway, I'm very proud to have finally taken this step and look forward to the day where I can move TYL to a more premanent home.

Friday, January 02, 2004

I just got a reminder through the NMRT listserv that Early Bird registration and housing registration is now available for those who are going to the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando in June. Be sure to sign up in time for the early bird rates!

ALA | home

Links, links, and more links

I decided to go with the annotated links scheme, and so, don't have everything up that I eventually want up, but it's a starting point for the new year. Check out the new links section on the Resources page.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year

I hope that everyone has a happy, healthful and prosperous, in whatever form, 2004.

It is the time of year when we tend to reflect on how our lives have, hopefully, progressed over the last year and what we want to accomplish in the coming year.

I find that I haven't taken as much stock of my life as much as I probably should, mainly because I have been so focused in the here and now due to searching for a job. So, I'm taking the time now to do a quick wrapup of my 2003 and set goals for 2004.


  1. Graduated with an MS in LIS.

  2. Have kept my web portfolio and resume up to date.

  3. Participated in/observed 3-5 professional listservs and monitored other news outlets for the filed to keep current.

  4. Applied to between 35-40 professional positions.

  5. Interviewed or invited to interview for 5.

  6. Offered, and accepted, one part-time position.

  7. Received, as a board member, award for ALA's Student Chapter of the Year Award for 2002-2003 school year.

  8. Offered, and accepted, membership in Beta Phi Mu.

  9. Joined NMRT committee and participate to the best of my ability.

  10. Began TYL weblog and website and have kept both current.

  11. Published one essay and one article through TYL website.

  12. Have been contacted by people interested in submitting articles for TYL website.

  13. Have received national and international attention for weblog, website and essay on weblogs.

  14. Applied for three awards/grants relating to professional development and/or young librarianship.

Jeez, I've done a lot for someone who is only starting her first professional position on Monday. This is why we need to take stock. I know that I've managed to do a lot, but I haven't really felt it. Taking stock allows for us to process our accomplishments, and our defeats, so that we can move forward with our careers. If you're in a position where you are under review, taking stock of what has happened since your last review is absolutely necessary to prove why you deserve that stupendous raise :)


  1. Get a full-time position.

  2. While searching for a full-time position, try for another part-time position to supplement current position.

  3. Save money to go to ALA National Conference.

  4. Get TYL it's own domain.

  5. Recruit more contributors for TYL.

  6. Do one new job-related project every month if time permits.

  7. Do one new non-job-related project every two to three months to keep portfolio up to date.

  8. Join at least one more professional listserv.

  9. Take one continuing education class, management related if possible.

  10. Don't stress out if life happens.

The thing about giving yourself goals is to make them flexible. Not flexible enough so that you don't feel a tad bit guilty for slipping out of doing them, but flexible enough so that if you need to adjust, you can without stressing out over it. Giving yourself achievable, professional goals every year should help you in your overall career development. If you set your goals to a certain level, and achieve them, than you can set goals for the next level for the year after. It's nice if you can also set for yourself total career goals so that you know what level you need to be at for the next year. It also helps with those interview questions that go like, "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" I hate it when it is phrased like that because I am not clairvoyant and cannot predict the future. I will be able to give you an answer if you ask "what are your professional goals for the next 5 years?"

There are some things that I'd like to accomplish, but know that I really have no control over achieving them beyond being the professional that I am to the best of my ability. I think "aspirations" is a better term for those types of things than "goals." To be effective, you have to learn what things you want to achieve are goals versus aspirations.

Okay, I'm going to head off to watch some bowl games and once again wish everyone success in achieving whatever goals and aspirations you have for 2004.