Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Prep for interview

Thanks to John at Library Link of the Day for this one. Very topical, considering my mini-rant of yesterday.

Interview Questions

Monday, June 21, 2004

Employment prospects?

Warning: this is a long post. It made me realize that I don't feel too bad about not doing short posts every day as I tend to subject you readers to this length of post on a somewhat regular basis.

Recently, there has been a discussion about employment, or the lack thereof, in this field on the Newlib-L listserv. One person mentioned that she is leaving the field, hoping for greener pastures. Her comments started me wondering: how much attrition does this field experience? That is, not including retirements, people who leave the field intending to never come back to it.

Why do we experience that attrition? Bad job experiences, loss of interest in the field, greater interest in another field, poor pay, no jobs available, or some other nebulous reason? Anyone looking through the archives of this weblog can see my depression and disenchantment with the job hunt. Yes, job hunting is going to be bad no matter what field you're in these days. I recognized that because of the sudden economic downturn after 9/11 (though the economy had started going bad even before that date), I would have a harder time finding a position. What I resented during my job search was the same "call to arms" that was being heralded as I enterred grad school. The myth of the massive retirements.

The problem is that these retirements are going to be happening:
1. at upper levels.
2. probably 5 years later than expected, if not longer, to compensate for the market's tanking.

Yes, those of my cohort in the field are being groomed to step up for when those retirements DO happen. We can't be groomed though if we are not in a position to be groomed. We are scrambling for what few entry-level positions there are compared to the number of new graduates. We often have to cobble together several part-time positions to make a decent salary, and almost always without benefits. If we're lucky, those part-time positions will be giving us the professional experience needed to get our foot in the door for a full-time position. Those of us who are sole providers often take on part-time positions, in addition to our full-time positions, in order to pay off our student loans and other debts.

None of these situations are new. They are talked about constantly among new librarians. The ALA-APA was created to address the issue of salaries. What needs to be addressed in addition to the salaries, is the lack of full-time entry-level positions. The profession also needs to recognize that the statistics about the retirements became out of date as soon as the market tanked. If you're going to discuss the "soon-to-be-happening" retirements, I want to see numbers from 2004 to support this, not 1998.

BEA picture

I finally got the roll of film back that had BEA stuff on it. Here's the picture of me with Phil Gordon from Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Katie and Phil Gordon at BEA

Friday, June 18, 2004


With the ALA conference coming up, I wanted to point out a couple of good articles on networking and include a couple tips of my own.

"Tips and Tricks for Conference Attendance" by Tanzi Merritt


"Why Network?" by Priscilla Schontz

My tips:
1. This can in no way be stressed enough: wear comfortable shoes!! You will do a lot of walking every day and you will not be an effective conference goer if you have hurt feet by the end of the first day.
2. Have business cards on hand to give out to people. When you receive a business card from someone, make a note on the back of it where you met that person, a distinguishing characteristic, and possibly what you discussed with them so that you can remember who on earth this person was when you get home and dump out your bags.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

TLC's "Faking It"

This came across one of my lists the other day. A shy librarian will see if she has what it takes to be one of the Coyote Ugly girls. Debuts Sunday at 10/9 central.

From Super Shy to Superfly