jump to navigation

Library Stuff still Collecting Librar* Blogs… June 20, 2006

Posted by jennimi in About me, About this Blog, Academic Librarianship, Blogging, library 2.0, marketing yourself, Web 2.0.
comments closed

Steven is still trying to gather up all those library blogs out there, old and new. Three of my colleagues from the LIS program started them just recently! Get those URLs to Steven! Glad to see folks catching on! La-La Librarian looks at fostering creativity in libraries… a research interest of your humble author, and colleague Shannon Kealey.

And your humble blog, Library Matters, was included in this week’s list. And yes, it DID lead to more traffic. Thank you Library Stuff for including this effort by a recent LIS grad to inform her community on the importance of blogging in librarianship… . 🙂


Library Student Journal call for papers June 6, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Academic Librarianship, Library School, marketing yourself.
comments closed

Well, from LSJ Editor’s Blog, LSJ is ready to accept submissions. This is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal that will publish papers in which STUDENTS are the primary authors. With editors chosen, review is set to begin. If you are a student with a great paper, this may be an opportunity to get published. Check out the submission guidelines here. Good luck to all participants!

HSL Reference Student Retreat: Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviewing May 10, 2006

Posted by jennimi in About me, Academic Librarianship, marketing yourself.
comments closed

Ah. Lunchtime. Glorious sun and outside wireless compliments of our tuition dollars…

I had the honor yesterday of being included in a retreat at the University at Buffalo‘s Health Sciences Library to learn about resumes, cover letters, interviewing, and “other important stuff to help you get the job you want”. The retreat, which lasted all day (and could translate into a semester long seminar if you ask me) was led by phenom librarians Dean Hendrix, Stewart Brower, and Michelle Zafron. Amy Lyons and Linda Hasman also contributed their expertise to the workshops. Each student got to take home a very comprehensive manual which was developed by HSL staff from a template by Ron Pollack, Director of Career Services for the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin.

Allow me to say that again: Each student got to take home a very comprehensive manual which was developed by HSL staff from a template by Ron Pollack, Director of Career Services for the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Especially the part about how UT School of Information has its own career services department. Hmm…. Note to self: research number of students at UT’s School, compare to ours…

The retreat I attended yesterday gave me more information about job search prep, particularly in the academic libraries setting – which is a little different than others – than anything else I’ve experienced here at the University at Buffalo and School of Informatics. That’s not to take anything away from the good efforts put forth by many (the SLA career panel in 2004, the many resume workshops sponsored by the ALA Student Chapter, resume building as covered in Management class) but wow…. these folks OUTDID themselves.

Kudos to Dean, Stewart, Michelle, Amy, and Linda for caring about LIS students enough to spend their whole days with us trying to help us get outta here. 🙂 Their professionalism and knowledge are appreciated, but more than that, they have provided actual usable APPLICABLE strategies and pointers from an insider’s perspective on the entire academic search committee process. Dean told me he is passionate about helping students prepare for their job search. That passion shows… this program is so good, it should be offered on a much larger scale to School of Informatics graduate students (imho). Thanks again to HSL librarians! The day was so full of good info I can’t recount it all here. Plus, they should pay HSL lots of money to bring this program to the larger LIS community. However to add to my interview suit post I have to give props to Linda Hasman for suggesting comfortable shoes at interviews! You are on your feet all day…. don’t be uncomfortable!

Attire for entry-level librarian interviews April 27, 2006

Posted by jennimi in About me, Image of Librarians, Library School, marketing yourself.
comments closed

Great cross-post by burlapwax over at Washtublibrarian, (quoting from an AUTOCAT survey on heidihoerman.com) about interview attire. Having interviewed for many professional positions, and served on interview committees, I think the advice is sound and generally applies to anyone. When in doubt wear a suit! I was recently stressing about how to afford one and a coworker suggested JCPenney for good sales – they were right. (And Penney’s has petites, and various inseam options! Yay!). Thrift and consignment shops can also be great options for tight budgets. Always present the best YOU you can at an interview. University at Buffalo students can access Career Services for help preparing for interviews and writing resumes.

Personal story: About ten years ago a case management supervisor of mine called me into her office to talk with me about wearing a sweatshirt and jeans to work. I was young, and was assigned to conduct a home visit at a very unhygienic home that day (bugs, food decay, other unmentionables). I didn’t mean to offend, just thought I would dress for the job that day. I felt pretty embarrassed about the reprimand from my supervisor but she said something that has stuck with me for years and has always served me well (and, I promise, will be relevant to the original topic):

“Don’t necessarily dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want“.

Of course there are many complexities and issues with this statement, but overall it is a very good mantra. While we’re students, our employers and practicum supervisors tend to be really understanding about our financial situations and the fact that we may be wearing the same thing for 14 hours (class, lab, practicum, then job, all in the same day sometimes!). But when we get to the interview point and beyond it’s possible expectations will change. Whether or not a particular library/library department will require a dress code once hired, it’s just good practice to dress for success for the interview. Just my two cents on a very dear topic. Others’ insights and experiences on this are more than welcome.

UNYSLA Conference: The Future Is Now – some personal reflections April 23, 2006

Posted by jennimi in About me, Conference, marketing yourself, Special Libraries Association.
comments closed

I attended the Upstate New York Chapter Special Libraries Association conference Friday as a student panelist. The experience was pretty positive all around. As students, we were welcomed and encouraged, and we were fed very well.

Allison Evatt, from Thomson Dialog gave a very clear presentation about how to market ourselves as information specialists, as well as how to write an “Elevator Speech“. To many this process may be de rigueur, but to me it was a welcome exercise in personal subject analysis.

I had met Allison in fall of 2004, when she spoke to my Reference class about how to use the web-based Dialog product – have since learned the command driven product as well, and we had a funny talk about that (once you learn command line searching, you can learn ANY searching). Her presentation was aimed at working professionals in special libraries, but since the audience was populated with many students and recent grads, she related much of her content to our concerns. Extremely applicable and meaty content. Much appreciated. One of the main points I came away with was the importance of branding. It’s old hat in the corporate world, but academic librarians/libraries can also benefit from a consistent and simple look and feel.

I will also be checking out Dialog’s Quantum workshops. You don’t have to be a Dialog customer to participate. Very cool.

I enjoyed putting myself in this mindset of marketing myself and my services as an information navigator, even if this involved, for the time being, imagining myself in a paid position. As always happens in these events, time moved quickly. I would have liked more discussion about my favorite marketing tool: blogs. Luckily I did get to chat up blogging, RSS and aggregators – informally – after the afternoon panel discussion of students and practitioners. Aside: great post in Lifehacker about using blogs to build your reputation.

The panel consisted of three practicing librarians and three student panelists, one of whom, Shannon Kealey, is a friend and colleague (we have worked together on DLIS club projects, and are working together on a Management project). Shannon has had experience in academic career services, and shared some wonderful pointers and insights from her experience.

We had been given questions for which to prepare, but unfortunately time did not permit discussion of all issues. “Job Search Challenges” dominated (perhaps understandably), as did tenure issues (strange question for SLA, but interesting perspectives were shared by many). “What will I be doing in 5-10 years” beat out “How did coursework help me prepare my professional skillset?” This was unfortunate for me as my enthusiasm, at the moment, shines through more with the latter topic. The work I have completed in my Indexing and Digital Libraries classes, as well as Collection Development, Digital Information Retrieval, and Arts and Sciences Libraries Reference Practicum has been challenging, exciting, interesting, and fun, and has – for me – joined the realms of library philosophy and real world application of skills.

It has been said to me before and I agree: what you get out of your graduate work is what you put into it. I guess that goes with anything, including conferences. Hats off to A. Ben Wagner, of the University at Buffalo Arts and Sciences Libraries, for making us all feel so welcome, and Beth Brown of Binghampton University libraries and President Elect of UNYSLA for a well oiled conference. You can find out more about the local SLA happenings at SLA Student Group at UB, which is maintained by Ben Hockenberry. Finally, thanks to Susan LaValley, outgoing SLA Student Chapter president, for inviting me to participate, and doing such a great job preparing us for the panel discussion.