Fortunately, librarians are the original oversharers, and they’ve produced a body of literature—from blogs posts to articles to books—to help you with your decision. This is especially useful since librarians come in different stripes—public, academic, school, special—with some significant differences among them. Librarians also conduct a lot of their professional lives online, so blogs, Twitter, and e-mail lists are all great places to soak up information.
I don’t know about “original oversharers”… seems like we may have picked that up from our patrons’ tendency to ramble on about things sometimes. ;-)
But it’s definitely true that there is more and more focus on people, even as we also dabble in all things technological.
All of her tips are good things to remember.
We’ve recently been through the process of interviewing and hiring several new librarians at my library (yay!!). These were my first times on the other side of the table, so to speak, and interviewing was definitely an eye-opening process. As I was poring through resumes and cover letters and Skyping with candidates, I thought about what advice I would give to people applying for librarian jobs. A lot of this might be stuff you’ve heard elsewhere, but evidently not everyone has heard it.
Helpful for anyone just starting out with Twitter. :)
So what to do when a job posting asks for the kitchen sink, and you’ve only got a random assortment of kitchen gadgets on your CV? For starters, accept the fact that you’re not going to have everything they want. I know that many people giving job advice will say you’re wasting the search committee’s time if you apply and lack the required qualifications. That may be the case for an MLS degree—you either have it or you don’t—but for other qualifications it is often a bit squishier. As a Canadian colleague recently aptly put it on Twitter: “I never understood postings requiring specific skills. I have never known how to do something before it was my job.” Exactly.
For me, the question of whether or not to go ahead and try even if I don’t have every single qualification they list has everything to do with how many other job applications I’m working on, when they’re all due, and whether the other positions I’m looking at are better fits. If two jobs have the same (looming) closing date and I have everything that one of them asks for (or more things that they ask for), then I’m going to devote my attention to that one since my time is limited.
Another bit toward the end is helpful advice:
The key advice here is just get yourself in the door. Don’t misrepresent what you can do, but if you mostly meet the job requirements, throw your name in the hat. Tout what you can do, and how you want to grow and develop. A smart employer will also be considering your intangibles, and someone may well open the door. That’s step one.
There are some great tips here for anyone who needs to look presentable without having lots of money to spend (e.g. new librarians). :)
Here are some quick and simple upgrades from an undergraduate to a graduate work wardrobe:
- Cleanliness is key: No more “off the floor, out the door.”
- If you sleep in it or wear it to the gym, it doesn’t go to work. No sweats, baggy tees, yoga pants, amorphous tank tops, hoodies, etc.
- Pay attention to fit: Cheaper clothes can look great if you find the right fit. Even expensive clothes look ridiculous if they are too tight or baggy.
- No visible bra straps/visible underwear/obvious cleavage/micro-miniskirts: This really should go without saying. Some would argue not baring your shoulders in a very conservative environment. Look at the culture around you for guidance. For skirts, two-three inches above the knee is as high as you need to go.
- Get some good shoes: Flats, pumps, boots, etc, as long as they are in good condition and walkable. Try to leave the gym shoes in the gym bag.
- Don’t be afraid of second hand when on a budget: Graduate stipends can be notoriously tight, so try curated second hand stores such as the Buffalo Exchange which often have great clothes at high discounts.
- Discount stores can be great: This is similar to the second hand advice. Stores such as Nordstrom Rack often have the same clothes as the primary store at a good discount. This is a great way to get more high-quality items with good construction that will last and won’t break your budget.
- The blazer is your friend: A good blazer thrown over a tee and jeans instantly upgrades a look. Try to find one that fits you well in a neutral color like black, navy or khaki; it will last forever.
- Upgrade your bag: Don’t be afraid to ditch your old backpack in favor of a functional messenger bag or multifunctional laptop case. Bonus points for natural materials like canvas or leather.
- Have a few “go-to” accessories: Having one or two good accessories such as a nice watch, earrings, or belt can tie together a very basic outfit that would be otherwise unremarkable
Of course, the norms for your situation may require more/less effort.
11. Roam a library.
You never know which book, author, or topic will speak to you from the shelves. You might just find what you didn’t even know you were looking for.
This post illustrates some of the downsides of Twitter (and social media in general), particularly when there are disagreements between participants about what is acceptable behavior. And text can leave a lot to be desired in terms of conveying intended meaning and emoticons and LOLs only do so much.
Personally, I’m pretty careful about what I say when it’s not directly work-related because I put my Twitter handle on my resume and I don’t want stuff I said on the internet to be the reason I’m not considered for a job. (Particularly since I am actively searching for a new position right now—only three more months until my contract ends!)
Even more unhealthy is the way that relationships within the library are so often handled along a factory floor model rather than on the basis of shared governance. This is really curious, considering the work done in libraries and the values we supposedly uphold. You’d be hard put to find a library director who didn’t support vigorously the concept of intellectual freedom. But you might be a bit challenged to find a library that practices it wholeheartedly in their own organizational structure. It would seem shocking indeed in many if not most libraries to believe that all those who work there should be allowed to speak their minds and decide what work to do, based on their professional judgment – or to set their own deadlines, work from home, work odd hours, play an equal role in negotiating departmental priorities, dress however they like – or even make their own choice about when to eat lunch.
It means that I’m never truly off. I’m always able to contact or be contacted. Both the bane and boon of the technological grad student life.
That is why it is so important to shut off sometimes. Always being able to check our work email or be contacted means that we never fully relax. Try turning off more; it will not only make you more relaxed but less dependent on your phone.
I have to say, one of the great things about my current job is that I cannot access my work email from anywhere except work. I’m also less likely to check Twitter and my real-name Gmail account when I’m not at work (since I primarily use those for library-related purposes) and I’ve found it quite helpful to have that time of being disengaged and doing other things I want/need to do so I can better devote my attention to work when I’m at work.
New librarians are entering the job market fresh from receiving their master’s degree (MLIS). The months and years spent in the classroom are behind them and they are anxious for the next chapter of their lives to begin. Some have already found job opportunities. Others are still in the job hunt and wondering when a job offer will appear. For them, this is a time of doubt. Was getting an MLIS the right thing to do? Weren’t a ton of librarians suppose to be retiring? Is this the right time to be a librarian?
1) Launching a Private Social Media Account
2) Having a Disproportionate Follower:Following Ratio
3) Writing Updates That Are Too Long
4) The Airing of Grievances
5) Talking Smack About Competitors
6) Making Off-Color Comments
7) Publicly Solving Customer Service Issues
8) Hijacking Hashtags
9) Piling Your Tweets With Too Many Hashtags
10) Insulting Your Customer Base
11) “Targeting” Poorly With Automation
12) Posting WAY Too Frequently
13) Retweeting Instead of Generating Original Content
I have two comments:
2) My library cannot possibly follow as many people as follow us (we have nearly 13,000 followers and there’s concerns about following being taken as endorsement… we don’t presently have a policy, so I play it very safe in who that account follows.)
12) The example on this one isn’t very good.
Graduate school can make you feel “less than,” but every step of grad school (and venturing beyond it) requires the knowledge of your unique advantages. When suffering from imposter syndrome or some other discouragement, take a lesson from Business and count your assets. Otherwise known as counting your blessings, listing your assets can help you feel better, come to a better knowledge of yourself, and—best of all—it only takes a few minutes (no accounting required!).
Good advice for those of us who are still relatively new to our profession, as well.
Written with government in mind, but applies to anyone using Twitter for professional/organizational purposes.
I learned so many lessons about the Web on jury duty last week. Here are just a few.
Write Like What You Say Will Be Read To A Jury
I’m not speaking abstractly here. If you document your life dramas online, and if those dramas end up in court, the lawyers will dig it all up. Work emails are one thing, but people in this case admitted private Facebook messages as character evidence.
The plaintiff deleted one message that would have been a key part of the testimony, and the very omission was damning. After so many of these people’s emails and wall posts had been read to us in the courtroom, we knew what that message said.