Tag: job hunt

Official Posting Notice for Youth Service Manager Job

Madame Director informs me that the formal job posting is up and I’ve seen it on a number of job boards. To the resumes!!

Seriously, if you are interested at all, I do recommend applying. There is a lot of potential for growth and development of this department. There is also a lot of potential for baked goods and (if I’m productive) occasional knitted surprises.

What do I think we’re looking for? Someone dynamic, enthusiastic, leadership, whimsy, forward thinking, and ready to experiment. Are we willing to look nationally? Absolutely. I came from IL/NY, another reference librarian from OR and a new hire starting next month in another department is from FL. So there’s an interesting mix between people who have lived here their entire years and people brand new to the area (and yes, brand new lasts the first 10 years of residence).

Please check out my other post and the job ad. Again, please feel free to send questions my way (email on the blog site) and pass to those you think should be applying.

Want to Work With Me? Head of YS at LPL Position

I’ve been given a green light to start circulating this information though I don’t have a formal job posting available for you as yet.

My immediate supervisor, our Head of Youth Services, will be retiring the first week of August. We are beginning a search for a replacement.

La Crosse, WI is a town of 50,000 on the banks of the Mississippi with a Main Library and two satellite branch libraries. Our youth services department is very lively, with highly attended storytimes and I’ve got a healthy knitting group that meets on Wednesdays. Our teen librarian does a lot with gaming, which draws in a high number of young men, and we’re doing a lock-in in August. The community heavily uses the library and loves coming into our bright and cheerful children’s area, where we have computers, puzzles, highly beloved bean bag chairs, and a vintage giraffe. It’s a space built and intended for children and has the added benefit of being a little bit separated from the rest of the building, allowing for children to be a little noisier.

The youth services staff (head, 4FT, 2PT, 5 aides) is based at the main branch with forays to the branches for programming and collection development responsibilities. We had a dozen at tie-dying at one of the branches last week and eighty for a program on bi-lingual bugs. We are supported by the community and are blessed with an extremely dynamic director. The staff as a whole is coming to embrace social networking tools with internal blogs, wikis, etc. Our current website is being revamped, yours truly is responsible for the new youth and teen sites when they go up (October).

As many of you know, I came to LPL from Chicago Public Library last November. The staff has been very welcoming. The winter was one of the harsher ones I’ve survived–but the natives were saying that too, so apparently it wasn’t just me. Three local coffee shops within a ten minute walk of the library–one of which makes good soup, another good donuts. If you want to buy there are a lot of houses for sale or there are a number of nice apartment complexes. And I know where to get good waffle fries but have not yet explored the banana splits.

If this sounds interesting, please email me questions and I’ll be happy to answer what I can (my email is on my blog website). If you know someone who would be interested, please forward this on to them.

Once the official job posting goes out, I’ll let you know.

And, as I said with our last position: We’ve got a hedgehog and a raccoon— what can you add to the mix?

The Forbidden Question: Salary

It came up again on a listserv tonight–a frantic interviewee wondering when she could ask about the salary for a position. Immediately the responses poured in: You never ask.

Why is that? Explain this to me me. First of all, I have a serious issue with a job advertisement that doesn’t list at the minimum a range. But that’s for another time and place. Why does it make me the “loser” –as one person put it–to ask about money in an interview? While we all are coming to our professions for various reasons and while we would hope we are pursuing something we love–this is a job. We’re interviewing because we’d like to get paid so we can afford an apartment, food, and whatever your equivalent of yarn is. There’s an amount we can afford to work for and an amount we can’t. A few years ago I turned down an in person interview because it was a position in Manhattan and they wanted to offer me $26K. I couldn’t make rent on that–so, for me it wasn’t worth even wasting my time on an interview I wasn’t very sure about anyway.

I dislike the idea of waiting until getting a job offer to hear the salary. To me, that’s tacky and somewhat shady on the part of the employer. If you can’t give me an exact figure, that’s fine, but give me a range or a minimum. You expect me to come in and present myself, explain why I want to work for you, explain how I will benefit and aid your company/library etc. Do me the courtesy of addressing something that you know is on my mind–the size of the paycheck. If you get it out of the way, I’m a lot less likely to worry about it and more likely to be able to answer your other questions. If you don’t tell me, I’m going to sit through the next hour with you worrying that you’re going to offer me this job–which I want– and I’ll have to decline because it will never cover my financial needs. Many young librarians have heavy student loan debts–they need to find something to support them through paying them off. Why waste your time and mine by not being upfront?

The interviewee had the idea she might wait until the end when they asked if they had any more questions and inquire about a range. I agreed with this idea–but suggested she lead off with another question or two first so it wasn’t a sharp transition. I also gave the suggestion of waiting and calling the Human Resources Department/Business Manager after the interview. That way it’s not something you need to address that day. I know in most libraries it will get back to the interviewing panel that you called and asked but I don’t think it should be to the interviewee’s detriment. You can phrase it as “I was there interviewing the other day and when I got home, I realized I had forgotten to ask about the salary range for this position.”

Why is salary a forbidden question? Do employers not realize that a lack of salary in the job ad makes me automatically assume they’re not paying much? Why is it that when we’re spending it money is something to brag about, but when we’re earning it, it’s a filthy subject?


Where Do I Go to Job Hunt?

Recently, I volunteered to share the plethora of places where I grab job information. This is not an “I’m job hunting” announcement. I’m happy at my current POW. But it’s often been pointed out to me that you never know when that ideal job will come and you certainly don’t know the state of the job market unless you keep a casual eye on these things. In this day and age of RSS aggregation and incredibly detailed job search agents–it’s a lot easier than it seems. If I don’t have time to read it–select all and trash. If I see something interesting, I read through the job ad and wonder if they’d consider my resume. If not, it’s a good way to figure out what I need to be doing next.

General Job Sites–Use the Search Agents!:

Yahoo! HotJobs

I use these with a grain of salt but you can hone the search agents pretty finely. Then when it kicks something to you, you know it will be worth your while. You can also put your resume on these sites.

Library Jobs via Email:

HigherEdJobs (search agent)
Jinfo (Uk Jobs Mostly)

Library Jobs via RSS:

Combined Library Job Postings (from the amazing Sarah at Library Job Postings and incredible Rachel at LisJobs)
ALA Job List (can also do an RSS search agent)
Chronicle for Higher Education
SLIS Career Feed
Metro Magnet Career Center (NY region)
ACRL/NY Events and Jobs
Lib_bling.com (Boston region)

Other recommended places to look–but may not have a feed/email:

Local Consortia in Chicago Region (NSLS, PALS, MLS )
State Public Library Listservs (e.g. WisPubLib (general emails but also job ads))
Craigslist.org (random stuff pops up here)
LisCareer.com (Not a job site but has much useful information)
Specialized Libraries Lists/Sites (e.g. Medical Library Association Site ; SLA )
Employment Resources for Librarians (haven’t used this much)
Association of Research Libraries
Library Associates (Job Placement Firm)
LJ Classified
C Berger (Job Placement Firm)
News Jobs

Finally–I recommend you read the recent post by the Well Dressed Librarian, whose just undertaken a full time job hunt. He’s got some great points and tips.

Thoughts on Mr. Berry and NEWLIB-L (Long Post)

John Berry recently posted about the “Jobless Jitters” on NewLib-L, which is a listserv that I do read, though I’ve found it counter intuitive to participate very much.

I joined NewLib not too long ago and immediately found a number of all too familiar names. There’s at least one guy on there whose jobless whining I’ve been listening to for almost as long as I’ve been with my current boyfriend (18 months) on a variety of listservs. It is, unfortunately, the whining and extended cries for rallying against authority (in this case ALA and library schools), that make up the majority of John’s post and I’m saddened by that. I’ve come close to unsubscribing several times. I find myself emotionally exhausted trying to wade through the garbage of “if we convince students to quit school there will be less people graduating–fewer job candidates–and all of us who are whining can get jobs” etc etc.

As a relatively new librarian and as one who has struggled to break into the professional field, I feel somewhat qualified to discuss the state of the job hunt. It has been a long, strenuous, painful struggle both times. My first job hunt took eight months and culminated in a position that I loved but that meant I wasn’t in the “official” field of library science but rather in a wing of it. I took a lot of heat from librarians about the job. I was accused of abandoning the field and told that if I “really” wanted to be a librarian I should take a part time job and not be able to make my rent. This was a terrifying suggestion to make to a young woman paying her own way in NYC.

Relocating in September, I officially became “unemployed” again. To say I’m truly without work is untrue–I work part time at a theater and I am paying rent by freelancing but I don’t have what most of us consider a “real job.” I’m applying, I’ve been on interviews and eventually I’ll find the right position. I’m in a place that is not particularly enviable. I moved away from my school contacts, several of my professional contacts, and the universities and systems that I was most familiar with because of a relocation that I needed to make. Considering I started the job hunt last May, I’m looking at nearly a year before I get into a “professional” job in my field. I’m living with the consequences.

In argument to recent threads I’ve seen on NewLib and other places, I’m not entitled to a job. I am entitled by my degree to pursue a professional career in library and information science. If I don’t succeed in getting a job, then it is my responsibility as a candidate to figure out how I can improve myself. I wouldn’t want a substandard librarian in my library helping me because my library felt that “had to give them a chance” and I think most of us would prefer not to have to be satisfied with inferior informational assistance. The hiring team is looking for the best candidate–not the one who has sat on unemployment the longest and should just be given another shot.

Yes–my professors did tell us everyone was retiring. I’d also heard it from professionals before I started library school. And you know-it’s true. But they are retiring from directorial positions and when everyone shifts up, the bottom run is getting de-professionalized. Not to say that para-professionals aren’t as qualified–I know two people whose library skills are FAR beyond mine and one doesn’t have a bachelors. However, it is disenchanting to watch jobs being posted with a pay cut and a BA requirement–and knowing the library is less likely to hire you because you have an MLS and “might leave for a professional position.”

I don’t feel like we need another ‘advocacy team’ that wastes resources while trying to place candidates whose professional lack of development or inability to hold positions leaves them with resumes that are (at best) questionable. I also have a hard time believing that people who are unsuccessful in the career as a librarian or in general (some of them just seem to be thriving on unemployment checks after getting fired) would be the best “advocates.” Do I really want a unemployed falsely humble “advocate” with a healthy sense of entitlement to represent me? Hmmmmm….

I’m a part of NewLib to try and find the good points and the good friends that come of it. There have been a few suggestions that have come out recently that were useful. I’m glad Susan is daring enough to have it.

I wish John wouldn’t have focused only on the negative threads–although if more hiring directors etc etc are reading NewLib then (going back to my post the other day) it seems like the loudest complainers will only make a greater name for themselves as problem children. And then there is always the question–if an unemployed librarian who has made a name for him/herself as such gets a job–do they suffer a completely loss of identity?