Contributors

Our intention with two librarian and a blog is to create a repository of ideas and experiences from a diverse body of people who are either librarians or other types of information professionals and who have also experienced library school. i.e. “a snapshot of life outside of library school”. With this in mind we decided to invite a few contributors to our blog. Today, Shannon and I are glad to announce that Lisa Hubbell has joined us! You can read more about Lisa on our contributors page!!

Leaving the job hunt behind

I will be starting my first post-MLIS job on Monday, as Learning Commons Director at a small university. I am thrilled to have found a full-time professional position at a living wage, when so many of the jobs out there are part-time, on-call, or paraprofessional. Yes, I worked hard and prepared well for my interviews, and my background and personality are a good fit for the position, but it still feels like an enormous blessing has fallen into my lap. (I’d also like to see it as a sign that the economy and the job market are getting better, which seems possible as I see more of my classmates getting hired in recent months. For anyone looking for library jobs at the moment, I wish similar good fortune.)

What I notice now is that my time, energy, and attention will shift considerably in the coming weeks. I have been job hunting in one way or another for more than seven years: some as an independent consultant in my previous field, some focusing on library school, but always keeping an eye on job listings and application deadlines (see previous post for my sources). And then checking whether I met the qualifications, looking up background on the institutions, tailoring resumes and cover letters, and submitting applications on time.

Now I realize I can let go of reading those e-mails, scanning those websites, visualizing so many different possibilities, wondering what I can budget. So far, the material is still coming into my inbox on a daily basis. My first reaction has been to keep reading it, to stay in the long habit of seeing what’s out there, maybe to forward good opportunities to friends. After so many years, it’s an abrupt weaning not to have to do any of that. But at this stage it’s time to unsubscribe, prune my personal learning network, and refocus.

Next week, I will be immersed in a new environment. My time and attention will be directed towards purposes that are much less uncertain, and will be remunerated. I imagine a huge sense of relief and an infusion of energy, as I meet new colleagues and embark on that learning curve. Of course this shift is welcome. But today, I acknowledge the work I’m leaving behind, and the routines and mental loads carried by so many job hunters.

Places I looked for library job and internship listings

Now that I’ve found a steady librarian job (yay!), here’s a list of some of the sources I relied on during the search:

http://inalj.com/  I Need a Library Job: daily listings of library and information positions across the country.

http://www.indeed.com/  Very comprehensive job search engine, aggregating listings from many employment web sites. Links take you straight to the job descriptions. You can set up e-mail alerts for any combination of key words, and your desired distance from any zip code.

http://www.calopps.org/  Public employment opportunities in California (including internships). You can set this up to receive e-mail alerts for specific types of jobs and locations.

http://www.edjoin.org/  Searchable database of job openings in California public schools. You can customize and save job searches for type and location; I don’t remember if it sends alerts.

And several Twitter feeds related to library jobs: @HiringLib @needalibraryjob @CalLibAssoc @libgig_jobs @GetLibraryJobs @ALA_JobLIST

Also, you can often sign up for e-mail alerts of public library openings through the HR websites of their cities and counties.

Courses Taken and Not Taken (Yet)

Now that I’m done with the MLIS, I’m sitting back and observing ongoing students’ discussions about what classes to squeeze in before finishing the program. Some students need to flesh out competencies, some don’t want to miss the most inspiring professors, and some crave the time to delve deeper into fun and fascinating aspects of librarianship. I remember that feeling, wishing there was room for two or three more classes in order to really do justice to my own vision for the MLIS. But when it came down to the final semester, I was surprised to find myself ready to stop having homework deadlines and just finish the program. Continue reading

Footsteps

A few months ago, after much deliberation, I made the decision to come to Washington, DC. I felt a longing to live here and had often daydreamed about working in our nation’s capital. There was never a specific thing that enticed me here or at least none that I’ve given shape to. So, when I set my goal to pursue opportunities here, I was rendered dumb when a friend and colleague asked me, Why DC? Continue reading

Twitter

I usually read a bit of news in the morning while having my first cup of coffee of the day. It’s not intense reading because this – 20/30min of reading while having coffee – usually requires a lot of browsing/swiping/flipping to get to something interesting since I use Flipboard and/or Pulse where a lot of news articles get published multiple times by different subscriptions. Continue reading

Sitting In Our Success

This past winter, after some vacillation about where I wanted to go after graduation, I decided to check out our nation’s capital while completing a six-month internship at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). So, instead of attending my graduation as I had originally planned, I bustled around one of the many neighborhoods in D.C. getting the lay of the land. Continue reading