Ten Ways U.S. Librarians Can Inform the American Electorate by Kathy Dempsey

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This poster is available at http://www.congress.gov, along with nine short videos that explain each of the steps.

by Kathy Dempsey (Information Today)

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Vol. 30 No. 2 — Mar/Apr 2016

It’s no secret that the American political landscape has grown more divided in recent years. The conservative right has been fracturing since the emergence of the Tea Party. The liberal left hasn’t been as internally divided, but that’s changing now since the Democratic field has officially been narrowed to just two presidential candidates.

As I write this article on Presidents Day in February, it’s impossible to escape the presidential primaries, since debates seem to be on TV every week and since they’re covered in the media daily. Misinformation is everywhere. It’s hard to know what to believe. This is where librarians come in.

I realize that many of you happily avoid bringing politics into your work. After all, you’re supposed to be unbiased, right? And you can’t afford to alienate anyone. You probably have your hands full doing your regular duties of promoting good searching and wise information usage. You’re also tasked with doing outreach, increasing library awareness and use, and even “building community.” So why would you want to get involved in politics? Because those tasks can relate directly to elections.

I see a huge place for librarians in the American political process. Think about it: You’re the people most qualified to fight misinformation and guide the electorate to vetted research sources. One way to reach out to people who don’t normally use libraries and to build awareness of why they still matter is to become the center for the most trustworthy data. And when trying to build community, you need a topic that affects and interests everyone, something to bring them together in discussion.

In this especially contentious election year, U.S. voters desperately need to be able to separate fact from fiction in order to make well-informed choices in the primaries and in the November election. Why not prove your value by becoming the top place in your community for fact-finding and discourse? You can save people time by pointing them to good resources, by helping them understand differing viewpoints, and by offering an unbiased, safe place to learn. Here are 10 specific ways that you can do that, in any type of library, without taking sides.

1. Create a portal of voting information. You can find much of what you need by linking to local, state, and federal sites. Include information on voter registration (try www.usa.gov/register-to-vote): links that are specific to your state, application deadlines, locations and hours of polling places, etc. Be sure to offer info on absentee ballots, especially if you’re in a university library, where many young people may be living on campus, outside of their home voting districts. This is the least you can do to inform the electorate.  Read more….

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10 Ways The Job Application Process Is Changing

 

 

10 Ways The Job Application Process Is Changing

1. Applicants Are Using E-Notes 

The job search application is becoming less formal and this trend has extended to cover letters. While I still recommend having a well-written one handy, sending a briefer and less formal version in the body of an email — an e-note — as opposed to attaching a separate document, is increasing in popularity and acceptance. One should still include interest, achievements and relevant skills.   – Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRWReFresh Your Step, LLC 

2. Job Ads Are Not Where You Put Your Energy 

It’s not all that new but the reality is that the online employment system is broken. Employers post job ads and then become overwhelmed with candidates who aren’t quite right. The real power lies in getting connected through LinkedIn LNKD +0.16%, colleagues, professional associations and network meetings. Figure out where you want to work and then create a job or tap an unadvertised position.   – Laura DeCarloCareer Directors international 

Read more…_

10 Irresistible Traits of the Smartest People

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Positive psychology teaches us exceptional behaviors that draw others to us like a fly to flypaper. Here are 10 to get you going.

Successful People Who Love Their Work: 4 Career Moves They Avoid

by Kathy Caprino

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Photo Courtesy: iStock

Being a researcher at heart, I love to explore key trends that reflect the deepest challenges professionals face. And if I can, I like to distill down to the bare essentials the vital lessons that successful professionals and career changers have gleaned from their respective journeys. People who have built amazing careers and work-lives of significance that they love, and who find their livelihoods immensely rewarding both emotionally and financially — have a lot to teach us.

Those lessons include how to avoid the four most limiting actions that so often lead to unfulfilling or even disastrous job and career moves. Successful professionals avoid these four moves: Read more…

 

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