Career Advice | Job interviews |Women in the workplace
by Robin Mamlet | February 21, 2017
Tim Foley for The Chronicle
As women move up the leadership ranks in higher education, they find fewer and fewer female peers. That’s been fairly well documented by the American Council on Education and other sources, and is no surprise to those of us in the executive-search industry.
Why that’s the case is a topic fraught with complexity. There is the matter of stepping up and Leaning In to be sure, but there is also sexism — sometimes the overt kind and sometimes the subtle kind that occurs all along the leadership trajectory and affects who is mentored, who is labeled “leadership material,” and who gets the kind of opportunities and assignments that lead most directly to advancement.
Of the many factors that limit women’s advancement, two are things we ought to be able to resolve: how candidates present themselves in job interviews and how search committees interpret those interviews. Read more…
by Bahark Yousefi
Thursday, May 19, 2016
I am in the business of encouraging librarians to apply for library management jobs. When I come across smart, awesome, politically progressive librarians (which happens with delightful frequency), I try to convince them to consider management. This is not because I think management is the only path forward for these wonderful humans, but because I want more smart, awesome, and politically progressive folks at those tables. I want them there because libraries need to be changing in big, fundamental ways, and right now, as things stand, that’s where the power to push for those changes resides. Often, the librarian (aka my target) will ask me what I think it takes to be a good library manager and my answer, without fail, is “be a decent human being.” Now, as true as that may be, I appreciate that it is not very specific. What follows is an attempt to expand the list, in no particular order:
- Be a decent human being (still #1).
- Be the kind of boss that tells employees about their rights and then helps them claim and exercise those rights.
- Be absolutely committed to transparency. Do not assume that you know what others need/don’t need to know (of course, be mindful of all the legal and ethical stuff).
- Have a vision. Care very, very passionately about something and make sure everyone knows what that is.
- Make absolutely sure that people who work for you have the resources to do their work. If resources are scarce, then change their work. Do less with less and more with more. Read more…
For librarians, being more progressive means embracing new ways of approaching their job and the role of the library in a university. Progressive librarians are working to revitalize libraries by making them more than simply places that store information. Part museum, part lab, progressive libraries are exploring and defining their services based on people’s needs.
“Librarians find themselves in the midst of trying to reinvent themselves and what they do,” says Sebastien Marion, virtual services librarian at New York Institute of Technology. “The challenge is how to go from book-storage places to collection places to places that engage with skills.”
Progressive librarianship has a number of defining components. Progressive librarians support reading culture, in an academic environment in which many are pushing for all-digital libraries. Progressive librarians support personal learning, and see the library as a place where personal learning and lifelong exploration can take center stage.
Here are 10 tips for librarians looking for ways to become more progressive.
1. Focus on the human component: Libraries might be seen as places to go work quietly, but progressive librarians look for ways to make libraries more human-centric. Read more…
Because today’s librarians must be experts in dealing with both physical and digital information, we have identified the Top 5 skills every librarian must have, or develop, in order to succeed now and into the future. I will touch on all five today and explore them individually in the weeks to come.
1. Information Curation
Since the primary role of any type of library is information curation, the need for that skill set will never go away. However it will evolve as volume and variety of information expands. As content creation becomes available to all, information curation becomes a more critical skill. Librarians are becoming increasingly vital in the process of evaluating and editing what is most valuable, as well as categorizing and classifying it for easy retrieval and use.
2. In-Depth, High Value Research
The digital information environment operates mostly on a ‘Find It Yourself’ paradigm, a model that has threatened the very existence of librarians. Yet finding what they need and want can be a significant challenge for consumers and users of information. Most people lack good research skills and all of us are dealing with a velocity and volume of information that is difficult to manage. As the proverbial haystack gets bigger, finding the needle gets tougher, making librarians a valuable go-to resource. Read more…