The Next Generation of Librarians

Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School

June 22, 2017

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A librarian mentor talks with interns in a speed-mentoring round at the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative kickoff in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tracey Salazar

“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”

“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”

“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”

These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.

Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”

Read more…

Member of the Week: Susanne M. Markgren

Mentoring | ACRL | Career development | Influencer

Susanne M. Markgren is the assistant director for technical services at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. Susanne first joined ACRL in 2008 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 15, 2017.

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1. Describe yourself in three words: Adaptable, inquisitive, resilient.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently obsessed with short stories, and I’m alternating between these three amazing collections: Joy Williams’ The Visiting Privilege, Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women, and Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories.

In the car and on walks, I like to listen to The Moth Radio Hour, or The Moth Podcast. True stories, well told. Totally addictive.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Scalable, motivational, community.

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Note: Stephanie Gross has been a mentor with ACRL/NY since the Mentoring Program’s inception. For more information concerning Susanne and the mentoring program:

Susanne Markgren
ACRL/NY Mentoring Program Coordinator
email: acrlnymentoring@gmail.com
http://acrlny.org/

Do Not Make a Career Decision Without This List

Career advice | Mentoring |Employment

by Shana Montesol Johnson

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Are you trying to figure out what your next career move should be? Do not make a career decision without a list of your core values.

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What Are Core Values?

Core values are the interests and qualities that you’ve always found yourself drawn to. Core values make us who we are.  When our work and life are aligned with them, we feel most fully ourselves and fully energized. We are naturally inclined toward our core values, and are eager to do them without making a lot of effort or setting a bunch of goals.

For example, some people love to repair or fix stuff – as kids, they took apart their toys only to put them back together, and as adults they still love tinkering in the garage.  “Repairing” is a value for them – they don’t have to force themselves to fix stuff, they just do it. Read more…

Professional Development: Doing it on your own

Career advice | Professional development | Continuing education

by Erica Calvert

April 26, 2017

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Whether you are a novice into a degreed-field job hunt or are a veteran of the discipline, securing a job can be a daunting feat. Luckily there is a plethora of resources, organizations and websites that are dedicated to helping jobseekers. With this support system we find ourselves on a path to cultivate an environment conducive to securing our dream job.

We find and are ready to apply to a professional job for which we feel well qualified. We have scoured the internet for tips on interview questions, protocol and etiquette. We can find online help for formatting, editing and polishing resumes and cover letters. But sometimes those resumes may be a bit deflated, when in a paraprofessional position or entry level job it can be hard keeping your resume up to snuff for a larger position, as funding and opportunities for professional development are not usually in place. And day to day duties and interactions may not be giving you specific experience that a professional position calls for.

But what’s next?

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What to do with your MLIS degree: Landing a job with an MLIS degree | LibGig

Career Advice | Library School | Employment

The library is dead, long live the librarian.

Libraries are not dead, of course. Or, to paraphrase another popular expression, “The reports of the library’s death have been greatly exaggerated”.

Yet the confusion and even fear I am seeing in current and recent MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) graduates has motivated me to weigh in with some reassurances and ideas on jobs to pursue with an MLIS degree.

Rest assured, your MLIS training and skills are valuable

The amount of new digital content being created every day is beyond human comprehension. Book publishing stats are mind-boggling; with e-books and self-publishing, it seems like everyone is an author these days. Digitization has blurred the lines between data and content. Technology does a lot, but now more than ever, there’s a need for human guidance and intervention.

The letters “MLIS” may not directly connect you to job opportunities and that credential on its own may not mean much to some employers. Your job search won’t always be easy, and it will require thinking outside the box and self-promotion. But jobs are out there, and the training and capabilities your MLIS degree has given you are valuable and needed. Go forward with confidence in your ability to find the right opportunity. Read more…

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Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule

Productivity | Live-long learning | Constant learning | Management

By Michael Simmons (Empact)

Benjamin Franklin did this 1 hour a day, 5 hours a week. Why you should do it too.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

This is a post from Michael Simmons, co-founder of Empact.

With Ian Chew

At the age of 10, Benjamin Franklin left formal schooling to become an apprentice to his father. As a teenager, he showed no particular talent or aptitude aside from his love of books.

When he died a little over half a century later, he was America’s most respected statesman, its most famous inventor, a prolific author, and a successful entrepreneur.

What happened between these two points to cause such a meteoric rise? Read more…

Underlying the answer to this question is a success strategy for life that we can all use, and increasingly must use.

The five-hour rule:
Read more…

Stop Answering “What’s Your Greatest Weakness” with Badly-Spun Positives

Career Advice | Interviews | Employment

by Alan Henry 1-20-2015

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The idea that you should answer “what’s your biggest weakness” in a job interview with something that’s really just a positive trait (“I’m a workaholic!” or “I’m a perfectionist!”) is something you’ll hear often from career coaches. The truth is, just stop. Every interviewer everywhere has heard it before, and would rather you just be honest.

This is one of those job hunting tips that’s often repeated. We’ve discussed how to best answer this question before, among other tricky interview questions, but if you catch yourself about to spin a positive into something that could appear negative just to get through the question without looking like you actually have any weaknesses, you’ve probably revealed your real issue then and there—a lack of clarity, honesty, and capacity for self-introspection. Ultimately, your answer to the question should be well considered and relevant to the job and the interview, and it should be an actual point you’d like to work on and improve—not something designed to just make you look good. Read more…