From Both Sides Now Mentoring the next generation of librarians

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For most librarians, their first year working in a library is the biggest learning experience of their career. I remember coming into my first library job so clueless about, well, everything and feeling a year later like a completely different person: a professional. But that time in between was filled with cringeworthy mistakes and a whole lot of anxiety.

At the same time, I felt like I had unlimited stores of passion, energy, and ideas that year. My colleagues took me seriously even though I was green, and some of those rookie ideas became services the library still offers, like chat reference. I frequently hear about new-to-the-profession librarians who are treated by their colleagues as if they need to “pay their dues” before they
and their ideas can be given consideration. I can’t imagine how quickly my passion for my work would have waned had my ideas been met with cynicism and dismissiveness.

This attitude is not only harmful to a new librarian’s morale, it also prevents the library from taking advantage of an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on what it does. There is a golden period when someone new to the library can see everything that might be strange, confusing, or problematic. In time, we all become accustomed to our surroundings, and those problems become the barely visible flotsam and jetsam of our everyday work. We should make the most of that magical newcomer vision. I always make a point of asking new colleagues to keep track of problems they see because those fresh insights can push us out of our comfort zones and create positive change for our patrons. We want to encourage these audacious ideas, even if they’re not all feasible. Read more…

 

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10 things I wish someone had told me when I was 20 by Nelson Wang, Quora

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This post from entrepreneurNelson Wang originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question “What is it that nobody tells you about adult life?

My second startup had just completely failed. I came home on a Saturday night at midnight and there was a letter on my kitchen counter.

It was from a law firm threatening to sue my company.

It felt like someone kicked me in my stomach. It was one of the worst feelings in the world.

In the last 31 years of living, I wish there were a few key lessons someone taught me as I was growing up.

Here are the 10 things I felt like nobody told me about adult life:

1. The most valuable currency in the world is time

Money is valuable. Time is even more valuable.

Time is finite. Once you spend it, you cannot earn it back.

Use money to help you find more time. Time with your friends, family and loved ones. Read more…

12 Choices to Help You Step Back From Burnout by Vicki Davis

Author Vicki Davis surrounds herself with sayings and thoughts to help her stay positive. Photo credit: Vicki Davis

“Our very lives are fashioned by choice. First we make choices. Then our choices make us.” – Anne Frank

A tired teacher is a powder keg waiting for a match. In my bouts with burnout, I’ve learned that stepping back from the brink is about choice. These 12 choices have helped me recover and be a better teacher for my students.

Choice #1: Choose to Be Happy

First, happiness is a choice. Choose to be the first one to smile at everybody you meet. Choose to greet your students by name.

Use happy triggers to boost your mood when you get upset. I have a Pinterest Board called Happy Thoughts and another called Things That Make Me Laugh. The “Atta Girl” folder in my desk holds nice notes.

Choice #2: Choose to Disconnect

We are making a dumb use of our smartphones. Instead of freeing us up to go anywhere anytime, they’ve tethered us to a hamster wheel. Usually, I check email twice a day. I deleted my school email off my smartphone after several evenings because of an angry email. (We all get them.) Unplug once a week. Be a human being, not a human doing.

Read more…

A top recruiter on what anyone can see after 30 seconds with your resume

Hello. (Inspirestock/Corbis)

This question originally appeared on Quora: What do recruiters look for in a resume at first glance? Answer by Ambra Benjamin, Engineering Recruiter.

 I don’t look through stacks of resumes anymore. I hate paper. I do everything online.
 There has been for many decades, a mysterious Wizard of Oz-type viewpoint of the recruiting world that I think is somewhat misappropriated. People seem to be truly fascinated by what goes on behind the curtain, when in reality, recruiters aren’t running the covert operation many think. “Does this candidate seem like they stand a chance of being a good match for this role? If yes, proceed to next step. If no, reject.”
 I’ll highlight how I personally absorb a resume. I should preface this by saying that currently I primarily recruit for senior-level software engineers. In my past life I recruited for PMs, MBAs, finance, sales, and pretty much all of it. Everything I’m about to say broadly applies to all of these fields. I also was a campus recruiter, and you read resumes of new grads a bit differently since experience is less meaty. So for non-new grads, here’s how it goes in my brain:
  • Most recent role. I’m generally trying to figure out what this person’s current status is, and why/if they might even be interested in a new role. Have they only been in their last position for three months? If so, probably not the best time for me to reach out, right? Unless they work for Zynga, or somewhere tragic like that (said with great respect for Farmville, the app that put Facebook apps on the map). If it’s an incoming resume, I’m wondering why the candidate is looking now. Are they laid off? Did they get fired? Have they only been in their role for a few months and they’re possibly hating it? But most importantly, is their most recent experience relevant to the position for which I’m hiring?
  • Company recognition. Not even gonna lie. I am a company snob. Now don’t get all Judgy McJudgerson about my judgy-ness. Hear me out. It’s not even that I think certain companies are better than others (although some most certainly are). It’s purely a matter of how quickly can I assign a frame of reference. This is also known as “credibility.” Oh you worked at Amazon? Then you’re probably accustomed to working on projects at scale. You’re at a well known crash-and-burn start-up? You have probably worn many hats and have been running at a sprinter’s pace. There are some pretty blatant if/then associations I can make simply by recognizing a company name. Because recruiters have generally been doing this job for awhile, we notice patterns and trends among candidates from certain companies and we formulate assumptions as a result. There are edge cases and our assumptions can fail us, but again, this is a resume review; we’re talking a less than 20-second analysis. Assigning frame of reference is often more difficult to do when a candidate has only worked for obscure companies I’ve never heard of. When I can’t assign company recognition, it just means I have to read the resume a little deeper, which usually isn’t an issue, unless it’s poorly formatted, poorly written, uninformative, and wrought with spelling errors—in which case, you might have lost my interest.

Read more….http://qz.com/525496/done-what-a-recruiter-sees-on-your-resume-at-first-glance/

10 Things Mentally Tough People Do (Advice From a Former Navy SEAL)

Improve your resiliency–or teach your kids to be mentally tougher–with these important practices.

Academic Librarian Mentoring Project : An ACRL-NY Initiative

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The page showcases stories and articles written by participants in the Mentoring Program.

The Mentoring Experience by Kayla Shifrin

I’m halfway through the ACRL-NY Mentoring Program and so far I’ve found it very valuable, but not entirely for the reasons I expected. Recently I shadowed my mentor – Monica Berger of CUNY’S New York City College of Technology (City Tech) – as she staffed the reference desk on a busy Saturday afternoon. In the brief lulls between student questions, we spoke a great deal about the topics I expected to cover: the next career steps, what professional organizations to join, what to expect from an academic library career. But Monica also advised me on some more intangible subjects that were especially interesting because they weren’t part of my library school education.

Library school is all about discussing hypothetical situations that are frequently heightened or extreme. A knowledgeable scholar asks you a difficult reference question; you have to catalog a rare book that doesn’t appear in any standard bibliography; there’s a hurricane and you have to rescue the collection with the help of two interns and a bucket. Talking through these scenarios is excellent practice for real librarianship. But what’s left out are the average ‘daily grind’ sorts of experiences, and how real academic libraries may differ from the imaginary – and sometimes idealized – academic libraries used as classroom examples. Read more…

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