SLA Maryland’s Job Search Workshop III

Nov 12 2011 Published by under librarians

I spoke at this workshop last Saturday in Gaithersburg at the Universities at Shady Grove. This full-day event drew 60 attendees, so you see how the environment is right now.  I only stayed for our panel because the remainder of the day was speakers on resumes, cover letters, and the interview.

At first I was a bit surprised to be asked to speak, but I did warm to the topic. I spoke on: Identifying Non-Traditional Roles & Skills for Information Professionals. I started by talking about my job, and how it started as uber traditional, but how I’ve been embedding in teams and taking on more analysis tasks as I build my client base. Also, how my employer makes it easy to put me on teams, I just have to charge my time to that other budget.  I then talked about how the job description for my current job didn’t really scream librarian, and was a bit scary. I wasn’t sure what type of analysis I could do. So I reassured the audience that with SLA help on packaging search results and what I already learned about analyzing search results… turns out I was perfectly qualified. I listed some other jobs that librarians do:

  • taxonomist
  • information architect
  • knowledge manager
  • community manager
  • social marketer
  • intelligence analyst (particularly open source)
  • technology trainer
  • database designer (ugh)

I also made the point that I always make, that many of the traditional skills *in addition to organizing information* are still needed and very useful. They should look for jobs that require these skills that we use to connect people to information:

  • ascertaining the real information need – the reference interview
  • searching
  • evaluating resource
  • analyzing results
  • reporting results

How do you sell this to a new employer? Emphasize the functional aspects and make the point about what you can do for them.

Next, Marianne Giltrud spoke about getting a federal job. Lots of good advice there, including to look outside of 1410 in IT and administrative series.

Finally, Naomi House spoke about her service, I need a library job – INALJ.com. They put out an e-mail, twitter stream, and facebook site on library jobs. Looks really great for job seekers.

This workshop is very well-run and very useful for information professional job seekers. Highly recommended!

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