Category Archives: library jobs

An Argument for More, Not Less, in Tough Times

Hello fair readers,

An annoucement today has really made me sit back and think.  Chicago Public Library is considering laying off workers and I’m sure they are not the  only ones.  What library isn’t suffering from massive budget cuts right now?  The economy is hitting its bottom, correct?

I blame you...and you...and you.

I blame you...and you...and that short one in the middle.

And  this has been going on for awhile now.  A quick Google News search pulls up many articles from the past year or so commenting on libraries during tough economic times, with headlines like: Patrons flock to libraries as the economy struggles.  The news is the same.  Patrons needs are increasing.  Meanwhile library budgets are being slashed.

This, my fair readers, is a huge mistake.

This is the first image that comes up when googling huge mistake

This is the first image that comes up when googling "huge mistake"

Libraries, in every setting, are invaluable during these times.  What has led us to this point? Ignorance and a lack of common sense or knowledge.  I’m not saying the people responsible are undereducated.  In fact many have their MBAs I’m sure.  But there is a degree and then there is knowledge.  And these can be two different things.

Libraries provide information.  They are the safety net in times of woe and in times of need.  We are here to arm citizens with knowledge and information to prevent future economic crises.

Knowledge is power...not just a cliche.

Knowledge is power...not just a cliche.

Slashing budgets, cutting corners, laying off workers, decreasing hours.  These are not the answer.  Not right now.  I am not saying that all libraries are in perfect fiscal working order.  I’m sure some need fine tuning.  But that is certainly not the case when CPL has announced it may be laying off over 100 workers, which is sure to hit every branch and every neighborhood.

And for those people who think this isn’t possible, that people will not want to continue to fund libraries in times of need.  Let us take an example, one I commonly turn to, with Kalamazoo Public Library.  As mentioned in a previous post, this library went up for a millage renewal at a time when most libraries would never want to and this millage passed on May 5, 2009.   This is a perfect example of a community that realizes it needs the library in times like these.

And they do.

So this is my argument for more, not less, when it comes to supporting our libraries in tough economic times.  This is when people need us the most.  This is our time to shine.  But in order to shine, we need our funding and staff protected and maintained.  Because we are not just the preservers of the past but also the building blocks for the future.

library addition at CSU - Dominquez Hills

library addition at CSU - Dominquez Hills

If your library is having funding issues, contact your elected representatives and let them know about the importance of this issue.

Have a great weekend fair readers.


Good news for people who like good news.

Hello fair readers!

In case I haven’t blurted out and told you already, I wanted to share some pleasant news that I have been learning how to deal with the past few days.



I FOUND A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know! It’s so exciting you all just jumped up and shouted “Finally!”.

Me too.

I accepted a Reference/Adult Services position at Calumet City Public Library, a small South suburban library.  I’ll be one of three Adult Services librarians and I will also be in charge of Fiction collection development, some community outreach, and Teen Programming.  I am super, uber freaking excited.  I have some really fun ideas, like potentially creating some kind of fiction collection development blog…pending approval of course.  So we’ll see.

But can someone please explain to me why….after years of being an adamant Fiction reader and now being put in charge of an entire Fiction collection…why oh why is every book that I want to read right now Nonfiction?!?!

Like this and this?!

I know it sounds silly but I want my first post-graduate book to be special.  Something that I will look back and remember that it was the first book I read after being in school for 19 FREAKING YEARS!

We’ll see.

Have a lovely Wednesday.  I’m graduating on Saturday so you better believe there will be a photo blog coming up.  Oh yeah, I know you’re excited.

Opportunity Knocks

Hello fair readers!

I have had the fortunate opportunity to work at the Joseph Schaffner Library at Northwestern University while working on my graduate school. And now we are hiring another Intern. I would encourage any Chicago area library students to check out this paid internship. It is a wonderful environment to work in and valid experience to put on your resume. Carol is an amazing boss who will include you in many aspects of the library. So far I have been fortunate enough to contribute to library instruction podcasts, evaluate databases, and answer reference via Instant Messaging. So if you are looking for academic library experience and have a passion for progressive librarianship, I would encourage you to check out Schaffner. Here is the job posting:

For GSLIS Students
Joseph Schaffner Library Northwestern University

Joseph Schaffner Library, a branch of Northwestern University’s Library, has a part-time position available for a GSLIS student. Schaffner Library, located on Northwestern’s Chicago campus near Water Tower Place and the John Hancock Building, serves adult part-time students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs and professional development certificate programs. The library emphasizes reference services, bibliographic instruction and exploration of new technologies.
Provide reference assistance and develop familiarity with Schaffner’s reference collection. Assist patrons in the use of electronic resources, including the online catalog, a variety of online databases and the Internet. Serve as a computer consultant for a lab within the library, trouble-shooting hardware and software problems. Assist in various library operations including circulation, intercampus and interlibrary loans, checking in serials and new books, and a wide range of other projects as assigned.
Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program of Library and Information Science. Although an extensive background with computers is not required, a demonstrated willingness to learn is essential. Completion of or current enrollment in a reference course is preferred. Interest in academic libraries is also preferred. Flexibility and the ability to work well with people is required.
Conditions of Employment:
Three five-hour shifts per week (afternoons, evenings, and weekends). The schedule is arranged around GSLIS classes. The rate of pay is $11.00 per hour, and positions typically last one year.
Please contact us for more information about this exciting pre-professional opportunity!
To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to:
Carol Doyle
Joseph Schaffner Library
339 E. Chicago Ave., 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Fax: (312) 503-8930

If you have any further questions about this position I will be happy to answer on the comments below. Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

Trials and Tribulations

Hello fair readers!

As I have mentioned before, I am in the process of looking for, what I like to call, my job job. In other words, my post-graduate position, my career, etc.

I had been warned before the process that it is trying. Hard on self-confidence. After about month I can say that yes, that is so very true.

Although this phrase is a bit hackneyed, looking for jobs is truly like taking on another job. It’s become a bit of a process for me and I figure I could share my process. It certainly is not a secret. All my resources are free and almost exclusively online. Because that’s just how I roll. 😉

My first step is to check out my websites. I have a few that I religiously check everyday and some that I frequent when I have a bit more time to devote to searching. But my main sites are the following:


MLS Careers

AALL Job Placement

CALL jobs

ARL Careers

Of course, the most major player in these sites, and also the one I probably devote the most time searching, is the ALA JobLIST. First off…..thank you ALA. omg. Seriously. This resource is amazing, well organized, easy to search. Obviously created by librarians. 🙂

Also a lot of the sites I look at are pretty specialized. Law library sites, Chicago specific. So these won’t be helpful to everyone. However they really work for what I’m interested in. So there.

My next step is an obvious one. Find an interesting job ad. For example, this one:

Access Services Librarian

I think to myself. “Ohh Colorado”.


Yes. That is what went through my mind when I saw this ad. No lie.

Geography is very important to me. The job is important as well. But there are certain areas that I think I’m more suited to. So then I take the town and I google map it. I like to get a sense of where, for example, Durango Colorado is located because I know that not all of Colorado looks like the picture above. Some of it looks like this:

No thank you. Not for me. Maybe for some people….not for Leah. Nope.

After checking out the map, I go to Wikipedia, another one of my favorite first stops when researching towns. Now don’t freak out librarians.

I know this isn’t authoritative. But there is no way to deny the handiness of Wikipedia. A nice first step in researching cities.

Now some of you may be thinking…why are you not looking at the websites of the libraries or the schools? What is wrong with you?

Well that is my next step. If the town is acceptable, I go on to check out the website of the library. Because I’ll tell you what…if you’re website looks shabby, I’m closing that window and not returning.

I can vow this: I will not apply to a library that has an awful web presence.

And instead of publicly embarrassing some libraries and talking about how awful their sites are, which is possible…oh yes, I will show you what I love to see. A good example is the Yale University Library. It looks professional. Well organized. Obvious links to IM reference, study guides, etc. You get the idea.

Now if all these things are in line: the city/town, the site, the job description…I apply.

And that is just one ad, from one site.

When I really have time, I hit up this one:

Library Job Postings on the Internet

I can spend literally hours upon hours, filing through the sites all congregated on this awesome resource. And before I realize it, my entire day is gone. Dedicated to a job search.

On good days, I get in applications to one or two jobs. On bad ones I end up wanting to throw my laptop across the room…but then think better of it because I freakin’ love my laptop!!

How I love thee Osaka, let me count the ways….

But overall, I just try to tell myself…it will all work out.

It will all work out.

Because it has to.


Happy Wednesday fair readers. And to anyone else job searching, may the force be with you.