May. 11th, 2010

lizzybennet: (flower/books)
From one of my favorite librarian bloggers

Mr. Manley, in your experience, what can I do to enhance my chances of landing a job in a tough job market?

I feel for these kids. I really, really do. You can only imagine how much money they have spent to get their degrees and here they are stuck in the worst library job market in 80 years. So what did I tell them? Here’s what I told them:

* I hope your LIS curriculum included courses in prayer, sorcery, and alchemy because you are going to need some otherworldly and/or metaphysical help here. Might be good to shore up your relations with the Almighty.
* Be willing to re-locate. How do the Baffin Islands in January sound?
* Read the obituaries in American Libraries magazine and find out what libraries have had recent deaths on staff and then send in your resume before the bodies are cold. You need to beat your competitors to the punch.
* Be proactive about the terminally ill. Check hospice lists for librarians so that you can get a jump on your competitors.
* Be open to all opportunities. That temporary part-time volunteer job of maintaining the romance paperback shelf in the local adult assisted living facility is at least something that you can put on your resume as “Coordinated all functional areas in a Senior Center Branch Library.”
* Do a “Kramer.” Remember that Seinfeld episode where Kramer goes into an office building to go to the bathroom and ends up with a virtual job there? To do this you need to pick a large urban public library with a lot of branches. It helps if the library has a reputation for having a dysfunctional administrative staff. Invest in a decent suit, brief case, iPhone, and laptop, and march into admin as the auditor sent over from City Hall to do an efficiency audit. Then in your audit report get a bunch of librarians fired and put yourself into the job of your choice.
* Pick a large library and get cozy with the staff. Find out what librarians qualify for retirement. Send them cruise ship brochures featuring palm trees, sparkling beaches, and alcoholic drinks in pineapples with a little yellow flags for stirrers.

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