So I finished comps and submitted a master’s paper draft. Now I’m officially ready to start applying for full-time librarian positions. I’ve been both dreading and eagerly anticipating this experience.
After I graduated from college, I spent a year looking for jobs in publishing with no luck. It had taken me a long time to even decide that I wanted to work in publishing (like until spring of my senior year), and I was woefully unprepared for the job market. No real experience, no internships, limited knowledge of my chosen field. Did I mention that this was also mid-2008? During the recession, nearly all of the major publishing houses had a hiring freeze.
Fortunately, I spent that year working in Barnes & Noble and gaining some valuable customer service experience. From there I did two terms with AmeriCorps, which helped me to realize how much I loved public service. I considered working for a literacy nonprofit. But then, during a training, I took a career assessment quiz, and “Librarian” was my top “recommended job”. I was intrigued. I did some research, fell in love with the idea, and applied to library school.
My goal was to leave my program with the skills and experience necessary to become an adult services librarian in a public library. So I took on 3 internships, 3 jobs (not at the same time), a position in one of our student organizations and volunteer work. While it’s been hectic, the experience has been invaluable.
We’ll see how this goes. I’m better prepared, but it’s still a tough job market. I’ll post updates as I begin applying and interviewing.
If you’re looking for library jobs (or might be in the future), here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful:
Tips and Advice
- Hiring Librarians - Interviews with people who hire librarians and information professionals
- Open Cover Letters - Anonymous cover letters from hired librarians & archivists
- Frequently Asked Interview Questions from the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science
- Alternative LIS Job Titles from Infonista
- Making it Work: Surviving as a Librarian Employed in Another Field by Alyssa Vincent at In the Library With the Lead Pipe