Student Leadership: Time to get on Board!

26/08/2013 § 4 Comments

The most important ship of all is leader-ship! (groan) (image from

The most important ship of all is leader-ship! (groan)
(image from

I’m a joiner. There, I said it. Being a part of one organization or another has been as natural as breathing for me since I was a kid.  So it was only fitting that I joined the Student Archivists at Maryland (our chapter of the Society of American Archivists) when I arrived at the University of Maryland iSchool.  It’s a quick way to meet like-minded people and dive quickly into a field that you’re going to spend a relatively short amount of time studying.  I was a little surprised at the low attendance at the meetings though- why should that be? « Read the rest of this entry »

Building Your eResume

12/07/2013 § 20 Comments

Library Resume Search

Image Search for “library resume” – about 105,000,000 results (0.17 seconds)

Do you have an eResume yet?

I think it goes without saying that every day we become more and more digitally driven. Personally, even though I know it is still done, I cannot imagine sending a hard copy of my resume or examples of my work anywhere. I have my emailable versions but, for my professional life, I think a website is the best way to showcase my work and work history.

The eResume can be simple as on online resume or more complicated with pages and/or links of work examples showing your competencies. The latter dives into the ePortfolio territory. As Chris eloquently stated: an ePortfolio is an online showcase and demonstration of your skills and knowledge. Some schools require them and require them to have specific information. For the purposes of this piece I am referring to your online portfolio in a more general sense and to distinguish from a full ePortfolio I’m calling it an eResume. Chis’s reasons for having one and what I outline below can be applied to either/both.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Start reading job ads now

24/05/2013 § 7 Comments

One piece of advice that multiple people gave me around the time I started library school is: it is never too early to start reading library job ads (especially if you’ve already started library school). Of course the library hiring process is not so lengthy that you need to start actually seeking jobs if you aren’t within a few months of graduation. Rather, looking at job ads is a great way to discover a lot of things about yourself, your library school, your career goals, the job market, and the field that you have entered. While it can sometimes be disheartening (because you’re still far away from graduation) or strangely inspiring (because of the totally amazing opportunities and positions that are waiting for you) or even confusing (why would I need to know how to do that), reading library job ads will almost always prove to be an enlightening and worthwhile use of your time.

Now's the time!

Now’s the time to start looking! Image Source

Here are some of the key reasons you should be reading library job ads now and how you can use them to shape your path:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Learn to write (well)

08/05/2013 § 8 Comments

Alternate Title: all I needed to know about acing grad school I learned in 6th grade.


As we close out another semester of our varied Information Science degree pursuits, final projects, papers and presentations are probably top of mind – or wanting to be forgotten. As I was scrambling to complete my own submissions, my procrastination tendencies still going strong, I was continually reminded of one thing: the ability to write is incredibly important.

Now before you say “duh,” and stop reading, let me explain a little. I am positively stunned by how many, in graduate studies, professional and personal life, are unable to string together a cohesive sentence – not to mention paragraphs that explain a point clearly. I’m sure that you, in group projects or email chains, have read something through and silently or aloud said, “um… what?! What are you trying to say?!”

So here is the hack: Learn to write quickly and well. « Read the rest of this entry »

How to Survive and Prevent a Bad Internship

29/03/2013 § 8 Comments

There’s a good chance that you’ve had a bad internship or job experience. Maybe it was mundane tasks, unfriendly co-workers, or damaged expectations that did you in. Many MLS/MLIS programs require, or at least strongly recommend, an internship or practicum before graduation. Internships are great ways to taste-test a type of librarianship, network, and get practical experience. The unfortunate reality is that we don’t always know what we’re walking into when we begin an internship. So, how do we survive or prevent a bad internship?

Frustrated man at a desk (cropped)

Alternative title: How to avoid looking like this.

If you’re already going through a bad internship experience or find yourself in one later, you’ll need to know how to surive. Take a deep breath, remind yourself it is an opportunity to learn that will only last a few months, and use the following tips to better your internship experience.
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