Say It With A Smile

01/06/2012 § 6 Comments

banana smile

“smile” by red5standingby under CC licence via flickr

The goal of Hack Library School is to provide the information and resources to get the most of your MLIS and LIS education (though a great deal of our content is accessible and useable to those in any discipline). I find that sometimes we all need the reminder of the most simple of life, work and school hacks — those things that you know but then someone says to you and you think “Oh right!” Or, to put it another way: all we needed to know about earning our MLIS, we might very well have learned in Kindergarten.

My easily-heard-but-sometimes-hard-to-remember-and-practice LIS School Hack is: Be Nice. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Finals Push: Dealing with Your Stress

04/05/2012 § 10 Comments

Stress Reduction

by Eamon Curry under Creative Commons via Flickr.

Do you feel that buzz in the air? Or maybe you can actually feel the vibrations under your skin and drumming in your ears. You might even be thinking “I don’t have time to read Hack Library School right now!” It isn’t just the caffeine you’ve been living on. If you’re like a number of our fellow LIS students, professionals, and hackers what you’re surely feeling right now is STRESS.

Even if you are done with your own finals, if you’re working in a library or around any type of student population, by osmosis you are picking up on the stress hormones of those around you. Patience is hard to come by. Deadlines feel like do-or-die. Your brain feels like it is careening around the blackness on the back of a TRON bike.

Breathe, friend, and let’s talk stress management.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for your job or internship application

16/03/2012 § 18 Comments

CC image by isabisa on flickr

To follow up on Ashley’s post earlier this week on advice from a hiring manager, I thought I’d share my own perspective.  I recently served on a search committee for a tenure-track academic librarian position and reviewed applications for a paid (!) summer archival internship.  Nothing I’m going to share in this post is groundbreaking, but I just want to reiterate some key points to keep in mind when sending in applications for jobs and internships.

Logistics
1.  I really appreciate when your file names include your full name and what type of document (resume, cover letter) it is.  While a file that’s named after the place you’re applying to is helpful for your own reference, it’s not helpful for mine.

2.  This is definitely a personal preference, but I really love when application materials are sent as .pdf files.  Never trust Microsoft Word to keep your formatting true.  You also take the risk of leaving track changes on (oh, it’s happened — and yes, it looks bad).

3.  One way I can tell if you’re detail-oriented is if you actually send in everything that’s asked for.  If the job/internship posting asks for your availability, be sure to include it.

Content
1.  Tailor your cover letter.  Show that you looked at the organization’s website and know something about it, and specify why you want to work there.  You will especially stand out if you discuss why you are interested in performing the type of work explicitly listed in the job description.  If you talk about how you’d love to learn about digitization when it’s not described in the position description at all, it’s a clear giveaway that you didn’t read it thoroughly — or that you’re just recycling an old cover letter without much editing.  Oftentimes, I’ll see a resume that looks good but change my mind after reading the cover letter.

2.  Think of your cover letter as exclusive from the resume.  Please don’t just repeat what’s on your resume, but really explain why your past experience is relevant to the position.

3.  Write clearly in your cover letter.  If I need to read a sentence multiple times to understand it, you’ll stand out for the wrong reasons.  One sentence does not need to take up five lines.

Of course, most of these are just my personal preferences.  Be sure to check out the blog Hiring Librarians, which provides many different perspectives from hiring managers on what they look for in a candidate, and Open Cover Letters, which publishes cover letters from librarians and archivists who got hired.

Advice From A Hiring Manager

14/03/2012 § 8 Comments

Photo by Matt Wetzler

Last semester I took an Academic Libraries class that required me to interview an academic librarian. I reached out to Courtney Young to help me complete this assignment. Ms. Young is Head Librarian & Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny and serves on the ALA Executive Board.

The goal of the project was to get a real world perspective on some of the special academic library issues we had discussed throughout the semester. While I drafted interview questions to address this objective–I couldn’t help but see the interview as an opportunity. I was pretty confident that my interviewee had a hand in hiring at her library. Getting an interview can be tough, getting feedback from a hiring manager can be even more difficult. Knowing the struggle that many of my peers are facing in the job market, I thought it would be a good idea to ask her what she looks for in a job candidate. Courtney Young had some brilliant and unexpected advice that I hope you can put to use as you look towards the future and begin your job search. « Read the rest of this entry »

How to Hack the Academic Conference

13/03/2012 § 8 Comments

Planning Quasi-Con

This post was collaboratively written by Quasi-Con planners and School of Information Master’s candidates Kelly Davenport, Peter Timmons, Ilana Barnes (ALA chapter president), Kim Miller (vice president), Katy Mahraj (treasurer), Ryan Clement (webmaster), and Mariah Cherem (social media coordinator).

The DIY Library Conference: A Quasi-Guide

It was an experiment.

When Ilana Barnes pitched the idea of a student-led library conference at the University of Michigan School of Information (SI) during her tenure as ALA Chapter president, she chose the following theme: “The Future of Libraries?!”

Ultimately, we didn’t need the question mark. More than 70 students, professionals, and alumni gathered in January for the first Quasi-Con, a hybrid unconference and professional conference. We’re here to tell you how we organized it, and why we think you should plan your own Quasi-Con, in three easy steps.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Practicalities category at Hack Library School.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 735 other followers

%d bloggers like this: