Tag Archives: ALA

ALA Emerging Leader Application – My Advice

I was asked by someone considering applying for the ALA Emerging Leader program what my advice was for the application and personal statement.  I’m also on the EL Sub-committee (though I don’t do anything related to applications, reviews, etc.), so I didn’t get in to a lot of detail with my advice.  However, I still think what I said holds true and while it might seem obvious to some, focuses on things folks in our profession sometimes forget about:

  • Explain what made you want to become a librarian in the first place
  • Describe your short and long term goals
  • Be honest and don’t be afraid to show why you love being a librarian/library professional
  • Tell about your past successes – don’t be modest
  • If you see an unfulfilled need within ALA or within the profession, describe how you’d attempt to fill that gap

So, now you know!  Stay cool folks!


Hint Hint: Awesome Keynote Speaker

No, not me.  Though I am fahbulous. 

Mike Rowe from the show Dirty Jobs.  Apparently, he’s getting a lot of speaking jobs lately talking about “on the “changing face of the proletariat vis-à-vis the modern-day work ethic and the digital divide”, according to the New York Times and he has a website called Mike Rowe Works, which helps people find technical and trade jobs and education.

General Link: http://www.mikeroweworks.com/noflash.html
Jobs Link: http://www.mikeroweworks.com/job-site/

It’s a well rounded site and like most truly funny people, Mike Rowe is an intelligent and thoughtful spokesperson for the cause of worker education and job seeking.  Well, from what I can tell from the article I’ve been reading.

Librarians help people find work, Mike Rowe helps people find work.  Librarians help provide training and tools for people to improve themselves with, so does Mike Rowe.  Mike Rowe is hot and really funny.  Librarians are…er…we’re sometimes hot and usually pretty funny.

Just my suggestion.  Please consider it if your state or national library organization needs a speaker.  There’s potential for great synergy I think.

My Get A Job Advice

ALA just announced the Get A Job website which can be found at http://getajob.ala.org

I sent in a quick bit of my own advice and apparently the posted it to the site.  I haven’t found it yet, but they tell me it’s there.  Maybe they just lied to me so as to not hurt my feelings.  😉  Anyways, thought I’d share it for your reading enjoyment. 

Hey!  Congrats!  You’re a librarian!  You’re searching for a job and worried out of your mind, aren’t you?  Guess what – you shouldn’t be.  Is it going to be easy? Oh heck no!  Is it going to be fun?  Well, it might be.  But do you have amazing librarianship skills that are sure to delight and amaze?  OF COURSE!  Here are four tips that I hope you find helpful:

Be excited about our profession – now and always – and be consistent and genuine about your enthusiasm

  • A little enthusiasm in our profession goes a long way.  Be truly excited about our profession and the direction it is headed.  You need to be the greatest champion for yourself and your profession.  If you’re not, who will be? 

Walk into every interview and presentation like you own the room and are meeting with friends

  • When you head into that room, no one wants to see you fail.  NO ONE.  When you hear someone sing at a concert or hear a great speaker, how often do you think “Man, I hope this dude blows this thing…”  Never.  Well, unless it’s American Idol, but I digress.  Those people in that room want you to be relaxed – they NEED you to be relaxed – because trust me, they’re nervous too.  Take a deep breath and smile, because they’re rooting for you. 

Never meet a fellow librarian and not ask for a business card

  • It’s crucial to get business cards or contact information from people when you meet them.  Asking if they’re on Facebook or Twitter isn’t enough.  Don’t be shy about asking.  I’ve got a box of 2000 business cards and I’m not keeping them around to be a nice paperweight.  Once you’ve gotten their card, shook hands and walked away, take note about what made that person stand out in your mind.  They have a dog, their a law librarian, they went to see U2 in concert just like you did.  Whatever miniscule detail seemed to give you two a connection.  That info will come in handy because…

You should always follow up with the people you meet by sending a brief hand written note or email

  • If you connected with someone, if they seemed eager to help you, even if they were just plain nice – send them a follow up email or note.  It doesn’t have to be long or poetic or prize-winning.  Say hi, thank you for the conversation, I’m seeking a job, if I can ever be of assistance or if you hear about a job that might fit me, let me know.  It’s not a contrived gesture to reach out to a fellow profession in a polite and respectful way.  They’ll be glad to hear from you.

Even if you are fresh out of library school, you have a lot to contribute to the profession.  Don’t cheat yourself by approaching your job search with a sense of self-doubt.  People in the library profession are generally eager to help and want you to find a job.  And if you meet someone who doesn’t, move on – because you’ll meet plenty others who will gladly help.

Amelia Earhart needs a READ poster

My family came to visit me recently.  For those of you who have been so uncool as to not read my blog recently, I moved from Michigan to Kansas.  It was nice to have them come and see my new town and such.

We went to Atchison, KS – the childhood home of Amelia Earhart.  She was a pretty incredible woman.  As a child I always admired her and was completely fascinated with the idea that she had just disappeared into the air…or so it seems.  I often wonder if she lived the last years (or months or days) of her life on a stranded island, shoes in her hand, sleeves rolled up, walking along beaches scanning the sky for planes to save her and her navigator.  It’s a sad thought, really.

But in addition to being an aviatrix (not kidding, that’s the real term they use) she also made incredible guesses about the future of travel that were highly accurate, especially about plane flights and ground transportation.  And as a child, she was a voracious reader.


“Like many horrid children, I loved school, though I never qualified as teacher’s pet.  Perhaps the fact that I was exceedingly fond of reading made me endurable.” – she is quoted on a placard at the Atchison County Historical Society Museum.

And in another placard, are her views on reading, yet again…


“Books have meant much to me.  Not only did I myself read considerably, but Mother read aloud to my sister and me, early and late.  So fundamental became that habit that on occasions when we girls had to do housework, instead of both pitching in and doing it, one was selected to read aloud and the other to work.”

And to wrap it up, we went to her childhood home…a tidy two-story in a historic and both formally and currently wealthy neighborhood overlooking the Missouri River.


It was a cool trip and makes me think that maybe ALA needs to do a series of cool vintage type READ posters.  Amelia would be proud to do it…even if it was posthumous.

One more random fact I learned on that trip…do you know that there was guy who served as President of the United States for only ONE DAY???   Weird political fluke…his name was David Rice Atchison (do you see the connection?) and you can read the story here.

MLA Thursday

Went to a great Michigan E-Library appreciation breakfast (thanks Library of Michigan…), I am now watching Dr. Julie Beth Todaro discuss the “Power of Personal Persuasion”.

ALA’s website has documentation about persuading your constituents.  Very cool.

A popular name this week: Dr. Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. and his work with the power of persuasion.


I went to the Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals game on Saturday.  Two of the worst teams in the AL duke it out, and the Tigers lose 3-13 or something along those lines.  (I think I have forgotten most of the game in an attempt to maintain mental self-preservation).

Dear Royals:  Thank you for the master class in double plays.  I learned a lot but I have a funny feeling that the Tigers did not.

Dear Tigers: Nice try.  You’re still my team.  Please pull yourselves together.  There is no comfort to be found in the pitching department.  Don’t make me start yelling things at games.

BUT I DIGRESS: What the hell does it take to get a block of seats for the MLA at a Tigers game????  It’s a simple phone call, is it not? Next season people, we will be at a game.  And don’t you worry – I’m gonna get us on the big sign.  And we’re drinkin’ beer, and we’re eatin’ hot dogs, and if you have kids, bring them cuz we’re ALL going on the big baseball ferris wheel.  And when ESPN pans the crowd, they will see us, each holding up a giant letter to create this sign:  796.357 BASEBALL.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  And if we’re feeling really smarty-pants, we’ll throw in that whole @ YOUR LIBRARY thing.

In the meantime, do the whole ALA Step Up to the Plate @ your library contest.

Not at conference…

I have yet to attend an ALA conference.  I’m considering going to a Mid-Winter conference in Denver and next year’s annual conference will be in Chicago, a mere 4 hour train ride.

Not attending conference leaves you with a sense of being “locked out” in some ways.  A lot of people don’t attend conference, so I’m not alone, but I feel that there is a need to create a real-time experience (or the illusion of one) for those of us not attending.  It can be done…The Next Web Conference does a great job of helping to link those who can’t attend with things that are going on – sometimes even via live video stream.

I do appreciate ALAs use of wikis and blogging…I’m using the blog list to get a feel for what’s going on, thanks to the Sharing section of the webpage and it’s Blogging Annual link and am going to cruise on over to Flickr ALA 2008 to check out pics (true to librarian form, there are many pics of food).