January 2011 Archives

It is my last semester and I am seriously kicking myself in the rear for not applying for “more school” because I really do not want to be a grown up. (Yes, I realize the fact that I am 24 and therefore an adult but as long as I am in school I can be in denial.) Now that the semester is underway, I need to start seriously applying for jobs. So I thought I would share some solid websites/listserv’s and job hunting venues with you.

    ALA JobList:


This is the American Library Association job site and contains up-to-date job openings. My favorite part of this website is the face that I “like” them on facebook. The facebook page posts dozens of different links, blogs and articles all around the topic of finding a job. I have read some seriously helpful information from this website and facebook.

For Massachusetts the Library Board of Commissioners maintains a job listing database here: http://mblc.state.ma.us/jobs/index.php. This is helpful for professional and pre-professional roles. (It is always a good idea to look here for experience; it is where I found job posting for one of my current part-time jobs.)

Simmons GSLIS also updates its own jobline multiple times a week. The GSLIS Communications Office sends out emails about new jobs about once a week, with all of the updates throughout the week. The link is here.

http://gslis.simmons.edu/blogs/jobs/ I find this website very helpful, and as a student got one of my part-time jobs because I applied after seeing it on this website. This joblist is not restricted to Massachusetts. Although it tends to have a lot more information about the New England area, there are also many posts about jobs throughout the country.

One benefit I hope I have with applying for jobs is the fact that I am not restricted to a specific area in the country. Finally, my nomadic ways will be of some use. I will update you guys with more information about my job hunt at a later date.

Jobs | Libraries | Students | 1 comment

This Southern girl is out of her element

I just got back from winter vacation last week, and while I am so happy to be in beautiful Boston again the weather is testing my courage and endurance. When I left for the (what I hoped would be) warm, sunny climes of Athens, GA over a month ago it had not yet snowed here. The roads and sidewalks were still dry and ice-free and I could still prance around without fear of slipping. The city was all decked out in lights and it hadn’t gotten very cold yet. I was in great spirits and I got home expecting a nice, warm, green Georgia Christmas. Instead, my hometown got three inches of snow on December 25 (three inches is a BIG deal down there!), only the second time in Athens’s recorded history that it had snowed on Christmas (the first time was in 1993). It was Atlanta’s first white Christmas since 1882 when Chester Arthur was president. We were all very excited to see the snow – we built snowmen, threw snowballs at each other, sledded down our yards on trash can lids and baking pans (Southerners don’t own sleds) and did all of the fun snow-time activities that Southern kids are usually denied. The snow melted within a couple of days and we all went back to business as usual...UNTIL, about two weeks later, the South was pummeled with the worst winter storm we had seen in years. Athens got more than eight inches of snow, a new record. Since the city does not own a single snow plow, people were trapped in their homes for days. The snow would melt a little during the day when the temperature rose into the upper thirties, then freeze again at night, creating a weird icy crust on top of everything. On the third day of the snowpocalypse, I recklessly broke free and made the half-hour drive to my boyfriend’s house. What I saw could have been pulled right out of any post-Armageddon movie. The sky was gray, everything was silent, and the only signs of human life were the countless cars that had slid into ditches and smashed into trees. After much sliding on black ice, I finally got to my destination. When I left Georgia a week after the storm first hit, there was still snow and ice on the ground. I think that people were mostly bewildered that we could get such an extreme, prolonged snowstorm down there. We were definitely caught off-guard. I was excited to come back to Boston, because this city knows how to deal with winter precipitation. There are snow plows and shovels and salt! I have my ankle-length parka and my furry hat and my snow boots! I wasn’t worried because I was prepared! That is, until I walked to school yesterday morning in the below-zero temperature and the inside of my nose froze.

Boston | Students | 1 comment

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) serves more than 350 communities across every region of Vermont and New Hampshire with the goal of nurturing a love of reading and writing in children. They focus on children from birth to age 12, especially rural and at-risk children. Further reading. I have written about book donation programs on my personal blog before but CLiF also does in-class author readings and workshops and more. Just to be clear, I have no connection to these guys, but this aligns with many of my interests.

CLiF's programs are supported entirely by donations from individuals, companies, foundations, and social organizations... Great, so what?? Well, for anyone who has a connection to an elementary school or library in New Hampshire or Vermont, tell your librarian or a local teacher about these two 2011 grants provided by CLiF;

Author/Illustrator Visits or Writer-in-Residence Grants.

New Hampshire and Vermont elementary schools looking for a free author visit to their school should check out these two simple grant applications. Have an author visit your school and give a presentation to the entire school body or enjoy three days of hands-on writing workshops with a professional author for up to 85 of your students. Get more information about the Author/Illustrator program application or Writer-in-Residence application.

Rural Library Sponsorships. Vermont and New Hampshire libraries in towns of fewer than 5,000 can receive $2,000 worth of new books and a special storytelling presentation for all the elementary students in their town. Apply.

Events | leave a comment

Life after GSLIS, aka "Finding a Job"

Hi everyone! Remember me? Your long-lost GSLIS blogger from last year?  And you thought you were rid of me (ha!)

I've been meaning to write this post for quite awhile, but in the midst of finishing my thesis for the history side of my archives/history dual degree, finding a job, getting a job, and moving for that job, it just hasn't happened until now.  And I think it's about something pretty important--what happens after you finish your degree from Simmons GSLIS?

For me, finding a job was a lot easier than I expected it to be.  We all know that the economy is not the greatest right now, and things like libraries, archives, and museums have been especially hard hit.  I found that the key to finding a job was research, research, research.  I spent about an hour every day just looking for new job postings.

My favorite places to look:

GSLIS Jobs & Opportunities - A job listing site run by Simmons GSLIS.  This one has a lot of preprofessional and volunteer jobs, as well.

New England Jobline - Run by Simmons GSLIS, this site collects library and archives jobs from around New England

ALA Job List - The American Library Association's job site.

usajobs.gov - The official website for all government jobs. If you want to work at the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, a presidential library, a national park (most of them have archives!), or as a librarian on a military base, this is the place to look.  If you go to "Advanced Search," you can search by location or government agency; or (secret tip!) type "14" in the "Series Number Search" box, and get all of the library and archives jobs in one place.  A great thing about USAjobs is that you copy and paste your resume once, and can then use it to apply for multiple jobs---makes it easy to apply for ones you might otherwise pass up!

CT Library Jobs - I'm originally from CT, so I already knew about this site.  A lot of other states have similar sites run by their state library associations, so check out ones where you want to live.

SLA Career Center - Job postings for positions in special libraries.  If you are interested in a certain area of librarianship, check if there is an organization for it--they probably have a job site!

Other library school's websites - Okay, don't tell anyone at Simmons, but I also checked the job sites provided by other schools.  I did this because Simmons's site tends to focus on jobs in New England, while I was willing to move anywhere.  I found that Indiana University and University of Texas had particularly good sites.

higheredjobs.com - If you want to work at a college or university, this is the place to check.  You can set email alerts for new postings, filtered by keyword, job title, and location.  This is where I found my job!

monster.com - I saw jobs posted here that I never saw anywhere else, especially in corporate libraries and special collections.  Plus, you can set email alerts, so you don't even have to visit often.

And my favorite resources for archives jobs:

That Elusive Archives Job - A must read for any potential archivist. Goes over every detail of the job search, from resume to interview outfits.

ArchivesGig - Collects archives jobs from around the various sites where they are posted.  A great place to start, but not all inclusive, so keep looking other places!

New England Archivists job page - For local archives jobs.

Society of American Archivists job page -  Archivist positions nationwide

SAA's "Archives and Archivists" Listserv - If you haven't already subscribed to this, you should.  Not only can participate in discussions about our field, but a lot of jobs are posted here that you won't see anywhere else!

My advice:

- Use RSS feeds to track all of these sites. I use Google Reader, and it makes it a lot easier to just have one site I have to log onto, instead of 20

- If you have a dream job, check their site, and often!  I visited my dream repository's job site a couple times a week.  They didn't have any openings while I was looking, but I would have killed myself if something opened up and I missed it.

- I kept a spreadsheet of which jobs I wanted to apply to, with basic info (contact, deadline, salary, location), where I also tracked when I applied, when I got rejected, when I interviewed, and when I got an offer

- Sometimes, job searches take awhile on the institution's end.  If you don't hear from someone, don't give up hope.  The job I ended up accepting was one I applied for in September, interviewed in November, accepted in December, and am starting February 1.  I am still getting rejection emails and interview requests now, when I haven't submitted any applications in almost two months!

- Start your search early.  I began applying in July (I finished my GSLIS classes during summer session, but still had my history thesis in the fall semester).  L0oking back, my early applications were not as well constructed as my later ones--you are constantly refining your resume and cover letter.  My first interview? A total disaster.  If I could do it again, I probably would have started in May.

- Pay attention to the requirements (you don't want to waste your time applying for something you have no chance at), but not too much attention.  The job I ended up with wanted someone with 2-3 years professional experience, which--since I'm coming right out of school--I definitely don't have.  However, my history coursework and thesis topic were directly in line with the collection focus for the position, which in their view outweighed my inexperience.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained--it generally doesn't cost anything to apply for jobs

- And finally, don't give up! It definitely gets discouraging sometimes. I had one day when I got 3 rejections, all for jobs I really wanted.  It is so hard not to get down on yourself.  But in the end, there is a perfect position out there for you somewhere, you just have to find it, and convince them that you are the only choice.  Good luck!

Archives | Jobs | 1 comment

It's colder than the Arctic Circle - but not for long.

Yes, really...Jason's post last week was not that far off-base in terms of weather in Boston this winter. This morning Boston.com reported that the temperature in the city at 8:00AM (-2 degrees Fahrenheit) was colder than at the same time in Murmansk, Russia, the northernmost city in the Arctic Circle (6 degrees Fahrenheit). That's chilly no matter which city you happened to be in at the time!

That said, Boston is not ALWAYS this cold, nor does it (thankfully) stay this cold for long.  As of this time tomorrow we'll be enjoying temps in the mid-thirties, a welcome change. Weather like this tests your patience but mostly it gives you a good story to tell in the future - and I'm sure everyone has heard rumors about hearty New Englanders ("I trudged 8 miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways..."). While I certainly never had to walk 8 miles to school, I've lived here all my life and temperatures like this come along only rarely. In the meantime, I'm surviving by watching for Facebook posts from my family in warmer climates (Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Orlando) to give me hope for summer.  Or at least spring, which, when it arrives, will be lovely and well worth the wait.

In other news, we are approaching our application deadline and I'm feeling the need to post an update similar to how I did last year - but I found myself struggling to find a photo that captured the same feeling of overwhelmed-ness we are experiencing in the office right now.  Last year's photo set the tone perfectly (and even matched my blonde hair and glasses!) so I gave up.

We've upgraded to a brand new, mostly online application system since last year, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because for all of you, it's much easier to know when our office has received something. A curse because as I said, it's a brand new system for us.  We are updating your applications as quickly as our little hands can scan transcripts and mark other items as received.  That said, please do know that even though you click "submit" and things appear instantaneous, it still takes a bit of checking on our end. We know you have all worked extremely hard to make sure we receive all your materials by the deadline, and your application won't be impacted by any delay on our end. But if you notice any glaring problems, please do let us know so we can improve things.

Boston | leave a comment

Alright Mother Nature, ENOUGH

I cannot help looking out the window and watch the snow accumulate. This is the third snow storm in 2 weeks. This is bananas. On the Simmons Academic campus, there is a way to get to most buildings without walking outside. Lefavour Hall and Main Campus Building are connected on the bottom floor which makes for easy navigation. (Especially easy because the hallway is to the left of the bookstore) Getting to the School of Management and to the Palace Road Building (where GSLIS is located,) require a little more experience. Well, reader of this blog - let me tell you how to do avoid the weather for as long as possible. The Main Campus Building, School of Management and Palace Road building all have entrances to the parking garage. So, you just walk down to a garage entrance, walk through the garage, and back up into whatever building you choose. Now, this sounds like lazy, hermit-like shenanigans, but I can tell you, it is actually more work, and I don’t do hats. So when it is snowing there is nothing to protect my head. It is also good to know on days when it is raining, because sitting in class wet is the worst.

| leave a comment

Incase You Missed It: S. 3984

S. 3984, the Museum and Library Services Act, was created to authorize funding at current levels for library and museum services around the country through 2016.  Further reading.

  • In addition, this bill authorizes funding for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program which provides education assistance grants for those pursuing careers as librarians, and it expands the definition of museums eligible for funding to include those with digital collections.
  • The Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services will also now be required to develop and implement a policy for ensuring that the availability of museum, library and information services adequately meets the needs of the American people.  

In case you missed it,  you will be pleased to know that S. 3984 passed the House in the closing days of the 111th Congress and was signed into law on December 22, 2010 by Barack Obama.

Events | leave a comment

BPL Canvas Bag

Jeff Carvalho at Selectism crushes it... he found this canvas book bag (literally a bag for transporting books) that could do double duty as a weekender bag. BPL style. Reblogging below;

More than 100 years ago, the workers of the Boston Public Library figured out that the best way to ferry books between the branches was in this deep, heavy-duty bag, one in each hand to balance the load. Each is capable of holding 27 pounds. Buy it for $38.

If you want more info, read here about how the bags have double canvas bottoms as a requirement, and about the inscription stencilled inside...

Events | leave a comment

TRON: Legacy and Open Access

TRON: Legacy

Although I was not yet born when the first TRON came out, I grew up on that movie. My dad was always a fan and even had the hand-held video game. At a very young age, I owned that game. MCP had nothing on me. (I may have gotten a little worried just now typing this on a computer; I don’t want to end up on the Grid.) Three years ago when they announced TRON: Legacy

at Comic-Con I ‘geeked’ out and could not wait to see it. As soon as I could get together with my Dad, we went to see the movie. I was delighted to not only witness a sequel true to the original, but to see connections between the movie and Library and Information Science.


In TRON: Legacy we encounter Flynn’s son, as a rebellious rich kid, who has the intelligence to break into buildings and hack secure files, but with lacks drive. Every year he plots to foil some part of his company, in an effort to honor his father’s vision – an Open System (Open Content) where people can share ideas to contribute to the greater good. After the disappearance of his father, the company began to secure their information, increasing profits while limiting access, something Flynn senior was very much against. Encom was touting its most secure and controlled software live on television as young Flynn hacked into the servers and gave the world Open Access to this program.

Who knew, one of my favorite childhood movies would promote Open Access. Here at Simmons there are a number of events during Open Access Week (the last full week in October, the 2011 dates are Oct 24 – 30) including lectures, debates and social events. I support Open Access because I believe it is in the best interest of humanity to work together for a greater good. The more people who contribute to an idea, the more complete it will be. It is the experience of the individuals involved with an issue that shape the overall solution, and a greater range of experiences will yield a greater result. I also believe that Open Access will help shrink the education gap by making information available to those of lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Many diseases have all but disappeared in America while ravaging Third-World countries. Providing access to the published information can not only help further research but also help to stop the spread of disease. Providing Open Access does not just work as a system for the poor to have access to the rich, it allows for new and different contributions. For example, while a top medical research lab could be close to finding a permanent cure for a disease, it could be the contributions of a small research lab in the middle of a jungle who could find the extra ingredient to cure that disease forever.

I was excited to be able to read into TRON: Legacy and not just enjoy the light cycles. I hope that the message in this movie helps others see the benefits of Open Access and Open Content.

Events | leave a comment