good tumblarians

ivyink  asked:

Hey Becca, would you mind sharing how you found your job? I'm currently finishing my studies and hunting for my 1st real job, too, and sometimes it eels utterly hopeless...

Ninaaa! Congrats on wrapping up with school. I completely understand how scary it is when bleak prospects make the job search seem impossible (…apologies for the anxious blogging you suffered from me, while I went through it. aha). A few things that I hope will help:

  • Decide early-on where you’re open to living. Searching the country/world for open jobs can be overwhelming, so pick a few places you’d really like to end up, and start there.
  • Look for sites that aggregate job openings in your field. In the library world, luckily for me, there are a bunch of these (like ArchivesGig, INALJ, and ALA Joblist). Often, professional societies will run these kinds of sites. Also helpful is checking out the websites of large universities and browsing their department pages for resources. Even if they’re aimed at internships instead of jobs, the guides will help you get a better picture of the field and what kinds of work are out there. I spent so many hours as an undergrad bookmarking stuff from various history, museum studies, and art history departments. It’s a folder I still keep around just because I found so many great leads.
  • Have someone review your personal statements and the intro you use for cover letters. I do this for a bunch of friends, and have some who do it for me. You need to get your personality across in a couple paragraphs in these documents, and sometimes having people who know you help to refine your message can be valuable. When I used to apply for internships at museums and archives, my first paragraph was always a short anecdote about the moment I fell in love with paintings at the Huntington Library. An impersonal, cookie-cutter-style letter is the worst thing you can do.
  • Ask mentors & professors for help. This is how I actually came to find the position I’m in now. Three previous internship supervisors knew I was on the search, and would send me things that came across their radars. These people might be able to put you in touch with an old colleague, or know someone who knows someone who’s hiring. Getting to know people (I don’t say networking, because putting it that way makes the introvert in me want to throw up) and relying on word-of-mouth can provide some of your best opportunities.

Sorry this got so long!! I’m posting publicly in case it helps others as well–hope you don’t mind, and let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

“Expanding one’s knowledge is an important goal for most students. The University provides voluminous works to ponder, as well as a few quiet studying spots wedged between the book stacks.” We hope that you have enjoyed our year of #ellis100 #tbt posts, and have taken the time to explore these stacks yourself.

This is it for our centennial #tbt series, but stick with us – we’ve got a ton more material (and a lot of terrible jokes) – still to come. Good luck with the end of your semesters, and may you have lovely sunlit memories of your time in Ellis.

Why patrons love it when I hate on technology

Patrons expect friendly professionalism, not miracle working. When I help a patron with a gnarly tech issue, I display my real emotions, that I’m: perplexed, curious, thinking through the issue, frustrated, confident, happy with a solution, etc.

The patrons we serve have the same emotions. When I sense patrons are open for it, I joke around about malfunctioning tech.

These jokes release a lot of tension. Patrons are dealing with things they’re unfamiliar with, they’re on-edge, vulnerable. Technology is negatively impacting their lives, and I try to have the exact opposite effect. When I joke around about bad or failing technology, I’m just like them. And it’s just plain funny: there I am, the technology specialist, also having trouble.

No one likes the way technology makes us feel like we’re the problem. Showing patrons that we librarians have the same problems and emotions as them creates bonds and is good customer service.