Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Else Do Libraries Want From Reference Librarians?

The toughest part of job-hunting these last two years has been tweaking my resume to try and highlight what exactly my expertise and skills are.

And coping with the feeling that I'm still missing the magic phrase that would make a library HR job-hunter go "Hola, this guy has mad skills!"

I mean, I spell out that:

  • I've got years, 14 years and then some, working the reference and public service desk, answering questions, pointing people to the best resources, getting them to the research they seek;
  • I've got years, just as long, working with computers - from the heady days of CD-ROM readers (I can still remember the time it took to switch disks locked into special case holders) - into the first citation-only online databases and from there into full-text articles and now into PDF print-quality journal pages.  And not just researching them with Boolean search methods but with every Advanced limiter command prompt known to database managers.

And that's just with being a reference librarian.  Past that, I've got additional skills with collection management, shelf management (and weeding of dated materials), subject headings and cataloging keywords, and even some skill checking books out and handling overdue fines.  If there's been anything a librarian has to do, I've done it.  I've even been a branch manager (granted, that only lasted a year before my immediate supervisor found me wanting and suggested I get demoted to just reference librarian... yeah, you're not supposed to mention the "negative things" but hell, it happened and I've got to explain it sooner or later).

And still, I feel I'm missing something.

Anyone out there reading this blog have any suggestions on what I need to say on my resume to impress the libraries out there hiring?  Because in this job market, I'm up against one of the tightest markets for librarians ever as every state out there is facing massive budget cuts (and libraries are the easiest target for politicians everywhere... )

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had an answer to your question from any angle... hell, I *have* a job and I'm still worried about my resume.

    I mean, we'd like to move someday, but the job market now (and, for the foreseeable future really) looks fucking intimidating!

    It seems like the market is definitely shifting these days...but to what? Do you have to say flat out that you'll work triple time for half pay or what? Everyone has been getting blood from stones for the past couple years from those employees desperate to hang on to their jobs, so I suspect they've come to expect this from *everyone*.