A Career Path for Youth

May 2, 2022

An October 2021 webinar convened by the Public Library Association (PLA) and members of LibsWork, a national networking group focused on workforce and small business development, explored the ways in which libraries can support young people as they enter the workforce amid these ongoing challenges. Librarians and workforce development professionals shared how such programs are … Continue reading A Career Path for Youth


Loan forgiveness

Recognition and Relief

March 15, 2022

Created to facilitate the forgiveness of remaining balances on federal Direct Loans (student loans made directly by the US Department of Education), PSLF made headlines as a way to free up financial futures for many people. To be eligible for forgiveness, individuals had to have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while … Continue reading Recognition and Relief


Northwestern library workers assemble on campus

Getting Organized

March 1, 2022

Library unionization efforts are blooming around the country, taking place in public, private, and academic institutions of all sizes. In Maryland, Baltimore County Public Library workers have joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and in Colorado, Denver Public Library (DPL) staffers formed Denver Public Library Workers United, a unit of the Communications … Continue reading Getting Organized


Why Your DEI Programs Are Not Working

January 23, 2022

In her 15-minute Shop Talk session, “3 Reasons Your DEI Programs Are Not Working,” Elaina Norlin presented research and anecdotes from consulting on DEI issues to attendees of ALA’s LibLearnX virtual conference on January 23. Norlin, author of The Six-Step Guide to Library Worker Engagement (ALA Editions, 2021) and professional development and DEI program coordinator … Continue reading Why Your DEI Programs Are Not Working


The Virtual Interview Lab at Do Space in Omaha, Nebraska

Acing the Interview

November 1, 2021

An estimated 19 million Americans—or 6% of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. And as more job interviews have moved online during the pandemic, those without access face a major roadblock to finding employment. That’s where Do Space has stepped in. In July 2020, the Omaha, Nebraska–based community technology library … Continue reading Acing the Interview


The library employment landscape

The Library Employment Landscape

May 3, 2021

Even before COVID-19 struck early last year, the LIS job market was a competitive one. Now, with the pandemic’s one-year anniversary behind us, the employment landscape for librarians has become even rockier and more unstable for entry-level candidates. At Syracuse (N.Y.) University School of Information Studies, for instance, the job placement rate for graduating LIS … Continue reading The Library Employment Landscape


Illustration: Man does virtual interview at home with laptop, wearing shirt and tie with pajama bottoms and slippers (Illustration: Shane Tolentino)

The Virtual Job Hunt

May 3, 2021

After a particularly tough rejection, she reached out to a librarian friend for moral support. “She said, ‘You have it, but, by the way, there’s this job that opened up at the last minute in my district,’ which I didn’t know about,” Vela says. “So she put my name in.” It was Vela’s 35th job … Continue reading The Virtual Job Hunt




On My Mind, by Yoonhee Lee

Bumpy Inroads

May 1, 2020

The Canadian Union of Public Employees found that more than half of employees in Canadian libraries, both public and academic, either work in precarious roles or are at risk of falling into less stable roles, and that women and minorities are disproportionately affected. This certainly feels true; since graduating, most of my classmates have temporarily … Continue reading Bumpy Inroads


Reenvisioning Work

March 2, 2020

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World By Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall Culture, goals, leadership, feedback: These ideas are ingrained in our work lives. They shape the organizations we work for and our experiences within them. But Buckingham and Goodall argue that they are, in fact, lies that distort … Continue reading Reenvisioning Work


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Contract Concerns

November 1, 2019

The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association’s Library Worklife site states: “Union contracts often provide for fair and flexible working hours, better pay for overtime and work on evenings and weekends, more paid holidays, paid family and medical leave, and employer help with child care and elder care.” These conditions are undoubtedly important. But when talking … Continue reading Contract Concerns