In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Is “Fit” a Bad Fit?

June 3, 2019

A major issue with hiring for cultural fit is the potential to stifle diversity. We are all influenced by cognitive biases, the shortcuts our brains are programmed to take to help us make decisions. Those biases often lead us to value and want to be around people who are more like us. Whether that means … Continue reading Is “Fit” a Bad Fit?


Columbia University, circa 1906. Photo: ALA Archives

By the Numbers: Library School

May 1, 2019

1887 Year that the first library school in the world was established. It was founded at Columbia College—now Columbia University—in New York City by Melvil Dewey. 61 Number of American Library Association (ALA)–accredited MLIS programs in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 64% Percentage of ALA-accredited MLIS programs that offer completely online degree programs. … Continue reading By the Numbers: Library School


Mies Martin (left) and Beth Martin present their findings at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland on April 12.

The Impostor Phenomenon

April 13, 2019

At an April 12 session at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland, Beth Martin, head of professional programs at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and Mies Martin, electronic resources and serials librarian at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, described their own recent IP research. Beth Martin said IP is … Continue reading The Impostor Phenomenon


From left: Amy Fyn, Amanda Foster-Kaufman, Christina Heady, and Allison Hosier at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Cleveland

Why Librarians Leave

April 12, 2019

The study identified 20 factors spread across four categories that indicated librarian job dissatisfaction, most significantly workplace morale, with 79% of respondents identifying it as their top reason for leaving. Following closely behind was dissatisfaction with library administration (72%).  “Overall the comments indicated that unfair practices and lack of transparency were the highest areas of … Continue reading Why Librarians Leave


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Career Readiness for Teens

January 2, 2019

“Our Teen Squad programs are driven by youth interests while focusing on work readiness and 21st-century skills development,” says Kate Aubin, teen educator at PPL. “With our diverse community partners, we provide interactive and engaging competency-based programming that builds relationships and connects teens to workforce development opportunities.” One such offering under the umbrella of Teen … Continue reading Career Readiness for Teens


Dewey Decibel Episode 32, Get a Job

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Get a Job!

November 27, 2018

First, ALA Editions acquisitions editor and Dewey Decibel contributor Jamie Santoro speaks with Caitlin Williams, author of Be Opportunity-Minded: Start Growing Your Career Now (ALA Editions, 2019), about tips for those on the job hunt and job market trends. Next, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries associate editor Phil Morehart talks with David Connolly, recruitment … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Get a Job!


Good Job Hunting

November 1, 2018

Fortunately, the traits that bring librarians to the profession—diligence, curiosity, intelligence, and flexibility—are the same ones that can win them a position. And American Libraries is here to show you how. Just a few of the things we cover in this special package: How to network without feeling like a phony The LIS skills that … Continue reading Good Job Hunting


Résumé Yea or Résumé Nay?

November 1, 2018

That’s why we’ve enlisted National Résumé Writers’ Association President Mary Jo King and San José (Calif.) State University School of Information Student and Alumni Career Consultant Jill A. Klees to give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down on several common résumé practices. Nay: Objectives Once, many résumés led with a section titled “Objectives,” listing what the applicant … Continue reading Résumé Yea or Résumé Nay?


The Salary Question

November 1, 2018

What’s the first thing someone should think about when negotiating salary? Research. If there is one aspect of job negotiation that is tailor-made for someone with an LIS background, it’s this. Exhaust every available resource to come into any negotiation armed with evidence to support the worth of your expertise and services in a position. … Continue reading The Salary Question


HR Confidential

November 1, 2018

Applying for a job “I know we’re all guilty of this in the HR profession: We sometimes create a very lengthy list of qualifications in our job postings. I have heard that that can be daunting to early-career people. I would suggest they go ahead and apply but try to amplify in their cover letter … Continue reading HR Confidential


Help Wanted

November 1, 2018

Focus on the job seeker, not just staffing needs. Many job announcements have become no more than a dry HR position description pasted into an email. Remember that this is an advertisement, and your goal is to attract the interest of terrific candidates. Save the laundry list of infrequent duties for later in the process, … Continue reading Help Wanted


Advice for Every Phase

November 1, 2018

We talked with Sara Kelly Johns, retired school librarian, online instructor, and school library activist; Kathryn Kjaer, head of library human resources at University of California, Irvine; and Jill Klees, career consultant to students and alumni at San José State University School of Information. Finding a Job Don’t neglect networking. According to a 2016 survey … Continue reading Advice for Every Phase