27 September 2012

20 September 2012

Embarassing Faux Pas of the Searching [Library] Employer

It amazes me that career advice columnists manage to survive. I am not sure if I am alone on this. But every time I see a new headline for '10 Things to Never Say in an Interview' or '5 Ways to Make Your Resume Shine,' I read the same common-sense or inane advice that has been repeated from time immemorial. Anyway, in libraryland there are many sites dedicated to navigating library school and the hiring process: Hack Library School, I Need a Library Job, Hiring Librarians, and Open Cover Letters. Letters to a Young Librarian also occasionally features some young career advice. Hiring Librarians has a regular feature where hiring manager at library organizations are interviewed about what advice they have for job-hunting candidates, covering everything from preparation and salary negotiation to etiquette and fashion. There should be a similar list for employers.

In their imaginary fantasy world, library
hiring managers probably wish all of
 their candidates are like Rex Libris.
One of my favorite job-search related blogs to peruse is You Ought to Be Ashamed, which focuses on the disastrously absurd in archival job postings, a la "Must have an MLS, Ph.D., be fluent in 5 languages, have 7 years programming experience. Salary: $32,000"). Sadly it is not updated that often. But I wish there were more ways for potential employers to improve their end of the job-search. In recent months, I have heard all kinds of embarrassments from job-hunters librarian and non-librarian alike, and one wonders what this world is coming to. To begin, here is a brief list potential employers should avoid.

19 September 2012

The Belgian & The Hobbit

While I am here, let me remind you to indulge in a few days of opportunities for semi-literary excitement and celebration of two beloved characters of short stature and a propensity for fine meals. Tomorrow, 20 September, we have Talk Like a Poirot Day, a tribute to the legendary Agatha Christie detective, and an apt postlude to the annual Talk Like a Pirate Day. Dust off your moustache and monocle, and prime your Belgian accent for a day most grand! A little fine dining won't hurt either.

The next day, Friday, 21 September, marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (not quite as momentous an occasion as an eleventy-first birthday, but it will do). Fans all around the world will be celebrating with second breakfast, at 11 o'clock sharp (Owing to the demands of the work day, I will be having a very late second breakfast). The very next day, 22 September, is Hobbit Day, the shared birthday of our beloved Bilbo and Frodo. If ever I had an excuse to bake scones, this is it! Oh, and read. Hobbits love to read:

Catholic Speaker Month: Alice von Hildebrand

Before the entire month gets away from me, I'd like to take some time to welcome any new readers in observance of Support a Catholic Speaker Month, organized by Brandon Vogt. It is my pleasure to introduce you (or re-introduce you) to Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, who is a favorite speaker and writer of mine.
I first encountered Alice myself when she spoke a few years ago at a conference sponsored by the Right-to-Life Club at my alma mater. She spoke with passion about the pains, both socially and spiritually, that abortion has caused, and continues to cause, in our society today. She is a petite little lady, but she has a lively spirit about her. Not one to draw attention to myself, I didn't immediate introduce myself to her after her talk. But as luck would have it,  a large number of students involved in organizing the conference were obligated to attend a wedding that same evening, which left only myself and a good friend of mine available to take her out to dinner and return her to the airport the next day. It was a delight to listen to her more throughout our hearty Italian meal as she spoke about Aristotle and friendship, and especially her husband, Dietrich, about whom she speaks with joyful admiration (more about him later). It was also quite a sight to see her ride shotgun in my friend's bright red Ford Mustang on the way to her flight.