March 6, 2013
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I’ve decided to only post about common missteps so if this hits home, you’re certainly not alone.
The Job Announcement is the biggest gift that you can be given. It tells you all kinds of details that a great research librarian — and forensic investigator — could ever need. If you obsess over language and understanding clues, then you’ll love learning the fine art of understanding the job announcement.
Is a Job Announcement at all like conducting a reference interview? Yes, by jove, you’ve got it! Use the language of the announcement just as you would the language provided by your patron. Try to understand more than just the words, but the intent behind the words. Here’s a few examples:
Example 1: Duties listed in the announcement indicate “responsible for overseeing regulatory compliance”
Sounds like gibberish and frankly gives no clues? Au contraire! The fact that they are talking about regulatory compliance tells you that they expect you to KNOW there are regulations that you should know. Is that regulation specific to the program, the agency? Find out which regulations you’ll be enforcing, toss in the Title ## so show you have knowledge of that regulation. It COULD turn out that “Title ##” is a keyword that gives you extra points. And basically it just means that you educate people about how best to follow the law. Easy Peasy.
Example 2: Seven duties listed in the announcement
Print off the announcement and print off your resume. Place them side by side and open your highlighter. Take duty #1 and highlight what language in your resume addresses your knowledge and experience doing this task? Is the task mentioned in your resume once for a year you worked at one job? Is the task mentioned in 3 jobs that total six years of experience doing that task? Is the task not mentioned at all in the experience sections of your resume? What can you add to beef up your resume in that area.
Taking your job as a job seeker seriously means that you have to do your homework. Believe me, some other applicant is doing their homework, and you’re competing against them. Why not play to win if you’re going to play? it will be evident to whoever reads your resume whether you did your homework or dashed off the same resume to a thousand different positions as if tossing hope into the air. They gave you a gift. Why not open it?
January 19, 2013
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Rather than preach … and oh can I climb on my soapbox … let me give you concrete examples of the value I attribute to the job announcement.
Yep, I know, you THINK you read it.
Lesson 1: What is the real closing date?
Consider the case of OhIAmBrilliant student who makes it a practice to keep abreast of all new jobs and apply to them in a timely fashion.
Yep, she spots a very hard to find job under a different job series than would be expected. This job was advertised for a social media specialist in the 0301 job series. (know your job series will be in another lesson)
She prints it off, saves the announcement, marks her calendar to apply on Monday after the weekend since it doesn’t close until Wednesday as marked in the OPEN PERIOD statement. Oh what a brilliant weekend she will have dreaming about this perfect job that she certainly is a perfect candidate to fill.
OhIAmBrilliant has failed to completely read the announcement and missed the sentence a few paragraphs in that says “Closes on Wednesday or when the first 50 applicants are received“.
OhIAmBrilliant won’t have the opportunity to even apply for this great job because the first 50 applications were submitted as soon as the job was announced.
If only she had read the announcement carefully when she first spotted it!
December 19, 2012
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The Library History Buff Blog has an interesting post about female librarians who participated in the ALA Library War Service during WWI.
November 3, 2012
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The CIFL managers are close to a partnership to host webinars every 6-8 weeks on a variety of topics.
But, wait! Are they going to answer your burning questions? Will the webinars resolve those nagging questions so you can sleep easier at night?
Do tell ….. what agencies do you want to learn more about? Which jobs are intriguing to you? Which speakers can provide you the scoop on your area of interest?
August 28, 2012
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Are you a Federal Librarian or otherwise involved with the Federal Information field? Share your knowledge and wisdom with fellow Federal Information professionals and job seekers at careers-in-federal-libraries.com.
Possible topics include: social media in federal libraries, transitioning from a public or academic library to a federal library, resume and job advice for positions in federal libraries, and event reviews.
For more information and to submit your article ideas:
Alternately, you may also email us at CIFL2008@gmail.com with Guest Post in the subject line.
July 27, 2012
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North Carolina is the 9th state to smooth the path for military spouses. The new law works to reduce barriers of entry into the workforce for military spouses across the U.S.
“Under the law, military spouses trained in jobs that require professional licenses or certification, such as school teachers, registered nurses or childcare professionals, will receive licenses to work in North Carolina, as long as they hold a license in a state with equal or more rigorous standards.” See Pew States for more info. http://www.pewstates.org/
July 23, 2012
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The Symposium on Digital Curation in the Era of Big Data: Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements (07192012) was hosted by the National Academies of Science. In no particular order, here are the highlights and comments that grabbed my attention.
Loved David Weinberger’s comment: “The value of a scientific information commons is to have your nerds arguing with my nerds”.
NSF Office of Cyber Infrastucuture see Data as a Transforming Agent
- will begin non-governmental awards and working groups across global boundaries soon
- NSF stresses agile development, rough consensus to push forward quickly, and community involvement
- What infrastructure is needed to move terabytes and petabytes quickly? How do we build and sustain that network?
IMLS expects more proposals to educate MLIS and archivists in future; stressing the MLIS education funded thru grants to prepare to handling, life cycle mgmt digital content, analyzing data sets
David Weinberger, Harvard University, author of “Too Big to know” and “Everything is Miscellaneous”
- move to filter data on the way out, not on the way in as a search and retrieval strategy
- Today we do Collaboration across namespaces
- Data as cells can be modeled by modeling a domain until you hit a certain level of complexity
- Integrating multiple complex models increase the error rates
- “The value of a scientific information commons is to have your nerds arguing with my nerds”
Joshua Greenberg, Sloan Foundation
- A lack of digital curation capacity at the producer level provides a shaky foundation for big data future
- What is a data scientist? Universities scrambling to train up staff, but perhaps not in digital curation activities
- Sloan Foundation, funding data wrangling efforts, new skills in analysis, computational research
Myron Guttmann, NSF
- Need specialized training and education w/in the scientific community itself; training for methodologists
- Must integrate digital curation into the scientific research process; libraries, archivists and scientist join hands! Myron Guttmann, NSF: big data announcement from March drives toward more attention to curation, analysis, preservation in context
- Committed to learning how scientific work is done, do as much training as they can by partnering w/ universities
- How do we integrate those COIs into the scientific research community where the work is being done? What kinds of communities for data are out there? We need to build COI around data in new and interesting ways
- NSF policy requirement will try to tease out the findings of data management plans submitted since Jan 2011; one change will likely be in the NSF bio sketch which will require a list of by-products of research (reports, data set, videos)
Michael Stebbins, White House OSTP
- Must be cautious of burdens on scientists; agencies are already queuing up policies on managing open data
- Funds will naturally be shifted to solve big data problems
- Forming private-public partnerships accelerates the research; nucleates activity
- Administration worked hard to improve public access to technical data, technical publications and raw data sets
- Data management plans needed for agencies; having those plans being reviewed by peers was great idea
- At crossroads assessing what concerns about burdens need to be addressed; deep concerns related to sharing data
Margarita Gregg, NOAA
- The digital era includes digitizing and harmonizing data that exists in tangible format only.
- NOAA understands they will not be able to preserve everything, all data, in perpetuity.
- Knowledge skills that they need are intersection between scientists, IT, librarian
- Requirement for the future is to find interdisciplinary trained, hybrid worker
- People need to understand and be comfortable with manipulating, understanding, and extracting data and then be able to translate into useful products; be able to discover which tools people really need and how do we provide so they are understandable to the end user.
- Most pressing personnel needs are in data mining; systems architects; scientific stewardship
- Workers needs skills in digital rights management and intellectual property management
Anne Kenney, Director, Cornell University Libraries
- 62% library budget goes to electronic resources, mostly just a few publishers; Big Science major driver for ACRL libraries
- Digital curation related issues prompted eScience working group at ACRL which noted gaps in capabilities
- Guide for research libraries published as result of NSF data management mandate; eScience Institute hosted by ACRL
- 7 roles for librarians and archivists listed in work entitled “New Roles for New Times”
- in Humanities, focus on digital learning, creation on scholarly products rather than focusing on research products
- in eScience, focusing more on harmonization of initially captured data; social networking in virtual communities
- Lots of interest in embedded scientists in the library
- Reskilling for Research — identifies 9 gaps in training (data mining, metadata creation, etc.) from librarian perspective
- may be a role for teaching libraries as there are teaching hospitals
Vicki Ferrini, Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
- Works as a data scientist, marine scientist trained in geoinformatics; liaise with the scientists to translate and apply data models, develop data discovery tools, build data compliance tools for NSF requirements; build education materials
- Scientific data continuum changed (only making data available as part of a published report); now Columbia using data archivists for feedback between data producer and data consumer
- Intersect data producers, data consumers, and data providers to find the data scientist; need domain knowledge, need acquisition skills, understanding of the data requires grounding in the science
Elizabeth Liddy, Dean Syracuse University School of Information
- Data scientists competencies: Data analytics, data structure, data mining, ability to run information extraction on unstructured data, statistical analysis, recognize risk and noise and data quality, data and information visualization, understanding of infoviz tools, being able to design
- Data archiving and preservation, how to select and provide access and storage, data stewardship, migration of data
- Task force assembled at the iConference worked on these competencies
Nancy McGovern, Curation and Preservation Services, MIT Library
- Amazon web conference in May: challenges include scale, complexity, speed
- Start with data, then end with BIG data
- Create a SWOT analysis, take your library skills in and compare to desired skills to define gaps
- She helped with UNC Chapel Hill outcome matrix with categories for skill sets
- Look for findings from project DIPR on dissemination packages research
July 4, 2012
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Yes, hiring reforms in federal government are here to stay. Of particular interest are the changes to student hiring (no more temporary employment, internships please), the recent graduate program (a welcome addition!), and changes in the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.
You may have heard that the PMF program added a special category for hiring those with degrees such as MLIS. Great news, but seems as if it’s slow to roll out. But if you’re interested in keeping abreast of this program, they’ve added a discussion list (email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Subscribe PMF” in the body of the email).
As folks in agencies hear how this is rolling out, please comment, share info, or discussion on the Careers in Federal Libraries LinkedIn group.
We surely want folks with our skill sets in government, so let’s pitch in and help each other share the knowledge.
May 20, 2012
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Unusual Opportunities That Will Do More Than Enhance Your Resume Saturday 6/23 from 1:30 – 3:00 FREE.
How can you make yourself stand out when all of the candidates have an MLS? What will impress the person doing the hiring?
This session will feature the different ways others have taken advantage of opportunities such as practicums, fieldwork, independent studies, and special projects in order to enhance your resume and impress hiring officials. Come to this session to meet with students, recent graduates, and federal librarians to learn about opportunities available to you that if taken, will get you job offers.
Speakers from Careers in Federal Libraries, GSA, Louisiana State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Florida, University of Maryland, San Jose State University, University of North Texas and more!
Questions? Contact Nancy Faget (Careers in Federal Libraries) or Kirsten Cassidy (LSU) CIFL2008@gmail.com
Use this opportunity to network with federal librarians, and get advice from speakers working in various federal libraries.
See the complete list of Career events in the ALA Placement Center #ALA12
May 20, 2012
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Yes, we’re going to be in the ALA Placement Center again this conference! Meet up with us Sunday, June 24. Informal meet up at NOON with the event at 1:30-3:00.
Are you aware that an MLIS might qualify you to work as a social media specialist, program planner, web content manager, writer, or editor? Did you know that many of these positions are available now through the Federal government?
We invite you to join us on Sunday, June 24 for an eye-opening workshop about the types of federal job opportunities accessible to the MLIS degree holder. We’ll hear from the professional librarians who have firsthand experience within these positions, as they explore and discuss the types of careers available to new and upcoming MLIS graduates who have an interest in working for federal libraries.
Join us at noon for some light refreshments, followed by a panel discussion at 1:30 PM, and Q&A until 3:00PM. Attendees can use this opportunity to network with and get advice from the MLIS professionals working in federal positions. Learn about job opportunities from Julius Jefferson (Congressional Research Service), Michelle Chronister (GSA), and Virginia Sanchez (Dept. Homeland Security) and more!
This workshop is free and open to all. New and upcoming MLIS graduates are highly encouraged to attend. Careers in Federal Libraries is sponsored by LSU School of Library and Information Science. Registration not required.
Questions? Contact Nancy Faget (Careers in Federal Libraries) and Kristen Philyaw Cassidy (LSU) CIFL2008@gmail.com.