I got a call yesterday from an institution I’d interviewed with over the phone last week. They want to fly me down to interview with the search committee, my potential supervisor, and anyone from the library staff or University faculty who want to watch me present on three topics (eeek!). I’m kind of excited about doing short presentations on three topics rather than one long presentation on a single topic, but it gives me a lot to consider in terms of what I should be presenting on. There are general guidelines for the presentations (one on liaison strategies and subject expertise, one on collections and access, and one on instruction and reference). So I am full of ideas and am having some trouble fleshing out what to write about.
Here are a few of my ideas:
1. Promoting Faculty-Library Partnerships
2. Issues in Serials Acquisitions and Management
3. Methods of Determining ROI with Electronic Serials
4. Web-Based Information Literacy Initiatives (tutorials and online classes)
5. Open Access, It’s Potential Impact on Collection Development, and the Possible Role of Libraries in Open Access Publishing
6. Google Scholar, Federated Searching, and Improving Access to Electronic Journal Articles in Libraries
Right now, I think I’m definitely going to do #1 and #4 (it’ll give me a chance to show off Camtasia), but I’m unsure about what to do for the collection development and access one. I’m definitely more interested in talking about the access part of that issue. This is the first time in an interview that I’ve had to give a presentation, so I’m not sure I’m on the right track. But I’m very excited about the position and about meeting everyone there. They seem really open to change and technology. Best of all, they seemed like a supportive bunch, which is really important when you have to work with someone day after day. I remember when I was at Wesleyan and had to defend my thesis in front of the History faculty. I gave a 15 minute presentation on the subject of my thesis, the effects of the Enlightenment and Romanticism in Germany on identity politics in the Berlin Jewish community, followed by questions. Two of the professors there basically interrogated me, attacked me, and seemed to want to make me feel like an idiot. I can’t imagine why anyone would do that (I guess it’s like the other Doctors torturing my husband when he was a 1st year resident — a rite of passage). After talking to the search committee members, though, I have a feeling these presentations will not be quite so brutal. 🙂
Since I’m pretty much snowed in today, it’s a good day for doing research for the presentations. Throughout this job hunt, I’ve always known that I would get a job. It may not be this one, but I do still have confidence that I will end up in a good job in a good library. I read so many stories about people who are disillusioned with the profession because they haven’t found a job. I couldn’t be disillusioned with the profession. Every day I find more things to be excited about in librarianship. I didn’t get involved in this field bcause I thought I could get a job easily (though I did). It was really the only career I felt excited about. And I still am. If anything, I’m disillusioned with ALA, but that’s an impetus to get involved, not to give up. I guess everyone deals with disappointment in different ways. You can take the victim route or the advocacy route. I’d rather try and fight for change than mope around, though sometimes binge eating Ben and Jerry’s seems like a pretty good panacea too. 😉
I had the same experience when giving my thesis talk at Wesleyan (mine was on 18th century Anglican missionaries to the Mohawks). I dunno if it’s a rite of passage or just entertainment – I clearly remember one prof commenting that she like to see “a little blood on the floor” at these things. Small world, eh? I really enjoy reading your blog, btw. Makes my library days that much better…
Good luck on the job interview!
-Dael N, ’04
the ‘ben and jerry’ diet is not recommended by 4 out of 5 doctors.
People aren’t just disillusioned with the profession because they don’t have a job. Sometimes it’s because we had to settle for a job that turned out to be a nightmare, and we’re stuck in it because trying to job search when you have a full-time job is twice as hard.
Sometimes we’re disillusioned because there were more myths told to us in library school than just the “librarian shortage” bunk, and what we find makes us wonder about the profession as a whole.
There’s a lot more going on than just unemployment.
You’re right Trish and I’m sorry if it sounded like I was oversimplifying. The job market that exists today certainly isn’t the same one that was portrayed even just 18 months ago, but that really makes me disillusioned about library schools and the ALA, not librarianship. I don’t think the entire profession was conspiring to perpetuate this myth, but we all (professionals in the field, students obtaining their MLS) bought into it. And it sucks. While I am disillusioned with my recent experiences. the best thing I can do now is get involved in the ALA and try to make a positive change. The only thing I agree with Michael Gorman about is the importance of tightening accreditation standards for library schools, so that what we are taught is representative of the reality of librarianship today.
I don’t really know if looking for a job when you have a full-time job is twice as bad as looking for a job when you don’t have one. I know it sucks to have a crappy job, but it’s much more stressful not knowing when you’ll get a job and not having a stable income.
Good luck with your search, Trish.