LIS Job Searching for the Newly (And Not So Newly) Initiated

So you have your MLS/MLIS and you’re ready to look for that perfect job. With stars in your eyes and a skip in your step, you’re off to find where you belong. The only problem is, where do you look?

Recently, INALJ (I Need a Library Job) announced that it would be downsizing, stepping off social media, and really checking out of the information science/library game. For many this may have seemed like it was coming out of left-field, but the site itself had undergone massive changes and lost a large chunk of its volunteer base. On top of that, the creator of the site had moved on to “bigger and better things.” So while the…rebranding? of INALJ definitely left a hole in the library job search market, it wasn’t the only space devoted to helping new (and seasoned) librarians find the illustrious library job.

There are several places you can turn to in order to find information about library positions: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, State websites, local and regional government websites, and the direct website of libraries you are interested in.

Twitter is a great resource, especially if you’re trying to stealthily search for jobs while your soul is slowly being devoured at your current job. Some of the top Twitter accounts to follow (mostly US only):

There are also several hashtags and non-job search accounts you can follow on Twitter, that make it easy to stay up-to-date on LIS job postings, Twitter chats, and LIS resources:

If you’re looking at staying in a certain area, you should follow the Twitter accounts of libraries in your area of interest. By connecting with the libraries you are interested in directly, you can see the types of activities they are currently involved in, and you have the possibility of being notified about a position before it hits the job search sites.

When searching for jobs on job search sites like Indeed or Glassdoor, you should keep the following keywords in mind, and be open to working outside the MLS/MLIS box (taken directly from INALJ.com)

I linked a few of the keywords to specific job descriptions, so you can better see what you may be applying for before you hit the submit button.

 

For many, the job search may be a long one, especially if you lack the library experience that is often a qualification for a library position. And while I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I will offer advice to LIS job seekers.

  1. Do not be disheartened by the lack of response from a library you have dreamed of working at for years, or from the special collection library that seems too good to be true. It’s never out of reach, you just may need to work on becoming their dream candidate.
  2. Ask for feedback from recruiters when you aren’t offered a position. Not every job will give you the feedback you request, but it never hurts to ask.
  3. Look over cover letters of LIS professionals who were hired.
  4. Continue to evolve professionally. This means taking courses, getting certifications, participating in scholarly activity, and putting yourself out there.
  5. Make sure that you stay active within the community.
  6. Beef up your CV/resume with volunteer activities and organizations.

Best of luck!

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