A New Career In A New Town, Libraries

A New Career In a New Town: Communication Between Employers and Job Seekers

I so very much enjoyed writing my last post titled A New Career In A New Town: Librarians On The Move and I really loved the conversation that it generated so what I’m gonna do is start up a new category on this website focused on all things job hunting, moving, and growth as a librarian. And with that, here we go.

COMMUNICATION is something we always need to keep open. I understand that sometimes it is hard to do so. Sometimes there are layers to an organization or group which makes communication difficult. Sometimes it is difficult to deliver the bad news to someone who has applied for a job. There are many things that can make communication between a potential employee and a library looking to fill a position difficult, but no matter the situation communication should always be timely, open, and clear.

An employer who is looking to hire someone should be checking their inbox (or snail mail) at least once a day for new resumes/cover letters. When an employer gets something from a job seeker, they should send them an email/letter back letting the job seeker know that they have received their application and would be getting back to them by a certain date.

This is an excerpt from an email I received 5 minutes after sending in my resume and cover letter for a job opening.

What you see above is an excerpt from an email I received 5 minutes after emailing my resume and cover letter to an employer looking to hire someone confirming that they got my application. Getting this email back from an employer will do something amazing for the job seeker: it cuts down on the stress and anxiety that usually comes with applying for a new job. Let’s face it: finding a great job that inspires you, applying for that job, playing the waiting game, and to top it all off doing the interview thing is tough stuff on a human being. There’s so much excitement, worry, and anticipation with this song and dance. Anything that an employer can do to make it a less stressful experience for the job seeker is welcome. Remember, there are two sides to this employment story. Someone needs a job so that they can live, but at the same time you need a candidate who is not only qualified but full of energy, ready to tackle the work ahead.

This is an excerpt from an email I received 5 minutes after sending in my resume and cover letter for a job opening. (1)

What you see above is an example of how not to do communication with someone who has applied for a job at your organization. First and foremost, the “we got your resume and cover letter” email came SEVEN days after applying. Those seven days were spent worrying “did my email get lost in the internet?” and also “well when is it an acceptable time to email them back?”. This is a stressful game to be playing in your head as a job seeker, and potential employers should try to help minimize this stress. Digging deeper, we see a 24 day lack of communication from the potential employer to the job seeker after they had an interview. Remember that it is OK to say to the job seeker that, while we enjoyed our interview with you the organization has decided to pursue another path.  This is not the easiest thing to say but it helps the job seeker move on and attempt to find another job that they can apply to and focus their energy on.

Open and honest communication between an employer and a job seeker starts off a potential relationship in a good way.. This kind of approach to hiring and job seeking does two things:

  1. It allows the employer to better understand who the job seeker actually is and where they are coming from.
  2. It minimizes the stress and anxiety on the job seeker, which allows them to give the employer a better interview and idea of the kind of person that they are.

Stress and anxiety can change a person drastically. Think of minimizing or eliminating the typical stress and anxiety of the job hunt/interview as a way for you to get the best possible fit for your organization.



Information Today: A Day In The Life, Libraries

Introducing “A DAY IN THE LIFE”, my new column at Information Today


Soy un escritor! I am a writer! I really like taking on new challenges in life. Blogging, journaling, and writing articles here and there were the first part in a challenge to myself to prove that I can write. Here’s the next level: I’m now a columnist for Information Today.

My column, titled A DAY IN THE LIFE, is me talking with other librarians about inspiration, technology, management, and more. I believe that the best things in the library world come from the little moments where you’re having a chat with someone over a meal or a beer, not from some big conference or paper telling you exactly what to do. My aim with this column is to be the written equivalent of that: me talking to some great people about some great ideas. I want you to feel like you were a fly on the wall listening in, leaving with a heart full of inspiration

I’ve also really enjoyed working with the folks over at Information Today over the past year on my four part feature TALES FROM THE LIBRARY TRENCHES. When you find it easy to work with someone or a group of people, you stick with them. I’m sticking with the folks at Information Today.

My column won’t be available online free to read, so I recommend that you subscribe to Information Today. You can do that by clicking here. The folks over there do a great job, so supporting them is highly recommended.



Libraries, Portland, ME, Technology

“If you could rule the world today, what’s the first thing you would do​?​”

I’m excited to share this project which was worked on in the Portland Public Teen Library in February 2011 by Justine Denny.

Produced by Justine Denny, a University of Southern Maine (USM) Media Studies senior for an Audio Production II course assignment; the class was taught by Jessica Lockhart.

With great gratitude for the voices of random youth at The Telling Room, and the Portland Public Library’s Teen Zone, both in Portland, Maine.

Music: Where Is the Love? by The Black Eyed Peas

Books, Libraries

The Library Marketing Toolkit by Ned Potter

I was honored to be asked by the most excellent Ned Potter to be part of his amazing new book, The Library Marketing Toolkit.  I’ve always been a fan of Ned’s ideas on library marketing and have been really enjoying the information in the book over the past few days.  Even cooler is the website, which provides even more library marketing case studies for you to explore.

You can pre-order the book here if you’d like

Information about the book:
The Library Marketing Toolkit will be published in July 2012, by Facet Publishing. This website acts as a companion to the book, as well as a stand-alone marketing resource.

To quote the blurb, the book is: “A toolkit of ideas to inspire action. As libraries continue to fight for their survival amid growing expectations, competition from online sources and wavering public perceptions, effective marketing is increasingly becoming a critical tool to ensure the continued support of users, stakeholders and society as a whole. This unique practical guide offers expert coverage of every element of library marketing and branding for all sectors including archives and academic, public and special libraries, providing innovative and easy-to-implement techniques and ideas. 

The book is packed with case studies highlighting best practice and offering expert advice from thought-leaders including David Lee King and Alison Circle (US), Terry Kendrick and Rosemary Stamp (UK), Alison Wallbutton (New Zealand) and Rebecca Jones (Canada), plus institutions at the cutting-edge of library marketing including the British Library, New York Public Library, the National Archive, Cambridge University, JISC, the National Library of Singapore and the State Library of New South Wales.

This is essential reading for anyone involved in promoting their library or information service, whether at an academic, public or special library or in archives or records management. It’s also a useful guide for LIS students internationally who need to understand the practice of library marketing.”