Let the Search Begin!

By Marisa Dabney

The Special Libraries Association at Buffalo (SLAB) hosted guest speaker Rachel Singer Gordon in an effort to education future librarians of alternative careers in librarianship. Rachel Singer Gordon writes articles for Library Journal and regularly publishes on evolving trends in library and information science.

Her newest book, What’s the Alternative? Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros (ITI 2008) details the exciting various careers that are open to individuals with a library science degree. Gordon is also the webmaster for job posting site, LISJobs.com and author of the blog Beyond the Job. This was Gordon’s first trip to Western New York.

If you were unable to make it to this guest speaker event do not panic, a podcast version of the event is available for University at Buffalo students. The podcast is hosted on the SLAB website at http://www.gse.buffalo.edu/org/slasg.

You can also check out Rachel Singer Gordon’s blog (http://www.beyondthejob.org/) which gives job search tips and links to various fellowship applications.

Even if you are a first year student it would behoove you to start looking into various library career possibilities now. How can you start? It is simple. Sign up for the LIS JOB listserv (http://listserv.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=lis-jobs-list&A=1). Take a look at the postings of jobs that interest you to find out what experience and qualities they are looking for in applicants. You can use your time here at UB to gain those skills and get the experience you need to get the job you want.

Also look into fellowships. Many of which are posted on the LIS website (http://www.gse.buffalo.edu/programs/lis/scholarships.asp). You can also find an extensive list of fellowships and scholarships at Rachel Singer Gordon’s blog mentioned above.

Most importantly join the various library student associations. SLAB for example is a student organization here at UB that helps put you in contact with local special librarians, arranges visits to different libraries such as news libraries, and gives you information on how to join the Special Library Association and take part in conferences at discounted rates. Participating in student groups expands your classroom based education with hands on real world guidance and experience that will make you the best candidate for any library job.
Good Luck!

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