ALA Annual is right around the corner, and you know what that means…dinner and drinks on the library’s dime! Good times!
However, I know some of your libraries don’t consider conferences as an excuse for a great librarian booze up, so for you there’s also ALA-APA career guidance workshops! Good times!
You can’t say the ALA – Allied Professional Association isn’t doing its part to help you get better jobs, and these workshops look like they’ll provide some great advice to guide your career.
Beginning at the beginning, there’s something for the newbie. “Starting Out? Start with You: What Every New Librarian Needs to Know.” What you really need to know is that librarianship is often the field for those who have failed at everything else.
Starting out, you might also have the question, “Why Can’t I Get Any Interviews?” “In this session we will help you examine if your resume or your interview preparation is sabotaging your job search efforts!” You know this one will be exciting, because there’s an exclamation point!!
It’s probably true that some people are sabotaged by their resume or interview preparation, but having seen a lot of librarians interview over the years, I can also state with assurance that a lot of people are also sabotaged by incompetence, inexperience, and stupidity.
They’re also sabotaged by being unattractive, even by librarian standards. Ugliness might be the last bastion of legal discrimination. On the other hand, if laws against ugliness discrimination were passed, how many people would file lawsuits when they didn’t get jobs? We’re all happy to admit to being having a race or a gender, but few of us admit to being ugly.
There’s also fashion sabotage, but the ALA-APA has got your back covered, literally, with “Not So Extreme Makeovers.” “We hear so much about the negative stereotype of how library staff look and dress.” Yes, and we also walk around our libraries noticing how our colleagues are dressed. I hate to break it to you, it’s not a stereotype. But take this workshop, and not only will you dress better, but you’ll have a better “vibe.” Really. It says so right in the blurb.
This one might be the meanest of the bunch: “Getting Back Into the Game: Advice for the Laid-Off, Insecurely Employed, and Mid-Career Slump.” It doesn’t sound mean, does it? At least, not until you see this part: “Sponsored by ALA-APA. Conference Registration Required.”
So if you’re laid off or insecurely employed, plop down a few hundred dollars for registration, housing, and travel so you can attend this workshop and turn your life around! After all, they “want to talk about how to be reflective, courageous, motivated and well-prepared as you shift into the next phase of your career.” That sounds like it’ll be worth every penny.
Finally, if you can’t compete out in the tough old library world, if you’re sabotaged by your resume or your wardrobe, if you’re insecurely employed or slumping mid-career, there’s always “Careers in Federal Libraries.” “Did you know that the average annual salary for all librarians in the Federal Government in non-supervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions was $80,873 in 2007?” Why, no, I did not! Those government jobs sure are cushy! And I bet you can never get fired! The government could collapse around your ears and you’d still get a paycheck!
By the time you finish all these workshops, you’ll have a better resume, a sharper wardrobe, a slicker “vibe,” and hopefully a federal government job, all of which should be better for your career.