Articles Editor

“Why do you need a master’s degree to be a librarian?”

by Alexis Waide, former Head Editor, INALJ Minnesota “Why do you need a master’s degree to be a librarian?” Crowdsourcing an answer for an irritating question Recently, I went to a party attended largely by librarians and/or friends from library school.  Several of us were discussing the minor annoyances of our respective jobs and one…

The Importance of Saying “No”

Naomi Gonzales smiling.

by Naomi Gonzales The Importance of Saying “No” I want to preface this piece by saying this is not an article on negativity, but taking care of yourself. We live in a very “yes”-oriented culture. A professional world where “sure I can do that”, and “I’ll take care of it” are phrases that abound because somehow,…

7 Tips for Leading a Lively Book Discussion Group

Kristin Jaques smiling in front of a library bookshelf.

by Kristen Lauderdale, former Head Editor, INALJ Maine 7 Tips for Leading a Lively Book Discussion Group Fall is an exciting season at my library! Adult programs will be starting up again soon, and this year will be my third year leading our small but dedicated book discussion group. Here are some tips and insights…

Baby Face in the Workplace

Baby Face in the Workplace by Veronica Leigh Milliner, Senior Editor “Oh, I thought you would be older! But you have work experience, right?” This is a greeting from a coworker I was once met with on the first day of a job. As abrupt as it sounds, I would have been more taken aback…

Respectfully Declining a Job Offer

by Sarah Deringer, former Head Editor, INALJ Mississippi Respectfully Declining a Job Offer There are times when you cannot accept a job offer. Whether it is because you do not feel like you fit into the culture, the job does not fit into your life goals, or the salary or benefits are not enough, you…

Essential Research Mobile Apps for Librarians

by Stephanie Noell previously published 11/3/2014 Essential Research Mobile Apps for Librarians With so many people using their phones and tablets for everything, it is important for all of us to be aware of the mobile applications for research resources. Many of the research databases that libraries subscribes to have free mobile applications for their…

Highly Desired: Straightforward Library Job Ads

by R.C. Miessler, former Head Editor, INALJ Indiana previously published 8/16/13 & 9/25/14 Highly Desired: Straightforward Library Job Ads When searching for jobs, sometimes the requirements seem ridiculous. Some job listings appear to be a list of all the library buzzwords and trends over the past 10 years, which can be a bit discouraging when trying…

5 Creative writing tips to enhance your communication skills

by Kristin Charles-Scaringi previously published 11/12/2014 5 Creative writing tips to enhance your communication skills Before I took my seat at the reference desk of a public library I could be found at a computer writing. I found that my professional background as a journalist and public relations writer, as well as my experience as a creative…

Get Practice Doing the Other Type of Interviewing

by Daniel Geary, Graduate Assistant at Princeton Theological Seminary, Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, and Rutgers Alexander Library previously published 11/19/2014 Get Practice Doing the Other Type of Interviewing Practicing interviewing is a no-brainer. You spent so much effort crafting a stand-out resume and cover letter being ready for an interview is important. Rehearsing answers and ironing…

A Thank You Post to the Rejection Phone Call

by R.C. Miessler, former Head Editor, INALJ Indiana republished from 12/4/13 & 11/24/14 A Thank You Post to the Rejection Phone Call It might be that my favorite season is upon us, that I’m just feeling the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, or maybe the cynic in me is getting soft, but I feel…

How to stay positive during a long job hunt

by Scottie Kapel, former Head Editor, INALJ Oregon previously published 6/20/13 & 9/26/14 Keeping your head above water: How to stay positive during a long job hunt For many of you reading, you may very well be on your fourth, fifth, or sixth month of your job hunt. For others, you may have passed that…

BANNED! 8 Lesser-known Books Banned in the United States

by Ashley Mancill previously published 10/6/14 BANNED! 8 Lesser-known Books Banned in the United States Most of us have read or at least know some of the works that are on the American Library Association’s lists of banned and challenged books. From literary masterpieces, to edgy young adult fiction, to beloved tales and new classics in children’s…

10 Minutes before the Interview

by Sarah Roark Schott, former Head Editor, INALJ Arizona previously published 7/22/13 & 8/18/14 10 Minutes before the Interview I recently had the best interview. Seriously, the best interview! I’m not just saying that because during my last interview there was a crying baby. No, this time I felt super comfortable with myself and the…

The Power of Introversion

by Diana La Femina previously published 9/8/14 The Power of Introversion I’ve been reading Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler. It’s an interesting, short book explaining how introverts can make the most of their innate strengths and translate these strengths into their careers. Kahnweiler discusses six main strengths: taking quiet time,…

One Library’s Quest to Start a Board Game Group

by Fallon Bleich previously published 11/13/14 One Library’s Quest to Start a Board Game Group Earlier this year, the reference department of the Bentonville Public Library, where I work, decided to put together some new adult programming. One of the programs that came out of their brainstorm was the TableToppers group, named for the Wil Wheaton YouTube…

40 Resume Tweaks to Get You an Interview

by Margot Note, Director of Archives and Information Management for the World Monuments Fund previously published 12/17/14 Forty Resume Tweaks to Get You an Interview During your job search, a well-crafted resume is vital. As a representation of yourself, it is the first impression you make on potential employers. Like any piece of writing that has…

The (Pregnant) Elephant in the Room

The (Pregnant) Elephant in the Room by Jen Park My husband and I had tried for a long time to have a baby. When I finally became pregnant I was in my last term of library school. I was thrilled and very, very nervous about applying for positions. Although I was working part-time in a…

Green Spaces: 6 Structures Repurposed as Libraries

by Ashley Mancill previously published 10/25/13 & 10/30/14 Green Spaces: 6 Structures Repurposed as Libraries I have a thing for repurposed buildings. One of my favorites is a pizza place in Pensacola that is located in the basement of an old hospital, supposedly where the morgue used to be. Eeriness aside, it actually has a…

Amber Clement: My Superior Librarian

Amber Clement: My Superior Librarian by Kevin Alexander I am very proud of my fiancée, Amber Clement.  She grew up in the Upper Peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior near a small city which boasts the Soo Locks, with accessibility to Soo, Canada, the Mackinac Bridge and other amenities of wildlife and nature.  She grew…

You Worry About You (Taking Charge of My Narrative)

by Claire Schmieder, Volunteer Manager previously published 8/5/14 You Worry About You (Taking Charge of My Narrative) Both of my boys had the same wonderful Kindergarten teacher. Like most educators, she has tons of bite-sized bits of knowledge for her students. Occassionally, I would end up applying those bits to my own life and one in particular…

A Few Tips for Transitioning into the Private Sector

by Sarah Roark Schott, former Head Editor, INALJ Arizona previously published 2/26/14 A Few Tips for Transitioning into the Private Sector In October I accepted a position as an Aircraft Records Analyst with a company based in Oregon. I applied for the job on a whim because it looked interesting, it was in the town I wanted to…

The Linebacker Librarian

My Husband: The Linebacker Librarian by Jaclyn Butz Jesse Butz is 6’2, 365 pounds and looks like a football linebacker. Once, forever ago, he DID play football, but that was many years and a broken back ago…now he’s a librarian. When people walk up to the reference desk at the public library where he works,…

Appreciating Your Staff: It’s Not All Fun, Games and Parties

Appreciating Your Staff: It’s Not All Fun, Games and Parties by Laura Birkenhauer This month, I was thrilled to be appointed head of the Staff Appreciation Committee at my library. Planning parties? Thanking awesome staff? Totally up my alley. My first thought after the initial excitement? “Wait… I’m the head of the Party Planning Committee.…

Tips for Post-Conference Networking: Ask a Special Librarian

Ask a Special Librarian – July Edition What to Do With That Stack of Business Cards: Tips for Post-Conference Networking Tracy Z. Maleeff Library Resources Manager at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia @LibrarySherpa & LibrarySherpa.com Joshua LaPorte Law Library Assistant – University of Connecticut @joshualaporte & https://www.youtube.com/user/JoshuaLaPorte In this installment of “Ask a Special Librarian,”…

Four Things I Wish I Had Done in Library School

Heidi Taylor-Caudill, former Head Editor, INALJ Kentucky previously published 5/13/14 Four Things I Wish I Had Done in Library School Next week, I’m graduating with an MSLS from the University of Kentucky’s School of Library and Information Science. As with any milestone, one has a chance to reflect on successes and failures, things done right, and things that…

The Job Hunter’s Guide to Positivity

by Claire Schmieder, Volunteer Manager Previously published 11/11/14 The Job Hunter’s Guide to Positivity Just about one year ago, I started working at my current job. Hooray! This upcoming anniversary has gotten me reflecting on the time BEFORE I started working, when I was a verging-on-desperate job hunter. After I earned my MLIS, I spent nearly…

Wanted: The Next Librarian of Congress

Wanted: The Next Librarian of Congress by Andy Woodworth The next Librarian of Congress will be the most important job placement in our career lifetimes. Originally, I had written “may be” instead of “will be” because I thought the latter would be a bit hyperbolic. Upon further reflection, I made the decision to remove any…

Library Bucket List: On loving all libraries

Library Bucket List: On loving all libraries by Jen Li, INALJ Contributor I have a ‘library bucket list’. Although my PhD research focuses on three case study libraries in Sydney, my reading and travels have taken me beyond Sydney and those three libraries. I have a mental list of libraries that I would like to…

You & Me & Library Makes Three: Negotiating Dual-Career Households

by Alphild Dick, former Head Editor, INALJ Washington previously published 6/9/14 You and Me and Library Makes Three: Negotiating Dual-Career Households When I started library school, I was under few illusions that finding the traditional librarian position that I wanted would be easy. And time consuming. And frustrating. It was the reality of pursuing work that I was…

Secrets of a Tech Therapist

by Rebekah Kati, former Head Editor, INALJ North Carolina previously published 6/5/14 Secrets of a Tech Therapist My previous job was the Information Technology Librarian for an online university. One of the most difficult aspects of this job was helping patrons troubleshoot technical problems with the online databases. At times, I felt like a therapist as I listened…

Avoiding the Resume Black Hole

by Rebecca Kluberdanz, former Senior Editor previously published 11/11/14 Avoiding the Resume Black Hole As job seekers in an increasing technological world we are all familiar with the dreaded online job application. You’re asked to fill about everything you could ever know about yourself, insert your resume in five different places, take a questionnaire that lasts 24…

Library Maker Fest! #librarymakerfest

Library Maker Fest!  June 18, 2015 by Michele LeSure Hey, guess what?  I’m going to go to the Library Maker Fest this Thursday, June 18th, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Plant City Strawberry Festival Arthur Boring Civic Center.  And, if you were going to tell me that Plant City has a drive-in restaurant, I…

Resilience During (and Beyond) the Job Hunt

Resilience During (and Beyond) the Job Hunt by Julia Feerrar I once applied for a job that, in many ways, felt like it had been made just for me. I progressed through a phone interview and then an on-campus interview, feeling confident and excited. While of course I knew that there must be quite a…

Managing Student Employees in your 20s

Managing Student Employees in your 20s by Laura Birkenhauer Going from a being a student to managing students can be tough, especially when you still have the baby face and unbounded enthusiasm of a newbie 20-something. So, here are some of the upsides (and cons to steer clear of!) of managing student employees in your…

Libraries, hey? That could be a dissertation topic

Libraries, hey? That could be a dissertation topic by Jen Li, INALJ Contributor I begin with a confession. I claim to be a lover of books, reading, and libraries, and indeed during the course of my PhD research, I have visited over seventy libraries in several countries, amassed a number of library cards, and borrowed…

Conflict in the Job Interview: How to Approach the Tricky Questions

by Ruth Lincoln, former Senior Assistant, INALJ Washington, DC  previously published 10/4/13 & 8/29/14 Conflict in the Job Interview: How to Approach the Tricky Questions A job interview isn’t complete without a little conflict. That is, questions about how you handle conflict. A great employee knows how to stay calm when plans go awry, attitudes clash,…

Your Career Statement Of Purpose: a SOP Story

by Christina Wilson, former Head Editor of INALJ Alberta and INALJ Manitoba previously published 2/27/14 Your Career Statement Of Purpose: a SOP Story At a recent library conference, l learned a new approach towards the all-important career summary that all job seekers are expected to deliver during an interview. Typically, interviews begin with a request to provide a career overview. Most…

More On Mentoring: Ask a Special Librarian – May Edition (Pt 2)

Ask a Special Librarian – May Edition (Part 2 of 2) Tracy Z. Maleeff Library Resources Manager at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia @LibrarySherpa & LibrarySherpa.com Joshua LaPorte Law Library Assistant – University of Connecticut @joshualaporte & https://www.youtube.com/user/JoshuaLaPorte It’s a banner month for all you INALJ.com readers. You get not one but two editions of…

On Mentoring: Ask a Special Librarian – May Edition (Pt 1)

Ask a Special Librarian – May Edition (Part 1 of 2) Tracy Z. Maleeff Library Resources Manager at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia @LibrarySherpa & LibrarySherpa.com   Mentoring. It’s a word that seems to strike fear in the hearts of new and experienced professionals alike. If you are just starting out, you probably often hear…

Professional Shadowing for Your Toolbox

by Ryan Nitz, former Head Editor, INALJ Alaska previously published 5/14/14 Professional Shadowing for Your Toolbox As part of a training program at work, I recently had the opportunity to spend a day shadowing someone in a leadership position in my organization. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be one of the…