7 Great Sites for Academic Librarians

by R.C. Miessler, former Head Editor, INALJ Indiana
previously published 2/13/14

7 Great Sites for Academic Librarians

rcmiesslerWhether you are currently employed by an academic library or are looking for a career in one, keeping up to date on the fun, exciting, and soul-crushing world of higher education is of vital import. It’s pretty easy to get cynical about academia (and if you aren’t, then you probably haven’t been paying attention), but there are a lot of great resources out there for academic librarians to help us keep our sanity. Here are just a few sites that I check regularly to stay informed and connect with others in the academy.

Chronicle Vitae – While I didn’t include the Chronicle of Higher Education on this list because a lot of the content is paywalled (but if you do have a subscription, it’s a great resource), their career hub site, Vitae, is open and free. There are lots of good articles on life in academia as well as tips for finding a job. It has several LinkedIn-esque features as well, such as job alerts and social networking.

The Lives and Deaths of Academic Library Staplers – Anyone who has worked at the public services desk at an academic library knows that the poor staplers are on death row. Students love to find the breaking points, and student workers usually can’t figure out how to reload them unless it’s a generic Swingline. This site documents the lives, deaths, and occasional resurrections of academic library staplers.

Open Access Overview – Pete Suber is one of the finest minds discussing OA today, and his website provides a ton of information that is beneficial for any academic librarian. His book is invaluable for any reference collection as well.

LibGuides – Best Practices for Librarians by Librarians – Academic librarians love our LibGuides. This collection of tips and tricks for getting the most out of LibGuides, put together by other librarians, is a great way to get started or revamp our guides. By the way, if you’re currently using LibGuides, be sure to sign up for your 2.0 beta site and check out the new features.

The Professor is In – Karen Kelsky is a former tenured professor who has since moved on to consulting academics looking for jobs in higher education, and her site is full of useful information about academia in general, as well as tips for finding a job. While geared towards tenure-track instructional and research faculty, the information is just as valuable for non-faculty librarians as well. Her perspective and honesty regarding academia is refreshing and needed in a time of economic uncertainty.

Inside Higher Ed – Founded by former Chronicle of Higher Education staff, it’s a great companion to that site and for keeping up on the latest news in academia. It’s not paywalled, and it also has a job section with an excellent email alert system.

Academia.edu – An up and coming social media site geared towards academics, the primary purpose is to share research independent of paid journals. It’s an interesting concept and should be on our radar as researchers look outside traditional publishing avenues to disseminate their work.

Any great sites we should know about? Let us know!


Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


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